With the chilling bite of winter in the air and the frenzied shopping sprees happening all around, it’s clear the holidays are here.  If you’re running a digital marketing campaign for your online shop or e-commerce website, you should make sure all your bases are covered to capture as much business from the holidays as possible.

Haven’t prepared anything yet? No worries! Here’s a snappy checklist of some things you can do to set up your online marketing campaign for the holiday season.

Your Onsite Checklist

In the brick and mortar business, if you want to convert window shoppers into customers, you’ll need an appealing display window to entice people. In the online world, that display window is your products page. Boost sales through your website during the holidays by reorganising it for your seasonal products. Here are several ideas to get you started:

1 – Create temporary dedicated pages
Creating dedicated pages for your seasonal products, promotions, and packages gives them more “presence” on your website. The more focus you put on your seasonal offerings, the better your chances of selling them.

2 – Experiment with interactive banners, popups, sliders, and star burst banners
Different types of calls to action (CTA) can have different impacts on customers, based on their individual shopping experiences. Use star burst banners, promotional pop ups, and other interactive CTAs on your website to advertise your seasonal products.

If you are running a promotional campaign, be sure to let them know in the text.  Analyse the impact of your disruptive experiences, and fine tune your strategy based on the data as you go along.

3 – Revamp your checkout page
Customers appreciate gestures that better their shopping experience. Customise the text and design of your checkout page to give it a clean but distinct seasonal flavour. A simple layout that clearly points to the final action can help reduce abandoned carts and boost conversions. Also, let customers know there are different payment options to choose from like Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, and Cash on Delivery.

4 – Customise your UX for different environments
During the holidays, you can expect people to be out and about. Increase your conversion rates by optimising website design for mobiles and tablets. A case study by Blue Acorn discovered that a uniform grid of products can result in a higher percentage of average revenue per visitor. Enable easier product browsing, options scrolling, cart reviewing, and customer checkout to maximise every visit. Tweak your layout to improve ease of use, and remove barriers that might introduce friction to the customer journey.

5 – Add pomp to your most visited page
What do you do to a winning formula? You improve it with complementary pieces. Check your Google Analytics to determine your most visited page. Use that exposure to your advantage by integrating a banner or a pop up to the design. If you have a promotional campaign going on, make sure to word it clearly in your ad text as well.

6 – Do content marketing
If you’ve been maintaining a blog on your website, now would be a great time to write about your products. Showcase your top-grossing product in a blog, and highlight its most selling features. Push your blog out on various channels and platforms. If you have social media accounts, advertise it to your audience. The more noise you make, the more chances you can do business.

Your Offsite Checklist

Now that you’ve cleaned up your shop, it’s time to advertise to people – an awesome store offering great products is no good if no one knows about it. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to get the word out there about your business:

7 – Refresh your keyword list for the holidays
If you want to capture business from the holiday season, one of the best ways to do so is to refine your Google AdWords campaign for seasonal keywords. If you are running a seasonal promo, make sure to incorporate that in your strategy. Google Trends is a useful tool for determining which keywords are peaking this time of the year for your market. Using that data, fine tune your AdWords campaign to include these seasonal keywords. One important note, though: make sure to increase your budget in anticipation of the increase in traffic. You don’t want your ads to stop working just because your budget’s run out.

8 – YouTube advertising
A short but nifty YouTube advert that markets your product and entertains the audience at the same time is a great way to spark interest. Make sure the video is not so long that users will just want to skip it to get back to regular programming. Remember: Keep It Short and Simple.

9 – Utilise Google Display Networks and Search Networks
Expand your advertising strategy to include the Google Display and Search Networks. Key to this is remembering the strengths of each channel. The Google Display Network is a great tool for generating user interest. A well-placed display ad can create awareness amongst users, starting them on the purchasing path. On the other hand, Search Network ads are more direct, which works for users who already know exactly what they need.

10 – Remarketing
During the holidays, there will never be a shortage of rush shoppers. If a potential customer “abandons cart,” it’s probably because of one of two reasons: a) he/she is still on the lookout for a better deal, or b) he/she is considering other options. These are the types of users who are ripe for remarketing. They have already gone past “consideration” and “preference,” but still have doubts whether they should proceed to “purchase.” Use remarketing to subtly reel them in.

11 – Use social reach
Social media is massive in the UAE. Recent surveys have revealed Facebook has a userbase of 8.75 million in the country. Instagram and Twitter, on the other hand, have 1.2 million and 803,000 users respectively. Using social media to market your products gives you access to these online users. Be creative in your social media campaign by creating content that people will want to share. Partnering with social influencers also gives your brand social proof, which is essential in this day and age.

12 – Do email marketing
Many people scoff at email marketing and outreach. But effective email marketing is a craft in itself, and if used the right way, it can pay dividends for your business. One way it can work for you during the holidays is if you use it to market your seasonal promotional campaign. Include a limited-time promo code in your email burst, which can be redeemed for a particular product. Sometimes, all it takes is that one little nudge in the right direction for a window shopper to become a buyer.

Combine your onsite and offsite efforts to create a balanced marketing campaign. Work within your budget, and be creative in how you use your available resources. You can print out this page, and use it as a handy checklist to help you keep track of your progress.

But if you simply don’t have the time or expertise to get all these done, our PPC specialists here at USEO will be more than happy to partner with you. Get in touch with us today, and find out how we can help you get more business this Holiday Season!