It’s Never Too Early: Planning for Holiday Shopping Seasons in 2021
Even though last year’s holiday shopping season can still be seen in the rear-view mirror, some brands are already laying down strategies for the 2021 holiday shopping season. The most successful brands begin planning for holiday shopping seasons months in advance – and while we may not know what the hottest gadgets or toys will be once the holidays arrive, it is rather easy to begin planning marketing strategies for the upcoming season.
To make the most of advance plans and help secure your brand’s place at the top of the e-commerce totem pole, here are some tips on how to begin organizing your 2021 holiday shopping strategy.
Focus on User Experience
For the online shopping experience, nothing trumps how a user feels about your brand. In many respects, how a user feels is directly related to their personal experience with your website and its broader digital presence. As such, improving your website and its functions now in preparation for the 2021 holiday season is a must.
Regardless of how much you might try to appeal to a shopper’s interests, you’ll be pinging noise at them if your website and checkout processes are clumsy or otherwise difficult to use. This is why focusing on aspects such as mobile-friendliness, navigation options and checkout streamlining are crucial to seizing maximum market share during any holiday shopping season.
Elements such as site speed, cart notifications, pop-ups/in-lays and navigational elements are all criteria that must be evaluated prior to the holiday season. By making it as easy as possible to purchase and find what users want to purchase, your store can prosper during the holiday season.
Devise Marketing Appeals Early
How are you planning on attracting audiences during the shopping season? While some brands enjoy natural organic search engine visibility, most online stores have to utilize a variety of marketing tactics to attract attention. This is why developing a game plan well in advance of the holidays is critical to optimal performance.
Customer engagement is crucial to marketing strategy. Are you ready to engage with people across multiple channels (such as email and social media) while also targeting shoppers via search engines? Do your planned promotions resonate with audiences in such a way as to encourage them to purchase from you? Is your marketing plan integrated across these channels in a way that unifies lead generations and conversions? These are questions and problems to address now rather than in a few months.
Have Plans for Customer Service, Shipping and Checkout
Holiday shopping marks a busy time for most online stores. Having plans in place to ramp up customer service availability, address delayed or otherwise expensive shipping concerns, and ensure checkout requires as few clicks as possible are concerns to handle now rather than later.
By having sufficient customer service bandwidth on-hand during the holidays, you’ll avoid missing any low-hanging fruit in terms of potential sales. Being upfront about total price (including shipping) will likewise do the same; if you don’t want to be pinging noise at audiences, then be up front about total costs rather than hiding shipping fees until the very end of the checkout process.
These elements being addressed early in the year can help create seamless integration as the holidays arrive.
Now that you have some idea of what to plan for in the coming holiday season, you can take action now rather than later. These issues being addressed immediately will help reduce stress and profit loss once the fourth quarter of 2021 arrives.