Yay, it’s Christmas, the month your company bank account dreams of all year. The economy has been coming back too, you likely had a decent 2012 so you’re hoping 2013 is even better. Are you just throwing out emails, promos, Facebook posts, and tweets randomly or do you know how to capitalize on what you learned last year to tweak 2013 to be even better?Here’s a chart of the entire holiday season from 2012 across all of our sites, open it up so you can see it big. Keep in mind that we have non-holiday sites too so some sales on all of these days may be for supplements, sprinklers, and survey equipment, however the vast majority of these bars are Q4 oriented holiday company sales. The top chart lists daily orders and the bottom is daily traffic to all of our sites. Notice a couple of key points on what days sold, 3 Mondays including Cyber Monday along with December 10th and 17th. December 17th last year was the last Monday of the last full week before Christmas, the former peak sales day until recent times, which should be on December 16th this year. With a late Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in December, you have fewer days between that first big day and the last one so subtract out a bunch of those bars between those first two big Mondays. Now take a look at the second chart which is overall traffic, notice that traffic is way up almost every day. People are in your stores even after these big Mondays but you haven’t converted them to sales. Can you afford to keep promos running longer or perhaps offer other promos almost as great as your Monday promos? Is it worth it to sell less items but at a higher margin, perhaps you don’t care about fewer overall sales?
Take a look at Saturday and Sunday, they are the lowest traffic days all week and there are really only 2 possible big weekends this year. Are you marketing on the weekends? Perhaps your social media should be filling in more then if you’re afraid to hit them with more emails. With busy weekends and people out and about, you can probably afford to beef up social and not be perceived as “spamming” their feeds since they will likely miss several of your posts, especially on Twitter where timelines are fleeting. If you haven’t been particularly active and engaging on Facebook, most of your fans aren’t going to see it anyway so you’ll really have to work at it. Make sure you cover for different time zones. An 8:00ET post likely won’t be seen at all by someone in California so think about all of your potential customers and spread your posts throughout the day and into the evening. If you’re on Pinterest be sure to post your best stuff on Saturday evenings, I recommend doing this manually, use good keywords, and post to relevant categories that have good descriptions. Take a look at your Pinterest on a phone or tablet, only the top 2 boards show up first on an iPhone so be sure to rearrange any holiday specific boards to be first among all of them and adjust for each holiday going forward.
Do you have cart abandonment and product review emails set up? Properly set up cart abandonment emails have THE HIGHEST conversion rate across the board, 146x better than regular bulk email blasts, plus it’s a one time set up that works all year long. Product review emails can go out a few weeks afterward and help spread the Christmas love on into the new year so don’t miss an opportunity to touch when you have a relevant reason to.
Take a look at the avalanche on the orders chart the whole week before Christmas after the last big Monday. Now scroll down and look at the traffic chart. There are people IN YOUR STORES all the way up through Christmas. Can you do some expedited shipping promos to push that drop off closer to the big day? Do you sell gift certificates? They are built in to CV3 and they COST YOU NOTHING to use. You can market your gift certificates all the way up in to Christmas day and close a few last minute sales. Look at the traffic and orders starting the day after Christmas. Again there are people in your stores at post-Thanksgiving numbers but you need to convert those better for a strong end of the year.
Don’t forget to watch your reporting both in CommerceV3 and Google Analytics and respond accordingly, your business might not be like many of these so tweak things for you. Lastly, remember that there is only one more day between Thanksgiving and Christmas next year so pay close attention to what works now, you’ll have to endure another short season in 2014.
If you need any help you know how to reach us. We’ll get a marketer, support, or social media expert with you and answer questions or put together a quick plan. We can also help review reporting with you next quarter and help put together a 2014 strategy as well as start working on the secondary holidays in the winter and spring.
Good luck and happy selling!