Headlines boomed at us just how difficult 2022 was for ecommerce. Small businesses are always the hardest hit but 2022 was unusual in that even huge tech brands carried out massive layoffs and suffered sales drops.
As we emerge from the dip of 2022, stores are going to need to work even harder to encourage shoppers to buy.
There is a largely untapped opportunity presented by holiday marketing. As usual, large brands have a holiday schedule planned out for all their campaigns, but smaller companies need to do more legwork. Here are all the strategies that will work for a contemporary business, be that primarily online or totally digital like many ecommerce, to ease some of the legwork.
Personalizing around the holidays: Learn about your shoppers
This is a huge task for most small businesses! So I spoke to Hoz of WriterZen about getting to know your audience, to personalize your marketing with the right technology, specifically for busy ecommerce brands:
- Getting to know your audience starts with gathering data.
Find people, observe, ask questions and listen. This can be automated to an extent with Google Analytics. If you connect Analytics to your website, it will tell you what pages people are looking at, whether they’re staying on those pages long enough, and what pages they’re visiting after that.
These metrics help you monitor the health of your website. “Things do go wrong, and you need to know ASAP,” said Hoz. “I visited a gym owner who was spending a fortune on paid traffic and nobody was converting. I went through this checkout process to experience what a customer would and discovered his shopping cart was bust. Nobody could actually make a purchase.”
If you can see in your Analytics that a ton of people are going through checkout but not completing the purchase, you can start to deduce that something is wrong. You can quickly pause your ads to stop leaking money, and then investigate.
- Be present with a live chat widget.
This is a great opportunity to capture what your customers actually want, and what’s making them angry without being physically online 24/7.
“An angry customer telling you via your chat that they’ve tried to buy something twice but your cart is broken is a lifesaver,” confirms Hoz. “That’s the customer you give a free coupon to.”
- Poll your subscriber list.
Those who have signed up to receive marketing from you are already interested in your product. They’ll likely be happy to help you personalize your communications with them via a survey.
Think carefully about what questions might help you categorize your audience effectively. Hoz shared an example: “In my mailing list, a lot of people use WordPress. But some use it for blogging, others are web designers or business owners who don’t want to blog. These are different scenarios. Knowing this, and categorizing each subscriber accordingly, helps me send them useful information on using WordPress.”
How can you poll your subscribers? Make a survey that’s as short as possible while allowing you to gather crucial information in a tool like Typeform.
Now you have information about what annoys your customers, what they want, and what they expect. It’s time to start segmenting them!
Segment shoppers to scale personalization
Dividing site visitors into groups allows you to offer a level of personalization without having to write to every single person individually. You can divide your audience into groups by geographic location or by gender, but the best segmentation happens when you segment by needs.
Needs can be ascertained by looking at pages visited, and the point at which they left your page. This functionality is usually part of email subscription software. “It’s worth investing in this area as soon as you can, to avoid sending out the same promotion to every single person on your mailing list,” Hoz explained.
Now comes the fun! You have segmented your buyers by their behavior on your website, signaling how interested they might be in your product. It’s time to nurture a purchase or conversion with holiday marketing.
The best holiday revenue source: Email marketing
Around dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Back to School, or any huge event, most stores’ revenue comes from email marketing channels or direct messages. These people know your brand and you can reach out again. Here are ways to personalize your marketing to different segments of shoppers:
- Offer express or discounted shopping.
If a group of site visitors lives far away, you can personalize your message to those in that geolocation to help them buy from you.
- Don’t feel obligated to discount everything.
I know this sounds contradictory! But you can attract people with one bestseller at a discount via email, and once they’re on your site they might buy other products. The key is to get them out of their email and onto your store. To personalize this, show them products they have visited on your site before, or even added to their cart.
- Choose holidays based on behavior.
Not every holiday is relevant to your brand, but you likely have a range of people in your subscriber list. If you see an increase in traffic ahead of Christmas, you will want to push “Stocking filler gifts” via holiday marketing to that audience, for example.
Is there an easy way to personalize email marketing ahead of the holidays? The simplest route for Shopify stores is to connect Aument. You can set up holiday marketing in a few clicks and send it to the right people, at the right time — no marketing experience needed!
Where to find more details on holiday marketing strategies
Thank you to those who tuned in live, and all the questions you sent in, keeping our conversation super lively!