Christmas in July: Four Things Every Brand Should do Now in the Lead-up to the Festive Period

With Amazon’s Prime Day behind us, we can now look for­ward to Christ­mas. You may be enjoy­ing the Euro­pean sum­mer, but this year’s fes­tive sea­son is offi­cial­ly just around the cor­ner. We know it’s nev­er too ear­ly to start plan­ning for the shop­ping peri­od that remains the most lucra­tive for retailers.

Con­sumers today have very high expec­ta­tions of their shop­ping expe­ri­ence, and those retail­ers that meet these expec­ta­tions excel. How­ev­er, it’s key that as a brand you own the whole cus­tomer jour­ney, from engag­ing con­tent that is per­son­alised through to a fric­tion­less shop­ping expe­ri­ence fol­lowed by an infor­ma­tive post pur­chase experience.

We’ve put togeth­er a list of top steps for brands to start under­tak­ing now, so you can make the most of this year’s fes­tive season:

1. Leverage your customer data

When start­ing to devel­op any cam­paign, start by review­ing the his­tor­i­cal data you have. By using your online mar­ket­ing automa­tion plat­form, many brands will find a wealth of data at their fin­ger-tips. Using this data to pre­dict cus­tomer behav­ior, in turn to pro­vide an engag­ing per­son­alised expe­ri­ence will lead to you max­imis­ing sales.

Which prod­ucts per­formed best last year, with whom, and at what time? How did these cus­tomers dis­cov­er your prod­ucts, and what led them to pur­chase or not? The answers to all these ques­tions lie in your data, and these insights will help you in opti­mis­ing your mar­ket­ing cam­paigns for this year’s hol­i­day season.

2. Engage your addressable market this year

Peo­ple are primed to con­vert dur­ing the fes­tive peri­od, but they are noto­ri­ous for keep­ing their options open, and wait­ing for the best moment to buy. It’s impor­tant for brands to tar­get the right peo­ple and win them over at the right moment with a per­son­alised, rel­e­vant mes­sage through engag­ing cre­ative content.

Are you deliv­er­ing a per­son­alised fol­low up mes­sage to the prospects that aban­doned your shop­ping cart, are you upselling with a per­son­alised prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tion at check out?

Using automa­tion, A/B test­ing and per­son­al­i­sa­tion automa­tion tools along­side your com­merce plat­form will lead to great con­ver­sa­tion rates and there­fore, greater sales.

3. Make every moment ‘shoppable’

Adobe’s recent CXM report showed that one in three Euro­pean con­sumers will aban­don their shop­ping cart fol­low­ing a time-con­sum­ing and com­pli­cat­ed shop­ping expe­ri­ence. Now is the time to address any gaps in your check­out experience.

Is your check­out process as fric­tion­less as possible?

Have you opti­mised your cus­tomer expe­ri­ence for mobile devices, which now accounts for over 50% of online queries?

Lever­age your com­merce tool to enable one click pur­chas­es, or speedy pay­ment meth­ods such as Apple Pay. Addi­tion­al­ly I rec­om­mend to use A/B test­ing on all web­sites and mobile apps to make sure you’re deliv­er­ing a ful­ly opti­mised expe­ri­ence, not just a fault-free one.

4. Be prepared to react as things change

You don’t have to wait for his­tor­i­cal data to gain insight. With real-time ana­lyt­ics, you can learn and adapt in real-time and con­tin­ue to opti­mise your cus­tomer expe­ri­ence as the fes­tive sea­son unfolds, and fresh data is collected.

Is the click-rate on a social ad low­er than you expect­ed? Is one par­tic­u­lar cohort buy­ing less than they did on your last cam­paign? Maybe one prod­uct is actu­al­ly per­form­ing bet­ter than you expect­ed? Take every oppor­tu­ni­ty to analyse the per­for­mance of your cam­paigns and be pre­pared to have the flex­i­bil­i­ty to adapt based on what you learn before and dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son. The insights you glean could very well be the dif­fer­ence between a lack­lus­ter Christ­mas cam­paign, and your best one yet.

Plan now to make your engag­ing con­tent shop­pable in a per­son­alised, fric­tion­less man­ner and this next Christ­mas will be profitable.