Digital Marketing Musts for the 2021 Holiday Season

Katie Vaughan
October 27, 2021
Online retailers are bracing for record-breaking holiday shopping amidst all the supply chain chaos. Are you ready?

If you’d told us last year that we would be spending another holiday season amidst a pandemic and global supply chain nightmare…well, we won’t go there. But, if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that there is always good news to be found. We have a vaccine! The economy is recovering! Ted Lasso got renewed for a third season! Despite shipping and supply chain turmoil, online holiday shopping is predicted to break records this year.

As we head into the holiday season, we’re sharing our best advice for taking advantage of another highly digital holiday season. Rest assured: There is plenty of opportunity ahead.

Start early.

Get a jump on your email campaigns and promotions now! “Mega-sale day” shoppers (think Black Friday) are 73% more likely to be high spenders, but this year, you can assume that spending will be spread over a longer period of time. Create your own sale days and share them with your audience early and often.

Publicize shipping cutoffs.

In case you live under a rock, shipping delays will continue to be a concern for businesses and shoppers this year. Help combat any confusion by being very clear about your deadlines for shipping for the winter holidays.

Keep it tight.

Consumers expect their shopping experience to be fast, seamless, and hassle-free. So review your website performance and accessibility and make the improvements necessary to guarantee that experience. Additionally, if you haven't either rolled shipping costs into your sales price or started using free shipping as leverage to boost order values, consider this your hot tip. According to Shopify, 50% of abandoned carts are due to taxes and shipping costs. Don’t let that be you.

Lean in to motion.

Social advertising is key for e-commerce prospecting and retargeting, but the space is very crowded during the holidays so competition for clicks is stiff. It's more important than ever that your ad creative be unique, eye-catching, and include movement and video whenever possible to grab a users attention.

Invest in paid media.

Now is a great time to invest in both branded and non-branded terms on paid search channels like Google. A solid paid search strategy will ensure that your business is easily discoverable by people shopping for presents online, whether they are already brand loyalists or they’re just searching for specific products.

Reach your local shoppers.

This is a big one, so we’ll bullet it out for you:

Target those boomers.

Surprisingly, Baby Boomers have been adopting mobile online shopping at a faster rate than any other group—that’s right, faster than skeptical Millennials or Gen Z! However, reaching Boomers will require a broader approach to targeting.

We suggest taking advantage of both Facebook and Google Ads’ advanced targeting options and segment messaging to different age groups. Older users tend to prefer more information up front, such as assurance a product is in stock, as well as a clear understanding of delivery options before clicking through to purchase.

Offer additional payment methods.

Shoppers are jumping on the “buy now, pay later” bandwagon this year. According to Adobe Analytics data, online revenue from buy now pay later programs (such as Affirm) in 2021 has been 10% higher than 2020 and 45% higher than 2019. But don’t forget the basics! Adding options like Apple Pay and Google Pay can help increase conversion rates.

Create a community.

Now is also a great time to launch a loyalty and referral program, which will give your holiday-season customers (and their networks) great reasons to buy again. Though Q1 is historically snubbed by the economy, a great rewards program will help keep customers in your sales pipeline in early 2022. We’re big fans of Smile.io: It’s simple, intuitive, and seamlessly integrates with shopify.

2021 has continued to bring a heap of challenges, so a strong 4th quarter will be essential for many businesses. Luckily, people seem ready to celebrate this year—it’s all about getting your product in front of your customers. 

If you need help getting set up for success, give us a holler. We are here to make your holiday season merry and bright.

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