The holiday period is the most profitable time of the retail year, and it provides online stores with a great opportunity to maximize sales.
Seasonal promotions build the momentum to attract new customers and impress the existing ones. From special offers to product bundles, they cheer up customers for upcoming celebrations. By tapping into their potential, you can build the rapport to sustain your business in quieter times.
However, as a business owner, you should avoid the pitfalls of poorly-planned holiday campaigns and dedicate more time to your paid media strategies. Your promotional calendar should reserve a few weeks to prepare for the peak season. This way, you will account for the initial ad setup, creation of digital assets, and any scope creeps that might arise throughout your marketing initiatives.
In this article, we’ll outline top paid media strategies to gear up your marketing efforts for the most amazing season:
Offer Last-Minute Shipping
With the holiday season approaching, you should welcome last-minute shoppers with compelling sales incentives. According to Klarna, 79% of shoppers put off gift shopping until the last two weeks leading up to Christmas. This means that most of your store visitors will be busy with their to-do lists and rush to make a purchase.
Given that, major retailers offer free or next-day shipping options before Christmas, as 1 in 3 last-minute shoppers base their gift purchases on delivery speed. Last-minute deals provide the final push needed for conversions – they incentivize consumers to make purchases at peace, without any extra costs or delays.
Below, we have gathered some of the last-minute shipping incentives that your e-commerce business can offer:
Threshold Free Shipping (TFS) Policy
Many retailers introduce a minimum purchase quantity for consumers to be eligible for free shipping. This is referred to as threshold free shipping (TFS) policy, which bestows the shipping costs upon the e-retailer for “orders equal to or larger than a certain dollar amount.”
To illustrate, Amazon features a free shipping threshold for orders over $25 that urges the consumer to purchase more products to ‘unlock’ free shipping. This is a proven strategy, as 68% of consumers often spend more than they intend to in order to qualify for free delivery.
While you can adopt the same TFS policy for your e-commerce store, it’s important to keep in mind that as the peak season approaches, shipping costs may skyrocket and seriously harm your bottom line. Yet, you can customize the strategy to your margins – this will reduce the impact on the bottom line and increase conversions.
Target Loyal Customers With Free Shipping
Customer loyalty not only enhances your sales figures but also ensures sustainable, long-term growth for your business. For this reason, you should factor it into your plans for holiday promotions by rewarding repeat buyers with exclusive perks.
To increase sales, you can offer your loyal customers free shipping as a limited-time incentive. This way, you will remove the friction to the online shopping experience exclusively for returning customers, boosting the average order value in the short run. In the long run, similarly, the promotional tactic will nurture a group of loyal buyers and further increase their lifetime value.
Feature Special Deals for Christmas
While free shipping has proven to increase average order volume by 97%, the possibilities of shopping incentives don’t end here. To boost sales this Christmas, you can offer product bundles, value packs, and various limited-time deals to your customers.
Given that, we have compiled 3 promotional ideas that will increase your sales:
Buy One Get One Free (BOGO)
“Buy One, Get One Free” is a form of sales promotion, where customers receive a free discounted product if they purchase another product. While this traditional tactic may come off as too promotional or ‘salesy’, you can put a unique spin on it and make it more captivating.
Particularly, you can craft a BOGO deal that’s relevant to the holiday season or is personalized. Seasonality and personalization will ensure that the promotion resonates better with the target customer and their purchasing intent.
Besides, you can introduce different variations of this deal, such as “Buy X, Get Y in Return”, “Buy X, Get a Discount Coupon for X’s Value”, etc. Regardless of the variation, the BOGO deal will carry the sense of urgency needed to fuel last-minute holiday purchases.
Holiday Product Bundles
To clear out old inventory and generate more sales, many businesses opt for product bundling, combining several products into a single package. The bundle offers products at a lower price than if purchased individually. When accompanied by a sense of holiday urgency, it instills the ‘fear of missing out’ in your target audience, urging them to grab the limited-time opportunity.
To create a successful product bundle, experts recommend finding a secondary product that compliments your best-selling product. Alternatively, the bundle can feature winning product combinations, which are frequently purchased together.
“12 Days of Christmas”
‘12 Days of Christmas’ is a promotional campaign, in which an exciting deal is unveiled every day for the span of 12 days. Think of this tactic as an advent calendar – the campaign builds anticipation until the holiday, adding a countdown element to your Christmas marketing campaign.
The ‘12 Days of Christmas’ campaign entices the consumer with fleeting discounts – whether it’s a piece of content or a discount coupon, every offer disappears within 24 hours. So, if your online store visitors are interested in the offer of the day, they will have to purchase it on that day, as otherwise, it will expire.
Some of the daily ‘12 Days of Christmas’ campaign offers could include:
- Limited-edition product lines
- Surprise giveaways
- Loyalty points for purchases
- Christmas wish lists
Optimize Your Pinterest Account
Holiday shoppers are turning to for gift ideas when they don’t have a specific gift in mind. Luckily, Pinterest offers thousands of curated collections, product pictures, and visual search options, which are at the heart of every Christmas purchase. These elements make the platform a crucial element of any successful e-commerce paid media campaign.
Besides, gift hunters turn to Pinterest because of its simplicity. If a user is looking for a particular gift idea this Christmas, the platform will pop up multiple options in a matter of a quick search.
In fact, the platform exclusively attracts those looking for shopping inspiration, since Pinterest users are 90% more likely to report that they’re always shopping. They’re also 30% more likely to express their love for shopping. This molds Pinterest into a hidden goldmine for e-commerce stores like yours that seek to boost their holiday campaigns.
Here’s how to leverage the power of Pinterest to maximize sales this holiday season:
Tap Into the Power of Rich Pins
Rich pins are an SEO-oriented element of Pinterest, which gets overlooked by many. They can be used to hold metadata, such as keywords, phrases, and even logos, from your online store. Rich pins automatically sync information from your website to your Pinterest pins and are available in different categories like product, article, recipe, movie, and place.
Put simply, rich pins communicate what your products are about. That is, they provide context for purchases and grant your e-commerce business a competitive edge. They not only equip consumers with helpful, informative, and compelling copy about your products but also bring relevancy to your online store.
Rich pins help your online business get searchable with niche-specific keywords, ranking your products higher for relevant search queries. They also direct your Pinterest visitors to your online store in the least possible steps.
Given that, make sure to optimize your rich pins with up-to-date metadata. This way, your product pins will feature the most recent information on pricing, stock availability, and product variants, making it convenient for customers to purchase your products.
Prepare Holiday-Themed Digital Assets
When it comes to Pinterest, the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, is especially true. So, before you embark on the Pinterest marketing journey, ensure that your graphics are sophisticated, targeted, and seasonal.
This holiday season, your content is more likely to get pinned by users if it’s Christmas-themed. Similar to search engine queries, users will enter phrases like “Christmas recipes”, “Christmas ideas”, and “gift ideas for…” to obtain helpful information. For this reason, you should prepare content ideas that will fulfill your audience’s needs.
Whether it’s blog articles, infographics, or rich pins, you should incorporate holiday symbolism into your regular product pictures and assist Pinterest users with gift shopping.
Experts recommend switching up your product pictures with lifestyle photography, demonstrating your products in alternate environments, and featuring them with seasonal ornaments. So, make sure that your images radiate the holiday spirit, taking pictures of your products with Christmas lights, in front of the fireplace, or simply embellished with holiday clipart.
Using the right keywords on Pinterest can improve your search ranking and drive traffic to your online store. To leverage the power of organic searches, you should use keywords across your Pinterest profile, pin descriptions, board titles, and image alt-texts. This way, your products will be matched with common search queries and get more exposure.
To choose the right keywords, simply search the platform for products in your niche or use the plugin Keywords Elsewhere for search term rankings. Once you delve into the popularity of your niche-specific keywords, you can insert them strategically and maximize the visibility of your products.
As a paid media strategy, you can reach your target audience through Pinterest ads that allow for keyword targeting. Whether they’re holiday-related or niche-specific, you can meticulously format keywords to target your ideal customer. To illustrate, you can narrow down on specific searches using exact match keywords, while incorporating broad match ones to reach a wider audience.
Christmas is around the corner, and it’s about time you launch a festive paid media campaign for your e-commerce store. From shipping policies to keyword optimization on Pinterest, you can market your products to your audience with seasonal, niche-specific, and visually appealing deals. With the right strategy, you can rank your e-commerce business higher in relevant search queries and generate more sales.
To build up anticipation for the holidays, we recommend revamping your Pinterest account, offering last-minute shipping incentives, and launching special deals. While implementing these promotional strategies, keep in mind the psychographic data of your audience members – knowing their gender, age, location, hobbies, likes, and dislikes will help you launch personalized offers.
Are you ready to further enhance the digital presence of your online store? At Fortis Media, we help e-commerce businesses boost their visibility online and stand out from the competition. To learn more about our paid media services, click here.