Holiday Advertising Strategies for eCommerce Sellers & Online Retailers

Holiday Advertising Strategies for eCommerce

If you ask any marketing team, they may tell you that advertising is mostly saying the same thing in different ways. When watching TV commercials or ads on YouTube, you may have noticed that the tactics companies use to sell their products or services seem somewhat repetitive. 

This often holds true for similar products or services being sold by competing companies in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) realm. To combat this mundane or repetitive advertising style, some brands like Progressive Insurance, Skittles, and Old Spice for Men are getting increasingly outrageous with their marketing

Repetitive advertisements and commercials are often too dull to catch an audience’s attention. On the other hand, ads that are too over-the-top or outrageous can annoy the viewer, making them hit “skip” or change the channel. Marketing teams constantly struggle to find a happy medium ground and catch the audience’s attention without being obnoxious. 

There’s one magical time of the year where advertisers can go a lot closer to all-out. Spirits are high, and people expect everything to be amplified. Magazines are super-saturated with deals and attention-grabbing ads, stores put up jaw-dropping displays, and commercials use loud colors, festive music, and most outlandishly in-your-face marketing techniques. 

Holiday Advertising Vs. Normal Advertising

During the Holidays, audiences expect different marketing and often look forward to it. A great example of this is the Sprite Cranberry commercial with Lebron James. Although initially airing in 2018, the internet still talks about it and makes memes with it, especially around the Holidays. 

Most eCommerce ads do better around the Holidays, mostly the ones where present-giving is involved. The closer people get to Christmas, the more hurried and pressured they feel to get the perfect gift. Taking advantage of the year-end rush should be factored into your business model.

With the available number of eCommerce stores out there, shoppers can find and order the perfect gifts online and, usually, have them shipped to their door. However, eCommerce companies that stick to the same advertising strategies they use year-round may get overlooked in the hustle and bustle. 

What to do Differently for Your Holiday Ads

Many things differentiate Holiday advertisements from those run during the rest of the year. Q4 advertising brings many changes for marketing teams, and you need to stay on top of it. This is your last chance to drive profits before the end of the year, so track your metrics with care. Also, try incorporating these aspects into your holiday ad strategy:

Theme for the season

Red and green are festive colors, but so are gold, silver, and white. Wreaths, trees, menorahs, snowmen, stockings, stars, and Santa will glam up your eCommerce site and tell everyone it’s the holiday shopping season!

Be upfront about shipping times and costs

Encourage your customers to start shopping early. Shipping delays and announcements from the USPS about slowed shipping times will impact holiday deliveries. Online sellers who communicate with customers regarding shipping costs, shipping deadlines, and delivery estimates will avoid creating unhappy buyers. 

Better to give than to receive

It’s gift-giving season! People aren’t just shopping decor; they’re looking for the perfect gift to givesomeone they love (or are obligated to give to), so appeal to their savvy-shopping side. Items that seem more expensive than their price are the perfect gifts for bosses, in-laws, and anyone else who needs a gift that won’t break the bank. 

Don’t forget self-care!

When shoppers fill their carts with gifts for others, they’re focused on crossing items off their list. This is the perfect time for a suggested add-on, discount, or bonus (such as free shipping) with a certain purchase amount. A pop-up suggesting a self-care item as a “little something for yourself” can raise your average order value (AOV) and lower your shipping and packaging costs per order. 

Clean up your website and product offerings

Revise your homepage to let shoppers know you’re ready for the holidays. Make sure your page is easy to navigate, attention-grabbing, and user-friendly. Ensure that your listings accurately reflect available inventory along with your most current pricing.

Don’t advertise expired discount codes or offers. Instead, create new codes and deals with integrated tracking. This will allow you to evaluate which sources drove the most revenue. 

When customers visit your site during the holiday season, they’ve likely already researched your products at other shops. They’re on your site looking for the best deals and most popular items of the season. Don’t make them spend a lot of time and effort because they’re more likely to bounce. 

Your landing page will have images and information about your best products, your biggest discounts, and any charitable causes. Giving a portion of each sale to a worthwhile charity can make consumers feel better about doing business with you. 

Even adding some holiday imagery can help show customers you share the spirit of the season. You can redesign your logo to include a more festive image or color scheme. Or, you can holiday-ify any stock images, pop-ups and color scheme on your website

Best Practices

Make it Worth Their While

Even with the best ads, people are less likely to buy products for full price around the holidays. Instead, consumers expect discounts, coupons, and sales on nearly everything during this season.

Don’t Forget the Little Guy

Retail sales skyrocket for Hanukkah, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other major holidays. However, those aren’t the only holidays around this time that draw consumers to electronic commerce sites. There are smaller holidays in between (Cyber Monday, free shipping day, small businesses Saturday, and more) that nudge consumers to focus specifically on eCommerce sellers. 

Start Early

We’ve all heard the saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” This is true for holiday eCommerce sales, too. While earlier advertising may not mean an earlier increase in sales, it means that people will start thinking about your product or service sooner, which they will remember when they actually begin their holiday shopping.

Using Payability to Boost Your Holiday Cash Flow

The holidays are approaching fast, and the need for temporary rebranding and remodeling is coming right along with it. However, essential things like planning, creating, and launching new ads, creating temporary holiday logos, or completely revamping your landing page to be more festive, aren’t always cheap. 

For some eCommerce retailers, cash flow pinches can prevent them from taking vital steps toward becoming holiday-ready. In addition, Black Friday brings a shopping craze all at once, which can mean running out of stock quickly. 

Payability is here to help you increase your access to cash flow, which you can use to stock more inventory, run ads, and prepare for the holiday craze. Instant Access lets you utilize your Amazon payouts ahead of the standard payment schedule, freeing resources that you may need right now. 

With Payability, you won’t have to worry about whether you can accommodate the changing needs of the consumer audience in months to come.

Alison Sperling
Alison is the Director of Marketing at Payability. She has 10+ years of experience in marketing helping small businesses and startups find new tools to grow their business. Prior to Payability, Alison started the marketing team at Stack Overflow. Alison completed an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Syracuse University in 2011. She volunteers with several cat rescue organizations.

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