Nov 27, 2023

5 Trends & Tips to Enhance Your Seasonal Campaigns

Written by Dan Hughes

The festive shopping season presents marketers with a prime opportunity to increase brand awareness, generate leads and boost revenue. Commonly referred to as ‘the Golden Quarter’, the seasonal shopping period traditionally begins with Black Friday and concludes with the post-Christmas sales.

With many great AI tools now at our disposal, ecommerce businesses have more opportunities than ever to attract  new customers and reconnect with existing ones - especially as people are more cost-conscious in an uncertain economic climate

Plus 89% of American consumers agree that looking for deals, discounts, or promotions online is helpful and 75% find it enjoyable according to ‘The Future of Retail’ report. 

To help you make the most of this golden season, check out some of our tricks and tips that we’ve learned along the way.

1. Create Wish Lists

Many people make lists to help them with their seasonal shopping. It’s human nature to get a rush of satisfaction when an item gets crossed off! 

According to a Global Retail Study by Google, 40% of shoppers think their shopping experience would be better if retailers offered a wishlist where they can save items they're interested in.

So there’s an appetite for wishlists from nearly half of consumers and it’s up to businesses to capitalize on that. Plus if you offer a wishlist or ‘favorites’ function you can encourage people to sign up and target them with relevant email campaigns. 

Take IKEA as a great example. The Swedish furnishing superstore knows that people like to browse and look at options on its website. So they offer a ‘Favorites’ function that enables people to create lists once they are logged in. 

The page to encourage sign-ups simply uses the introduction text ‘Start organizing your dream space’ to get people started.  

Screenshot of IKEA showing wish lists
Screenshot of IKEA showing wish lists

Remember to make sure your wishlists are easy to use on mobile devices as the majority of people love to browse on the go or when they have a bit of free time. This is especially true due to the rise in social commerce

Top Tips:

  • Leverage email to encourage people to log in and create a wishlist or look at their existing one
  • Remarket abandoned items to customers and encourage them to save them to a wishlist or offer a discount on the item
  • Allow customers to share their wish lists with friends and family. 
  • Offer gift cards as an option to help fulfill someone’s ‘wishlist dreams’ and take the decision and stress out of buying

2. Include Other Holidays that Matter to Your Audience

From Black Friday through to the post-Christmas sales, there are loads of opportunities to reach out and connect with your audience and promote your products or services to a potentially engaged audience.

Online shopping is more tailored, value-based, and accessible than ever before, which means that you can expand your campaigns beyond Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year. 

The five-day Hindu festival Diwali is celebrated by more than a billion people and runs from late October to November. And in the US, Thanksgiving is worth a look on its own, and not just in the context of Black Friday, which comes the day after. See this example of an email promotion for the big turkey day from non-alcohol bottle shop No & Lo’s email promotion.

Screenshot of No & Low Thanksgiving email promo
Screenshot of No & Low Thanksgiving email promo

In Scandinavian countries, Christmas Eve is the pivotal celebration of the entire seasonal period. Across the globe, millions of people celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah, while the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa culminates in a communal feast called Karamu, usually on the sixth day in January.

Top Tips:

  • Create an annual calendar to note key events that happen in your target locations
  • Develop content focused on events that matter to your target audience 
  • Create engaging, personalized content and develop product pages aimed at those celebrating these annual events

3. Offer Deals and Discounts

In Europe and the US, the final weeks leading up to Christmas Day present the most significant online shopping opportunities.

Deloitte’s 2023 holiday survey indicates that consumers are planning to make this holiday season memorable and will spend an average of $1,652, surpassing pre-pandemic figures for the first time.

However, retailers are also dealing with cost-conscious consumers who want to make the most of discounts and bargains this year. Economist Intelligence found that while spending has increased since 2020, people are still being frugal in some categories such as household goods and clothing while hotels and restaurants have seen a surge.

Chart showing rise in spending from Economist Intelligence.
Chart showing rise in spending from Economist Intelligence.

Top tips

  • Leverage your email lists to target them with personalized deals 
  • Offer discounts on popular products or services on social media that will drive click-through and traffic 
  • Don't underestimate the value of loyalty schemes for customer retention
  • Consider referral schemes that incentivize existing prospects or customers to spread the word and get new leads
  • Plan for last minute shoppers by offering incentives like free or next-day delivery and concessions on eGift options

4. Prioritize The User Experience

Shopping online can be a lifesaver for many over the festive season, but today’s consumers want their experience to be simple and enjoyable. And it’s your job as a marketer to make that a reality. 

User experience (UX) is a combination of design, customer interface and strategy. It aims to make a customer's journey as seamless as possible with the goal of a conversion at the end.  

When a person moves from one channel to another, you want to make sure they feel reassured on each one. For example, if they move from a social media ad to a custom landing page, is the branding the same? Does the content match what they read on the first click? Is there a delay in moving from one channel to another?

There’s also the issue of data protection and privacy. Half of people are concerned that their devices are vulnerable to security breaches according to The Wall Street Journal report while 41% worry that their devices give organizations or people the ability to spy on them. So it’s up to you to make them feel safe.

Top Tips

  • Here are some considerations you should make to optimize your success in gaining seasonal online sales:
  • Use data to gain insights into what your customers are doing e.g. GA4
  • Use A/B testing and heatmaps
  • Optimize your landing pages
  • Do dummy runs as a customer before launching campaigns to see the journey
  • Be transparent about how and why consumer data is used
  • Help consumers understand their options for protecting their data - e.g. cookies consent on your website
  • Get up to speed on legislation such as GDPR and regulations in other regions such as the CCPA
  • Conduct regular security audits

5. Leverage Social Commerce

With such reach and influence, social media is a channel to leverage during the holiday season. 

Since social networks like TikTok and Facebook made it possible for people to buy directly from them, revenue has kept growing and growing. In 2022, social commerce generated about $728 billion globally and that figure is forecast to rise to $6.2 trillion by 2030 according to Statista.    

Here’s a good example from Fenty Beauty that features a Christmas collection of products beautifully packaged and presented on Instagram. Along with prompting people to go to a URL in the copy, it also has a ‘View Shop’ banner that drives people to the brand’s social shop.  

Screenshot from Fenty Beauty
Screenshot from Fenty Beauty

Top tips:

  • Be selective about the social networks you use for ecommerce and put your energy into the ones that work for your audience
  • Set up a catalog to showcase your products
  • Tap into the emotional aspect of seasonal events on social media - impulse buying is common
  • Avoid stock and boring photos in your shop - think about what would motivate someone to buy a product and make it interesting
  • Encourage user-generated content or run a contest to get great imagery you can use
  • Consider connecting with relevant influencers 
  • Create unique hashtags for your seasonal campaigns
  • Host a live video that includes tags

Live videos on TikTok are becoming a bit of a phenomenon, almost like a QVC shopping channel. Those live videos contain tags and they are virally and incredibly powerful piece of content, which you don't need advertising revenue behind,” says Alison Battisby, Founder of Avocado Social in our recent webinar

Final Thoughts

The holidays are a competitive time for ecommerce brands but there’s plenty of opportunity out there if you understand your audience and leverage the right channels. 

We hope these tips will help you supercharge your seasonal campaigns by generating leads and boosting revenue.  

Article updated 2023

Dan Hughes
Dan Hughes

Dan is a content writer specializing in digital marketing, emerging tech, music and looking after a toddler. You can find out more about him and his work by visiting his Catchy Space.

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