According to this website, there are 119 sleeps until Christmas!!
That's only 17 weeks!
Which means that all you eTailers have even less time to prepare your
eStore for the Christmas/Holiday Sale Rush!
The time to start planning is NOW!
There are promotions to decide, marketing campaigns to prepare, and don't
even get me started on which wrapping paper to use this year.
We've put together a nice check-list to help you to prepare for your best
Christmas Season yet.
#1: Review Last Year
The very first thing you'll want to do is to review the performance of
last year's sale.
Undoubtedly, there were some parts that went very well, and other parts
that fizzled for one reason or another.
Take this time to identify the positives and the negatives from last
Anything you did that was worth repeating, note it down and add it into
your 2015 strategy. And the mistakes that you don't want to repeat,
create contingency plans to ensure they don't get repeated.
Then after reviewing your own performance, the next step is to review
Look at how they approached the silly season sale. Are there any lessons
to be learnt from mistakes they made? Or some clever ideas that you can
take some inspiration from?
#2: Check Your Sales Data
Have a look at your sales history for the year.
Identify your top customers, because you'll want to specifically target
them to boost your sales, as well as offer them a little reward incentive
to butter them up as well.
Next, identify your top selling and poorest selling products for the
year, and there are two reasons for this.
The first is to help you to select the products to feature in your
The second is to help identify any possible issues for the performance of
your poorest selling products. Is there a stand-out reason why these
particular products aren't selling as well?
Maybe the product description isn't informative enough, or the product
images need improvement.
Take this opportunity to compare your poorer selling products against
your best selling products and improve the content for your poorer
#3: Review our Twelve Steps to Successful Christmas eTailing
Hopefully you're already up-to-speed with our Twelve Steps to successful Christmas eTailing from
last year, and they're already a part of your strategy.
If not, be sure to read them, as they are all still very relevant.
#4: Map out your marketing strategy
Now you want to plan your strategy - the theme of your campaign, the
promotions you will offer, when you will start each promotion, and how
long each promotion will run for.
Christmas is about rewards and gifts, and just generally being nice, so
integrate this into the theme for your campaign.
Shoppers are always looking for the discounts, but think creatively about
how customers can earn them, or earn further discounts.
Create some interaction between your business and your customers.
Perhaps a competition on social media could offer a higher discount on
top of a regular discount. Or offer a special discount to your Facebook
followers that are the most active in your community.
Stacking promotions to encourage sales at the start of the promotion is
another effective strategy, offering multiple discounts/specials at the
start of the sale period that drop off as the promotion progresses.
Without a doubt, you will also want to offer Free Shipping at some point
during the promotion, if not for the entire sale period. Free Shipping
will is always a major part of your customer's buying decisions, and is a
common sales tactic by your competitors.
#5: Map out your content strategy
It's never a bad time to review and update your content, but now is a
great opportunity to give your website content a good spring clean.
You've already decided on the theme for your marketing campaign, now to
plan the areas of your website that will need to be updated to reflect
You may wish to re-write your product pages to be more appropriate to the
occasion/theme, or to provide better descriptions that help the customer
to make a purchase.
Fresh product images are always a good idea, and can also be used to add
to the feel of your theme.
Then there is the banner images on the homepage that are going to draw
and direct your customers to your featured specials. What marketing
message will you want to display? Which products will you feature?
If you have a Blog or News section, prepare a plan for the articles that
you will publish during the campaign. Plan dates will they be published,
and decide on the images that be used in the articles.
#6: Map out your e-Mail campaigns
Now that you have your marketing strategy set out, it's time to plan your
Following on from Step 2, we recommend making two lists of subscribers -
Your best customers, and your regular subscribers.
Plan to send a campaign to each list a week before your campaign starts,
another at the start of the sale, then a third campaign a week or two
before the sale ends, and lastly, a final days reminder.
List which products you will include, and write the content for each
campaign, and again, decide on the images that be used.
Have everything prepared so that all that remains is the create each
campaign and send them.
#7: Map out your social media campaigns
As always, you need to plan social media campaigns to support your
marketing and e-Mail campaigns.
Plan out the posts for each of your social media accounts, and prepare
the content for each post, and brainstorm the style and message of images
that will need to be produced for each post.
You may also want to launch competitions especially for your social media
channels to attract your followers.
Lastly, look at utilising Facebook Ads to target your followers, or new
#8: Arrange for content to be produced early
Once you have everything planned and decided, the final step is to
arrange for the content you aren't able to produce to be produced for
You really don't want to leave this until the last minute, the earlier
you can get your designer onto your banners or images, the earlier they
will be ready to launch your campaign and the less rush everyone will be
in later in the year.
Need some Help? If you would like some help to get your
Christmas Promotion into gear, Get in Touch. Or if you have some tips
of your own that you'd like to share, join us on the iASP Central Facebook Page.