Time to Get Your 2021 Holiday Marketing Ready. Here’s How

Angie Abratiguin
11 minute read

2021 Marketing is Ready

‘Tis (almost) the season to be jolly.

And generous.

And willing to spend more than you did in any other month of the year.

When the sleigh bells are nearing, so are the biggest shopping events of the year.

The holiday season is important for any business in any industry, not just eCommerce. People feel more generous and willing to spend during this time of the year, which makes it one of the most lucrative seasons for businesses.

Spending on gift items is an age-old tradition, which begins with two popular shopping seasons – Black Friday and Cyber Monday all through December and New Year’s Day.

According to the National Retail Federation, 87 percent of consumers planned to celebrate the 2020 winter holidays, which include events like Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, which means spending a good amount of money on gifts and decorations.

Collectively, consumers in America alone spent between $755 and $767 billion in November and December 2020 while in the UK, the average household spends around £500 on gifts during the traditional holiday season.

By early November, 59 percent of Americans will have already begun holiday shopping and by the time November ends, 85 percent will have already started shopping.

Consumers spend on average $998 on holiday-related items throughout the holiday season.

According to Statista, the retail eCommerce holiday season sales in the United States amounted to almost $186 billion representing a growth of 32 percent compared to the previous year.

Retail ecommerce holiday season sales in the united states from 2016 to 2021

Image Source: Statista

While the eCommerce segment is expected to emerge as the clear favorite for most shoppers because it offers convenience, brick-and-mortar retail outlets are also expected to perform moderately well.

According to eMarketer, the US brick-and-mortar retail is expected to surge 7.9 percent to $935.79 billion in 2021. Even though this will be a dismal performance, physical retail outlets will still see decent activities, especially from shoppers that are still on the fence when it comes to online shopping.

Brick-and-mortar retail outlets will remain an important part of the shopping experience largely due to the increasingly growing trend of curbside pickup and buy online, pick up in-store. In 2020, click and collect sales in the US hit a staggering $58.52 billion with analysts predicting that it could reach $74.24 billion by 2022.

Forty percent of consumers agree that they will continue to shop in person at brick-and-mortar locations for last-minute grocery needs.

Aside from retail and eCommerce, other industries, such as travel are also expected to reap big during the holiday season as well. Take the food industry, for instance: despite the global health crisis, more than 47 percent of people intended to purchase their food from a restaurant in 2020.

Other industries like nonprofit, for example, can also benefit immensely from holiday marketing. Most donors are active during the holiday season and are bound to spend a little more on charity. Twenty-nine percent of the annual donation volume typically occurs from Giving Tuesday, on November 30, which is the biggest day in nonprofit fundraising, through to the end of the year.

why is the holiday season is such a big deal

Image Source: Classy

Despite the underlying market conditions, not to mention the ever-evolving consumer spending habits, the 2021 holiday season still looks promising for most businesses across all industries. However, the holiday season in itself is not a guarantee that customers will flock to your store – physical or online – and spend a fortune. Just like any other time of the year, you and your team need to have a well-thought-out strategy that outlines how you intend to attract more customers and prospects to buy from you.

In this article, we take a closer look at why it is super important to have a plan in place and most importantly, how to prepare your 2021 holiday marketing.

How to Prepare Your 2021 Holiday Marketing

Preparing for your holiday marketing might seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a large team to support you. With this holiday marketing guideline, you can boost your sales significantly.

Send Targeted Relevant Messages

Sending your customers and prospects targeted relevant messages is a good place to kickstart your holiday marketing campaign. By doing so, you will be reaching out to them early enough in the buyer journey.

This tactic also helps them make decisions quicker since you are already providing them with unique information on what they are looking for. Since you already have some key data about how they shopped previously, you can easily narrow down the kind of products or services they might be looking for as they approach the holiday season.

Using the information you’ve gathered in your CRM, you can send them personalized messages that will ultimately enhance their overall shopping experience. One crucial thing to note – always address your prospects by name. By doing so, they will most likely open your emails and click, which is what you want.

Emails with personalized subject lines

Image Source: Martech

Update Your Website

This one is a no-brainer! Your website is the crux of your marketing, irrespective of the industry you are in. Without it, you’ll be missing out on a world of opportunities not just to market your products and services but to also engage with your customers and prospects.

However, having a website that has outdated information is far from ideal. Customers are constantly looking for up-to-date information about what you’re selling and they expect to find it whenever they need it. According to Nielsen Norman Group, website users often leave web pages in 10–20 seconds. On the other hand, pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer.

How long do users stay on web pages

Image Source: NNG

To ensure that you don’t lose customers, make sure your content is updated with relevant information periodically, especially as you approach the busy holiday shopping season. The images on your website also need to be of high quality and accompanied by the right information.

You also need to make sure that all the products highlighted on your website are in stock. The last thing you want is to showcase a product that is no longer available.

Optimize for Mobile

Having a great-looking website is not enough. With most people now browsing the web via their smartphones or tablets, optimizing your website for mobile is a must if you want to generate quality leads.

Driven by a surging mobile devices penetration, which currently stands at a whopping 15 billion, up from just over 14 billion in the previous year, people are shopping via their mobile devices more than ever.

Multiple Mobile Device ownership worldwide

Image Source: Statista

Optimizing for mobile is important because over 40 percent of eCommerce purchases were made via smartphones during the 2018 holiday season thanks to the over 230 million Americans who own smartphones and another 100 million who own tablets. You can see the importance of optimizing your website for mobile now that more than 50 percent of online purchases are being made from a mobile device.

Lastly, optimizing for mobile also helps your website rank favorably, which makes it more discoverable in the long run.

Prioritize User Experience

If you want your website visitors to stay longer and engaged in your online store, you must offer a top-notch user experience. User experience matters a great deal to online shoppers, especially since they have other options to choose from.

This means that your website responsiveness, for instance, needs to be decent. To help websites enhance their user experience, Google launched Core Web Vitals – the place to find metrics that help marketers measure website speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. With this information, you are able to see how your website performs and also identify areas that need to be improved.

Google Core Web Vitals

Image Source: Backlinko

Make Sure You Have a Plan for Your 2021 Holiday Marketing

Failing to plan is planning to fail. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you must have a plan of how you intend to boost your holiday sales.

It’s never too soon to create a plan for your 2021 holiday marketing. A plan provides:

  • Consistency
  • A better user experience
  • A quicker way to serve your customers swiftly
  • Better control over your budget and finances.

What to Include in Your 2021 Holiday Marketing Plan

Of course, marketing plans vary widely. That’s part of what ensures their success. After all, if everyone did the same marketing stunts they would be obsolete before the first Ho! Ho! Ho!

While we strongly advise you to think outside the box and refrain from getting too much inspiration from other companies’ campaigns (no matter how cool they are!), there are still a few general things any business should include in their holiday marketing plan for 2021 and beyond:

1. Budgeting

What are you going to to spend your advertising budget on? Some of the most popular choices include:

  • PPC campaigns (Facebook and Instagram Ads, Google Ads, other advertising networks)
  • TV, print, and radio campaigns. They may sound obsolete, but they still work!
  • Email campaigns
  • Influcener and affiliate campaigns

2. Promotions

Are you going to offer any considerable discounts this holiday season or were the ones you offered on Black Friday enough?

If you plan to offer new discounts, make sure your stocks are sufficient. And if it’s not products you’re selling, make sure you can handle all the requests coming your way.

3. Gifts and Treats for Customers and Partners

It’s customary to send a small (or big, your choice!) gift to some of your best customers and partners. From a greeting card to a fancy bottle of wine or a VIP SPA experience, the sky is the limit. You just have to know your customers well enough to pick something they really want or need (more on that below).

If you are going to offer a small gift, now is the time to buy it or book it. Much like your business, every company will be under rapid fire as soon as the holiday season approaches.

4. Key Messaging

Sure, discounts are nice and so are red banners on your website. But are they enough to see your sales really soar?

Not really.

Aside from the basic elements of a holiday campaign, consider adding a message that helps you stand out from the crowd. Try something along these lines:

  • Support a cause that’s close to your heart. Announce that part of your profits this season will be donated to charity.
  • Cater to an underserved community: from vegans to the LGBTIQ community, you’ve got plenty of choices to make someone’s holidays more enjoyable and take a social stand while you’re at it.
  • Think outside the box: are people tired of businesses posing into Santa for them? Quit the snowflakes on your homepage and add a sandy beach and palm trees instead — help people dream!

5. Add Integration to the Mix

To help you stay focused on what matters while keeping everything under control amidst a busy holiday season, adding integration to the mix can make your holiday season in more ways than one.

Your sales and marketing departments will be tried and tested during the holiday shopping season. Things can get a bit crazy, which might leave your business exposed to unimaginable problems. Orders can get lost, or worse, delivered to the wrong recipients.

To avoid such problems from occurring, use integration to help you run a trouble-free holiday shopping campaign.

With integration solutions like Mailchimp for Shopify and Salesforce and Klaviyo, your team can be on top of their marketing game throughout the holiday season. These integration solutions will help you to kickstart your holiday shopping campaign early by reaching your customers at every touchpoint through personalization.

But integration is more than a holiday party trick. You want to keep your sales up even after the winter craze, right?

If you implement integration before the mad season begins, you will have enough time to collect enough data to power your campaigns for the upcoming year. Make this holiday season for more than a blip on the sales radar.

Use it to fuel your integrated solutions and learn more about your customers so you can keep your sales consistently high throughout the next year.

These cloud-based solutions will help you to efficiently and effectively monitor, personalize, target, and optimize campaigns, taking the guesswork out of your marketing equation completely.

Our integration solutions also allow you to find inactive shoppers, target potential customers, and engage shoppers early in their purchase journey. That way, you will be able to help them make informed and favorable purchase decisions.

Start here. It’s 100% FREE, so what have you got to lose?