The upcoming holiday season presents unique challenges and opportunities for ecommerce businesses. With the decline of traditional Black Friday in-store sales, digital strategies are taking center stage. Consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are capitalizing on this trend.
Year after year, shoppers are planning further in advance, following the old saying, "The early bird catches the worm." To ensure a successful 2023 holiday season, it's essential to start early and craft a robust digital strategy. Let's delve into the key strategies and trends to excel in ecommerce during the holidays.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping was on the rise. Stay-at-home orders have accelerated this trend, resulting in a surge in ecommerce usage. In 2021, Black Friday alone raked in $8.9 billion in online sales, with the entire holiday season reaching over $206.88 billion in online sales. This tremendous growth signifies a shift in consumer behavior towards online shopping.
DTC brands have thrived in this digital landscape, connecting with consumers through mobile marketing and enhancing the online shopping experience. The rapid advancement of mobile commerce allows consumers to browse and purchase products seamlessly, even from their mobile devices.
To make the most of the holiday season, consider the following best practices:
Mobile usability is paramount in today's digital landscape. Your website should offer an optimal experience on smartphone browsers and apps. Mobile-friendly websites not only make customers happier but also enhance your online presence. Seamless integration with social commerce allows influencers and brand ambassadors to promote your products effectively.
Simplify the transaction process for customers by offering various payment options. Accept all major credit cards, integrate with PayPal, and provide finance alternatives. Loyalty programs can reward repeat customers, while ecard options streamline the gift-giving process.
Prominently feature your holiday sales on your website, social media, email, SMS, and paid ads. Attract new customers and clear inventory by consistently highlighting your holiday promotions. Regardless of the sale's size, regular promotion ensures visibility.
A user-centric design and marketing approach can foster stronger connections with your audience and drive sales. Ensure clear calls to action (CTAs), such as "Buy Now" or "Shop Now," guide customers through the buying process. Minimize clicks to purchase, leveraging tools like Shoppable Ads and S-commerce features to simplify the shopping experience. Establish a clear customer journey on your website, making navigation enjoyable for visitors.
With the best practices in mind, here are five strategies for a successful 2023 holiday season:
Leverage social media to create engaging influencer campaigns and encourage user-generated content. Use branded hashtags and foster authentic engagement. An excellent example is Casper Sleep, which integrates campaigns across multiple social channels, promoting brand awareness and participation.
Virtual events offer enormous potential during the holidays. Utilize live streaming and video conferencing apps to bring consumers together and enjoy your products. From virtual wine tastings to caroling and live performances, these experiential campaigns can engage customers on a deeper level. Naked Marshmallow Co's virtual marshmallow roasting parties are a great illustration of this strategy.
Native advertising seamlessly blends into the user experience, making it a valuable approach. Brands like Paypal have successfully used native advertising to create content that appears as an integral part of online publications. These ads provide a seamless and non-disruptive marketing strategy.
Expand your influencer team by adding macro influencers, brand ambassadors, or experimenting with one-off campaigns. Diversifying your influencer portfolio opens new audience segments and provides insights into your audience's preferences. Lume Cube is a prime example of a brand that utilizes various influencers to achieve diverse marketing goals.
Video content is more compelling to most social media users than text or images. Utilize video and live streaming features on major social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. This approach offers a unique opportunity to engage with customers during the holiday season. Myprotein's live streams and behind-the-scenes content are excellent examples of this strategy.
The holiday season is a time for ecommerce marketers to shine. As more consumers opt for mobile devices to plan their holiday gift shopping, early preparation and strategic implementation are vital. By following these strategies, you can make the most of the 2023 holiday season and set the stage for future success.