I read yesterday that Christmas Day online sales are forecast to exceed £800m and Boxing Day more than £1bn. That is a significant step up from last years record online sales and a massive opportunity for retailers who are taking what is possibly their only day off this Christmas.
The research from IMRG should get retailers excited for the sales they could be returning from Christmas to, but only if they have planned to capture those sales.
A good proportion of the sales will be gift cards being redeemed but the remainder are post-Christmas-Dinner surfers looking to get a head start on the traditional Boxing Day Sales.
To take advantage of this opportunity, your website must be prepped: online stock quantities reconciled, discount offers set up and leading offers in the prime spot on the home page. But that assumes your customers find you.
That is where your digital marketing and social media planning for Christmas come in.
Use your email list
Send an email out mid morning showcasing your attention grabbing deals and another mid afternoon with another headline offer. Make sure you’ve sent yourself a test email and have checked that links work, it is optimised for mobile and tablets and images load quickly.
Align your marketing messages
Get all your social media marketing messages aligned to target your customers with the offers that they are most likely to respond to. Schedule them to go out staggered through the day from early morning through to late evening and then through Boxing Day too. As the lifespan of a tweet can be as short as 18 minutes, you need to keep posting to capture all your followers.
It will be worth posting an advert on Facebook. Your organic reach may be as low as a couple of percent thanks to the Facebook algorithm so an advert that uses audience targeting will ensure your message is seen. Consider a carousel ad to showcase a few different offers to ensure there is something for everyone.
Depending on the price of your product you will need to decide between a cash saving message or a % saving. Typically the bigger the cash saving the better that message will work. If your product is less than £20 a % message can be more enticing.
Finally, there is a question of customer support. Many customers turn to social media to ask questions and this may happen on Christmas Day just as you are sitting down to watch Elf. You might be comfortable responding on Christmas Day but your family may not so it is worth posting what your customer service hours will be over the Christmas period as well as your opening hours. Manage expectations. Then respond as soon as you are able to within your stated hours.
Another way to manage expectations is to be clear when the product that has been ordered will be delivered. Make this clear online but add a post into your schedule so it is easy to identify.
On that note, Retail Post will be online throughout Christmas (the family are used to it by now) and love to chat. So if you are feeling that your 2017 social media marketing could be more effective, you know where to find me!
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas with a record day’s sales under your Christmas tree!