There’s still time to get online for Christmas.

“UK retailers are on course to dispatch a record 900 million orders in 2014, with 120 million orders predicted for December alone” (IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index) and if you and yours are anything like me and mine, that’s a lot of page views just to select and place a single order… and there are 120 million orders about to be placed, so make sure you don’t miss out!

Whether your website is transactional or not, you can still use it, and the rest of social media; including email, to give your customers a reason to visit your “store” to do their Christmas gift shopping.

At John Lewis the word “Christmas” has been the most popular search item since the kids went back to school in early September. Yes, people do plan that far ahead but the good news is, there is still time to create and execute an online campaign, assuming you have been collecting customer email addresses (you have haven’t you?), because research  by Shoppercentric suggests 24% of Christmas shoppers are influenced by emails.

So here are few tips on how to put a little extra glitter in your tills this Christmas… but you’ll have to be quick:

1.Create your email and website Christmas themed templates – you know the sort of thing, headers, footers, banners; focus on shopping deadlines, late night openings, gifts for him and gifts for her  –  ensure that they complement rather than conflict with your offline message AND be inspirational !

2.Ensure you are mobile friendly – there’s more chance of being read and if you adapt the text accordingly and add a little more space as well as making the finger buttons a little larger it will be easier to click through first time.

3.Develop your internal count down calendar, have a weekly themed message, write the message, create the offer and decide on which day of the week is best to “press send”. Add reminders and count down the days before Christmas on each communication. If you can segment your customers write more personalised messages and create more appropriate offers – this way you’re more likely to increase your open and click-thro rates.

4.The third week in November is probably the latest time to start your email campaign, and it’s just before the final pre-Christmas pay day. Start with a quick email to let your customers know you’ll be sending them a few more emails than usual – it is Christmas after all. Early shoppers are often keen to get going and you need to be on their shopping list, so why not add a discount voucher code for all purchases made before the end of November.

5.Measure the results everyday – metrics such as open rates, enquiries, store visits, re-engaged customers and of course sales. Don’t be afraid to tweak the campaigns if they’re not reaching your expectations; and you may need to create a brand new message for those who are opening but not converting – that is purchasing on-line or in-store from YOU!

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in Data, Digital Marketing, Engagement, Marketing, Proposition, Retail, Social Media
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