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How eCommerce brands can start planning for the holidays

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As much as you think you’ve got time, the truth is Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a bunch of significant holidays are right around the corner. 

Couple that with that the number of people who continue to shop online each year, and you’ve got to prepare. Last year saw an explosion of growth. A study run by MasterCard found that consumers spend $900 billion more with online retailers than the previous two years’ trends. Online shopping spiked in 2020, with retailers seeing the biggest benefits.

digital ecommerce sales

While the country will be far more open for this holiday season compared to 2020, don’t expect the numbers to shrink back to normal. Economists still predict that eCommerce and online retail brands will retain a significant chunk of those online shoppers this year. 

With limited time left to get everything in order before the holiday rush begins, there’s no better time to start planning your holiday campaigns than right now. 

So, it’s best to be prepared. Here’s what to start doing now for your holiday planning.

Review your user experience

One of the most important ways to make your brand stand out against the competition is to have an easy buying experience. It doesn’t matter if you have an amazing deal on the best products; if your customers get stuck during checkout or can’t get the information they want, they will move on.

It only takes a few seconds to lose a potential customer due to a slow or clunky process. That includes your emails too. When you’re reviewing your processes, make sure your emails are included. 

Double-check your copy and calls to action, and go through the process as if you were a customer, removing any friction points or hiccups. The smoother and more optimized it feels to shop, the more likely your customers will complete the purchase.

Get your calendar set

You might be surprised to find out just how many key dates there are between October and January. All of these represent potential touchpoints for your brand to connect with your customers, especially if you pre-plan and have some fun with it.

You might be focusing on the big days but don’t forget about the opportunities in between. These include:

  • Halloween
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Kwanzaa
  • Hanukkah
  • Free Shipping Friday
  • Green Monday

Add those to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Now you have 12 potential holidays to center your campaigns around this year or create holiday gift guides.

Put a big focus on shipping

Customers want fast and easy shipping year-round. But during the holiday season, there’s extra pressure to make sure you nail this part of the experience. Sometimes, a clear shipping process is the only difference between a customer sticking with you or moving on to another brand.

There are two ways you can stand out when it comes to shipping during the holiday season.

First, make your shipping cutoff dates very clear in all your emails. For example, you can use a smart notification bar to highlight that all orders must be placed by December 15th to ensure shipping by Christmas.

The clearer and more obvious you make it to customers, the less confusion.

Also, stand out by having personalized shipping updates in your emails. When your customers can track exactly where their packages are, it will give them a lot of peace of mind, reducing the number of where my order calls to your customer service team.

Personalize wherever you can

Today’s consumers love personalization, so give it to them as much as you can in your holiday emails. There are plenty of ways you can do it, but first, focus on design. 

One way to stand out is with personalized animations in your emails. Use these to alert your customers to special sale events, new product releases, shipping notifications, and more. 

Personalized countdown timers are also a great tool that will come in handy during the holidays. Use these to alert customers about deals, product launches, and sale countdowns. You can even use them to offer personalized deals and discounts on abandoned carts, a great way to boost extra revenue. 

Start planning now

With so much riding on your holiday email campaigns this season, start planning now. It’s never too early to think about how to make your brand stand out, capture those clicks, and get revenue.

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