Its official – the supermarkets are full of tinsel, the nights are getting longer and soon we’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree. And what does Christmas mean in the world of the internet? Ecommerce of course! Each year the amount of Christmas shopping we do online has grown; last Christmas we spent over £2.8bn on the web in the run up to Christmas.
So Santa Baby, how are you going to improve your Christmas sales?
October: people are starting to research what’s going into their Christmas wrapping. If you don’t rank well naturally, then consider Google placement ads or a Facebook ad campaign to generate brand awareness. Don’t expect an immediate return on investment on this; it’s about getting your name out there. Remember to evaluate using Google Analytics and add goals to test the campaign's success.
November: do they know its Christmas? Shoppers do by now and will have started their Christmas shopping frenzy. To capitalise on this:
- Make sure your ‘all I want for Christmas’ best sellers are highlighted on your home page and are easy to buy
- Step into Christmas with a festive theme on your website. You might want to change the home page text or write some festive blog posts
- Advertise your last delivery date – put it on every page if you can
- Be a Little Saint Nick to your past customers and send them a voucher code/discount. Promotional codes not only mean customers walking in the air, they will also get shared - meaning more new visitors and traffic to your site.
December: the cost of Google AdWords has rocketed by now, but people are more likely to click on sponsored Ads because they are ready to buy, so if you are feeling lonely this Christmas and want more sales, then Adwords is a good bet but make sure you are very precise on targeted keyword phrases.
Or why not try a pre-Christmas sale – spread the word using your social media channels and pull together some pre-Christmas offers that will entice customers to come to your site. Remember though stagger your offers to keep people coming back or to stay another day.
January: new year and time to start planning for next year. Evaluate the data from the last sales quarter to see what you can learn. If you have set up goals in Google Analytics you should know which search terms have driven the most sales and where people leave the website. This information is invaluable for optimising your website further and improving the conversion rate.
March: if you are considering re-designing your website for next Christmas, now is the time to start so that you have launched the site and debugged any problems by September, ahead of when you would expect orders to start rolling in. Alternatively, if you are happy with your website, then get an SEO company to take a look over what you’ve got to see if there are tweaks and improvements they would recommend.
May: social media mentions are increasingly important for ranking well on Google as are reviews and interaction with visitors to your website. Build on your followers from last christmas now so that when you come to launch your Christmas range next year you have lots of people who will spread the message for you.
September: summer is over and baby it's cold outside! If you started early then your website and social media should be poised to launch its Christmas campaign. Time to . . . jingle bells and get excited about new products on Twitter; offer your Facebook followers early bird deals or plan a series of e-shots to remind existing customers to step into Christmas with you.
Come on, don’t you wish it could be Christmas every day?