The holiday season is the busiest time for most e-commerce businesses and between holiday shopping, Cyber Monday, and end-of-the-year deals, it can be easy to spend all your marketing dollars on this big push. But what happens when the holidays are over? E-commerce sales trend downwards and businesses have to revamp sales in the beginning of Q1.
There are many strategies you can implement to help amplify your e-commerce efforts after the holiday rush. Some successful tactics we’ve seen (and implemented) are email campaigns, social pushes, and creative post-holiday sales and incentives.
Tactics to Sustain Your E-Commerce Growth
Email campaigns are great for nurturing prospects and building a relationship of trust. They are also a great tool for when you want to re-engage consumers to take the next step. And after the holidays, an email drip campaign might be just the sales tool you are looking for. There are a few campaigns you should consider to re-engage prospects after the holidays, including the upsell campaign, the cross-sell campaign, and the win-back campaign.
Depending on your business model, an upsell campaign is a great way to not only engage prospects, but to make further sales from people who have already purchased from you before. For example, maybe someone bought your entry-level product for a family member during the holidays, and they loved it so much they want one for themselves.
Why not try to get them into a higher price tier, if possible? The key to the upsell campaign is to promote the value of the product and convince the user they need to upgrade. For example, FitBit sends this email to clients who purchased to promote their Sleep Schedule tools:
This is a great example of not just focusing on sales, but focusing on value added as well.
Cross-selling is one of the most popular tactics used when businesses want to see e-commerce growth (think of Amazon’s “Recommended for You” footers while you’re shopping). Not only are they helpful for consumers because they can quickly find items related to what they want, but they are also helpful for businesses because they encourage more sales. Based on some simple data, you can easily incorporate the cross-sell ideology into your drip campaigns, as well.
To get started on this campaign, gather data like what customers bought after their preliminary purchase, or group similar items together. (Don’t know where to start? Check out our SEO Guide to Optimizing Product Pages for help on building out your product pages). For example, if a customer bought a wine decanter for their mother-in-law, they might also be interested in a wine opener or stopper. Depending on your industry, these cross-sells vary but the idea remains the same – show consumers products related to their past purchases and interests.
Win-back email campaigns are one of the most popular and while they’re used all year-round, they are great for a post-holiday slump. They help get your consumer back to your site and (hopefully) make a purchase.
One of the most popular win-back email campaigns is the “shopping cart abandonment” win-back. According to the Baymard Institute and many other studies, the average abandonment rate is about 69%! With this, it’s clear these consumers are an extremely viable target for marketers. But how do you win back these potential customers?
If you have the email address of people who have abandoned their carts on your site, below is a sample drip campaign you can implement:
- First, send a reminder email a few hours after someone leaves your site. Remind them that they left something in their cart and make it easy for them to return to their purchase.
- Next, send an email 24 hours later with a discount, if they return and finish their purchase.
- Lastly, send a final email with a better discount.
Getting to the consumer after the holidays is tricky because they likely spent a majority of their disposable income during the holiday rush. But, that’s not to say that it’s impossible. With creative sales and incentives, you can continue to make sales throughout Q1.
In January, you could run post-holiday deals, last-minute offerings, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day sales, or pre-Valentine’s Day deals. February brings with it this day of love, and spending, so take advantage of offering these incentives. St. Patrick’s Day is in March and presents another opportunity for sales. By thinking creatively, you can turn the beginning of the year from a slump to a success.
Social Tactics for Steady E-Commerce Sales
Sell on Social
Today’s social networks have gotten so smart with their algorithms that you can easily track users and put your business in front of the right people. Or, you can use organic growth on social to grow your network and reputation. Both are great methods to amplify sales after the busy holiday season.
Social ads are smarter than ever and if you understand the algorithm, you can easily get your company in front of your target demographic. Our paid media experts do just this all day, every day. Even after the holidays, your potential customers are going to be on social media. Why not use this avenue as a marketing opportunity?
The difference between paid social and organic is that instead of using money, you use organic methods to grow your audience. People are always following brands they like, and this avenue represents a great opportunity after the holidays for additional sales. For example, you could post user-generated content of people enjoying your products or offer social-only deals. These posts are timely and relevant and could be the push your customer needs to take that next step.
E-commerce goes through ebbs and flows and often, the beginning of the year after the holiday rush is slow. But, with clever marketing such as email campaigns, using social media as a viable tool, and offering deals you can amplify your efforts and not count this time of the year out of the equation.
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