eCommerce Strategies for Christmas 2022
The holiday season is the busiest and most challenging time of the year for eCommerce. It is the peak spending period of the year and an opportunity for eCommerce brands to boost their sales.
Amidst the cost of living crisis and UK households struggling to stay on top of their monthly bills, this holiday season will see changed consumer shopping behaviour. People will bargain hunt and plan ahead for Christmas shopping. According to Future Plc, 41% of people will shop for Christmas gifts during Black Friday sale.
With over half of the UK's population planning on shopping for Christmas gifts online, you might ask what can eCommerce brands do to improve sales this holiday season? Here’s few things brands need to consider in the months leading up to Christmas.
Why is a Christmas ecommerce marketing strategy critical for online retailers in 2022?
According to Retail Economics and HyperJar, £12 billion of non-essential or discretionary spendings will be wiped out in 2022. eCommerce brands will have to adapt this year to meet their customer's changed expectations.
An average UK adult has only £518 left after paying essential bills. Whereas those on lower incomes have just £258 per month left over after essential bills. This means there is very little disposable income for money to spend on Christmas. In fact, 20% of UK consumers will cut their festive budgets.
Although the discretionary spending of middle- to high-income households might not be affected highly, consumers will definitely be price sensitive and look for value for money items. With people worried about their finances and reconsidering their shopping behaviour, it’s evident that businesses need to be sensitive to their needs and adapt strategies accordingly.
How to define an eCommerce marketing strategy for Christmas 2022?
While defining the golden quarter strategy, brands should put themselves in their customer’s shoes to identify their biggest challenges. Here’s some trends eCommerce brands will notice in the months leading up to Christmas and to deal with them:
1. Early Christmas Shopping: Price-sensitive bargain hunters will shop during Black Friday to save bucks. Consumers likely are to hold out purchasing until they are absolutely sure they’re getting the best deal. Be sure to focus your early campaigns on scarcity and exclusivity to avoid discounting too early and too often. Prepare your site to handle demand across the season.
2. Affordability based segmentation: The last two years saw a huge shift in consumer shopping behaviour. People favoured convenience to loyalty for a smooth experience – often shopping, but collecting the order in or from the store. Now with rising inflation, consumer loyalty is shifting again - to affordability and value. People are likely to shop from their favourite brand’s lower-priced competitor.
As low-income shoppers curbed their discretionary spending, higher-income households are yet to change their pandemic shopping habits. This Christmas, brands should focus on customer retention, rather than new customer acquisition. By leveraging strategic segmentation and personalisation based on household income, online retailers can ensure that the right product is positioned at the right price and placed at the time to the right segment.
3. Rise in marketplace sales: Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay will witness high volume sales. The inflation-hit thrifty holiday shoppers are likely to compare prices, check deals and shipping prices on various marketplaces and the retailer’s own website before they make a purchase. And even with a lower price, retailers might still miss out on the sale because price-sensitive customers are unlikely to pay for shipping. If you aren’t already, it is time to consider selling products on third-party platforms and offering free shipping on your own website.
4. Change is search intent: As more people start looking for cheaper alternatives of their favourite brands, it’s time to expand your keyword list and bid for branded keywords of your competitors. Revamp your google shopping campaign to ensure improved visibility as people compare deals.
With people navigating the best deals online, brands are likely to see an increase in traffic with navigational or informational search intent, rather than transactional or commercial intent. Identify keywords that best match your value offering and use keywords to target bargain hunters looking for “the best deal” christmas gifts.
One of our SEO consultants on the platform, Andreas Voniatis suggests comparing your Google Search Console data for this year against last date. Analyse the best performing search queries and identify the keywords to attract the right audience.
5. Value focused shopping: Define email marketing campaigns communicating value, urgency, exclusivity and scarcity. As prices skyrocket, consumers are looking for value for money deals. Focus on offering the best deals with shoppable emails.
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