- Customer images
- Contests and giveaways
- Authentic ads
- Inspiration on website
- Social proof on product pages
- Transactional emails
As retailers prepare for the crucial holiday sales season, many are left wondering how they can create an effective holiday eCommerce marketing strategy.
With an increase in online competition, higher numbers of consumers shopping online, and social proving to be an increasingly important buyer battleground, brands are feeling the pressure to come up with clever techniques to draw attention to their stores.
By deploying all or a combination of the following cost-effective tactics for your holiday eCommerce marketing strategy, your brand will have a comprehensive, omnichannel marketing plan that’s sure to bring enormous sales (and hopefully, some holiday cheer).
Read our best tips for generating more buzz around your brand and making leaving shoppers happy with your holiday campaigns:
1. Share images from real customers across your marketing channels
User-generated content (UGC)—the photos, videos and posts people share online every day—is the most trusted, engaging and influential content consumers seek that brands can’t manufacture.
Because UGC is abundantly available, it keeps your content feeds fresh. Better yet, people are 5.9x more likely to say it’s the most authentic content compared to influencer content.
Place real content created by people who are genuine brand fans at the heart of your omnichannel holiday marketing strategy. This helps to not only boost engagement but also excites your loyal customers. Who doesn’t want their favorite brands to feature them on their marketing channels? Try posting customer UGC in standard social media posts (as well as Stories and Snaps). It shows prospective holiday shoppers how much your customers love their latest buys.
2. Run contests and giveaways on social
What better way to help people get into the gift-giving spirit than by hosting a friendly social competition?
Social contests (especially those with prizes involved) are a smart eCommerce holiday marketing strategy because they:
- Are a fun and exciting way to engage your followers (and their friends
- Help grow brand awareness by compelling people to share the competition promotion with their networks
- Generate new content that brands can then use to fuel more marketing campaigns
Try prompting people to share the best gifts they’ve ever received or photos of their holiday home decorations with a special contest hashtag. Keep the barriers to entry low and the inspirational content high if you want to pull off a successful social competition.
3. Make your ads more authentic and relevant
Using UGC to give your social ads a more authentic and personalized touch has been proven to increase Facebook ad clickthrough rates by 11 percent and lower the average cost per click by 21 percent.
UGC is the most powerful form of visual social proof and it’s also a highly effective way to make your paid social and digital ads stand out from alternative stuffy commercial content.
There’s nothing more jarring when scrolling through your social timeline—packed full of posts from your family and friends—than a shouty, cheesy ad. Using traditional stock images in your ad creative runs the risk of alienating your audience and is far less likely to attract a positive engagement than something more relevant and authentic.
What could be more relevant and authentic than content created by real people who love your brand? Leading consumer brands have used it to great effect.
Toyota boosted Facebook ad performance by 440 percent when they swapped stock photos for UGC, and Air France positively impacted every Facebook ad metric—Lowering their cost per click and acquisition while simultaneously improving their click-through rates.
Instead of opting for stock images or plain professional photos of products, take advantage of the images your customers are already creating around your brand and products. See the difference it makes in your paid holiday campaigns.
4. Provide visual inspiration on your website (and make it shoppable!)
Your homepage is the very first impression people have when they first enter your site, whether through an organic search or a paid campaign. During a competitive holiday season, it’s crucial to provide visitors with a user-friendly and inspiring website homepage that compels them to make a purchase.
You can do this by showcasing UGC visuals across your eCommerce homepage. There are plenty of UGC examples out there of brands already using this strategy. You could feature real customers using your products—highlighting the perfect stocking stuffer or the best gift-wrapped bundles of products. People are going to be relying on brands for gift ideas and UGC is the perfect way to inspire others by showing the creativity of your customers.
Want to take this strategy one step further? Make the visual inspiration on your homepage shoppable by adding interactive ‘Buy Now’ buttons or ‘Learn More’ calls-to-action to shorten the path to purchase. It helps move users from point of inspiration to point of purchase in just a few clicks.
5. Display social proof on product pages
Did you know that 72 percent of consumers say real customer photos and videos are the content they most want to see on eCommerce sites when making purchasing decisions? That’s right, social proof is one of the most impactful tools at eCommerce managers’ disposal.
Having featured images of real customers wearing or using your product on your product pages helps provide third-party validation and unedited views that online shoppers look for when making online purchase decisions.
Plus, showing UGC of your products helps set consumer expectations and reduce return rates—it might even inspire them to share their own UGC once they do make that purchase.
Other forms of social proof you can use to improve product page conversion rates are:
- Ratings and reviews
- Counters of how many people already bought the product
- Awards the product has won
6. Capitalize on transactional emails
Leveraging the right content is incredibly impactful when promoting specific products in your emails (like the example below), but what about transactional emails? By their very nature, transactional emails are brief in message with a specific purpose—order confirmation, shipping notification, membership notices, etc.
Although transactional emails are individualized (i.e. addressing the recipient by name), they often aren’t personalized (containing information that a specific individual may be interested in).
Because consumers typically have low expectations for transactional emails, that makes it a great opportunity to go the extra mile and surprise them with a personalized message.
Reinforce that they made a great decision in purchasing from you by highlighting how happy other customers are with their purchases (and provide reviews and visual UGC).
You can also inspire email recipients to participate in sharing their product experiences across social media for the chance to have your brand reshare it on its marketing channels. When people feel acknowledged and heard, they are more willing to get involved and take action. All you have to do is ask.
The competition is high during the holiday period, and what better way to sell your products than to have the visual endorsement of real, satisfied customers? Getting people involved in your holiday eCommerce marketing strategy promotions can help grow excitement and also conversions for your brand.
If you’re interested in using a platform like Stackla to help you locate, earn the rights to and publish shoppable UGC throughout all your channels, book a personalized demo with us today by filling the form below.