Tips for Planning eCommerce Holiday Campaigns that Convert

Planit Agency
August 2, 2021

Tips for Planning eCommerce Holiday Campaigns that Convert

August is here and we have a feeling if you’re like most marketing teams, you haven’t started planning your holiday promotions calendar. But, you really should. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 59% of consumers already started their holiday shopping by early November, pushing the season even closer.

If reading this is stressing you out, don’t let it. This year has been stressful enough so we’ve outlined the top 5 things you should start doing now to make the holiday season the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Establish goals and determine budget

Successful campaigns establish realistic budgets and goals that align with your business objectives and target audience. When thinking about and establishing budget and goals, don’t just think about how much revenue you need to make but instead how much you can realistically spend and what steps you will take to reach your goals.

Break down revenue and non-revenue goals into manageable SMART goals so they become less overwhelming and more tangible. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-based.

Outside of revenue goals, define success, but be specific:

  • How many purchases would you like your customers to make?
  • How many products per order would you like to sell?
  • What do you want your average order value to be?
  • How many new email subscribers or social media followers acquired defines success?
  • How many new customers do you want to obtain?

Answering these questions first will help keep you on budget, your strategy on track, and your goals attainable.

2. Understand your audience

Next, focus on identifying and better understanding your target audience, especially now that we’re in a “post-Covid” world and behaviors have shifted. Data tells us that today’s customer knows exactly what they want and they desire to obtain it through personalized experiences. And like Janet Balis says in 10 Truths About Marketing After the Pandemic, “you’re no longer competing with your competition, you’re competing with the last best experience your customer had.”

To give your audience the best experience, ask yourself:

  • What is known about both your current and your desired customer?
  • How does the campaign satisfy their needs – or does it?
  • How personalized of an experience does my customer want?
  • What are the different customer segments I can identify and target?

By reflecting on these questions, opportunities are highlighted to improve the existing strategy and to welcome new ideas.

3. What worked previously, what didn’t?

It’s always smart to go back and evaluate previous campaigns to understand what worked and what didn’t. For example:

  • Which of your homepage banners or calls to action (CTA) were clicked the most?
  • What design elements made these CTAs more clickable?
  • What text was on the highest converting CTA?
  • What terms are people searching for on your site and are the best results being served?

Understanding the different elements which attracted customers and led them towards their conversion will help define the next campaign strategy. The same logic applies to elements that didn’t help your customers convert. If it didn’t work before, why try it again?

Leverage any analytics you have at your disposal. This can help to identify popular pages and products to elevate them for your customers. Data can also help you understand which time of day or day of the week your audience is most engaged, in turn enabling you to tailor the campaign to better target the desired audience during those times.

4. What are your capabilities?

Once your strategy and budget have been determined, it’s time to map out what resources are available to your campaign. Mapping this out will help you stay on track in terms of budget and strategy while keeping your campaign goals attainable.

When thinking about available resources, ask yourself:

  • What are your website’s technical capabilities?
  • What kind of creative assets can I handle creating or afford to outsource?
  • Which distribution channels already work for me?
  • Which channels would I need to establish before launching a campaign on and is it worth it?

5. Optimize your site

Making sure your site is optimized focuses not only on your customer’s experience, but also focuses on your site’s ability to handle an increased customer base.

Websites tend to slow down when large images and videos are being hosted, and this can drastically affect your customer’s experience within your site. Working with your developer or using the proper plugins (depending on your CMS) to:

  • Compress all images and videos and set up browser caching can help ensure pages load as fast as possible
  • Make sure your website hosting space is large enough to handle increased amounts of traffic

Make sure to test the site’s speed using Google Page Insights and implement any necessary fixes before launching your campaign to ensure the fastest loading site possible. This will deliver a smoother user experience (i.e. happier customers) as you increase traffic and make changes to your site during the campaign.

Website optimizations shouldn’t only focus on technical aspects. Make sure you take into account the front-facing aspects of your site your customers will see:

  • Can my customer easily navigate on the site and find products?
  • Are we suggesting related products to increase the number of products being purchased and increase the average sale?
  • Do I have the ability to create a gift guide type experience to help your customers pick out the best gift for each person on their list?

Asking yourself these questions is a great start because it prioritizes the customer experience on this journey. The better experience your customers have with your store – both online and via a brick-and-mortar presence, the more likely they’ll be to come back and even recommend it to others.

Optimizations don’t have to stop at your site. Are there ways you can interact with your customers beyond their purchase that will positively impact their experience like sending personalized emails based on their own shopping trend or asking for feedback? Think about ways you can continue to keep yourself top of mind.

Remember, eCommerce works in tandem with other marketing strategies and their tactics. In creating the campaign strategy, each element should complement the others, in turn creating stronger momentum to catapult your customer through the sales funnel.

Not sure where to begin? Planit is a full service, digitally-minded agency ready to help!