The holiday season is coming very soon and if you still haven´t started, now it is the time to map out your marketing campaigns in order to drive the most revenue for your business this year. These 5 steps are everything you might need to turn an average Holiday season into a great one!

Related: 2015 Holiday Seasons Trends Facts

Holiday Online Shopping Behavior

Holiday shopping online is growing every year. Looking back at 2015, the most popular online shopping days were Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Total sales during 2015 grew more than 13,4% over the year prior, and 2016 is expected to grow at about the same rate.

Well-thought-out and positioned marketing campaigns come in many different shapes and sizes. Check our roundup of a few ways to prepare for strong e-commerce season this year:

1st Step: Analyze your previous Holiday Season Shopping Analytics

Before starting any campaign, it´s a must to check data from the previous year and understand not only the mistakes but also the key performance factors for success.

Do you know where did the majority of your traffic comes from? Was your email marketing successful? How successful? What were your open rates? What were the most clicked-upon items included in your emails? And what groupings of items did most of your customers click, and in what price ranges? You need to understand all of these data points.

Did social media, SEO, or paid search lead to your highest conversions? Have you identified the top business logic using smart product recommendations, and have you removed low performers to ensure optimal success? You need answers to all of these questions.

Do you understand flow? Have you checked organic keyword acquisition, user movement on your site, main traffic sources and which channel converts the best? You need solid answers to all of these questions.

2nd Step: Create a Promotional Calendar

You need to map your promotional schedule out clearly and simply. There are so many overlooked opportunities during the holiday season, and staying organized is very important to prepare content and digital marketing campaigns in advance. 3 main areas to optimize are your email marketing campaigns, holiday-themed home page and landing pages, and personalized product recommendations. Here are a few simple and practical ideas you can start implementing already today are:

Update your home page to be completely holiday-focused. Add a countdown timer to increase urgency. Highlight sales and special promotions on your home-page to make discovery easier. Also, follow Amazon’s lead and let your customers know the day by which they need to purchase in order to guarantee that their items arrive in time for gift opening.

Plan holiday-themed blogs or videos showcasing your products – ideas for gifts, packing, curated lists to attract people who are browsing for gifts.

Engage your customers in social media campaigns where you ask them to create a video or send a photo of them using the product – and use this user-generated content in your holiday advertising campaign next year.

3rd Step: Plan Shipping Logistics and Prices

Did you know that unexpected shipping costs are one of the most important reasonsshoppers abandon? Actually 4 in 5 customers feel that free shipping is the most important factor when making a purchase online and can even wait an additional 2 days or more to receive free shipping. The holiday season is also a great time to get organized ahead of time and make sure you are ready for some extra orders, that you can provide clear information about the estimated time. It´s a win-win for everybody.

4th Step:Make Sure to Create a Great Mobile Experience

2015 season was a great indication that m-commerce is booming. According to internet Retailer it accounted for more than one-third of all sales during the holiday season. In order to maximize the most of it, it´s not enough to have an optimized website – make sure images and recommendations are optimized for mobile and that the checkout process is easy.

5th Step: Don´t Forget Personalization

During the holiday season, people may be a bit more selective when it comes to shopping, discovering products, comparing, and looking for alternatives. Retailers that target different segments and behaviors tend to drive up the average order value. One of the best ways to create compelling email campaigns is also to apply data.

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