If you thought e-commerce had gone through the roof over the months when Australians were in lockdown, you haven’t seen anything yet. Christmas is almost here, and with it the highly competitive holiday sales period. Data from Deloitte shows there’s an expected e-commerce upturn of between 25 and 35% during the months of November and January, compared to just a 14.7% increase at the same time last year. So you need to ensure your digital strategy is ready to rock and roll this festive season.

From Christmas-specific campaign tips to re-engaging last year’s shoppers, here is how brands can make the most of 2020’s holiday shopping season.

Get into the spirit early

Big advertisers have already started customising in-market communications for the holiday season by announcing sales events and upcoming offers. If you haven’t, don’t panic – not all brands roll them out early, and you still have time to implement a great digital advertising campaign if you move quickly.

What’s the difference about Christmas?

In order to capture market share during the festive season you’ll need to increase your digital budget. Why? Because although consumers are spending more, the environment becomes much more competitive.

To improve market reach during the holiday season, create new search queries that are Christmas specific. When it comes to search terms, your current strategy will still be relevant throughout the season, but look to add to it. This will improve the visibility of your business in searches.

Understand your customer’s journey

There will be far more consumers shopping online this holiday season, so understanding how they get to you is vital. Inserting your brand or product at critical touchpoints is a highly effective strategy for driving return on investment.

Reaching people with targeted, digital advertising at times of key decision making and conversion is a powerful sales tool. Hitting them at just the right moment can convert them from browser to buyer. In addition, understanding journey triggers will enable you to connect at this important time.

Keep your friends close

This may seem like an odd tip, but think of customers as friends. Throughout a challenging year, they’ve helped you put food on your table.

Reward them by offering discount codes and special offers. It’s good business at any time, but can pay real dividends – for both you and your customers – during the holiday season when every dollar has to go further. Given the competitive nature of the retail scene, this can allow your business to stay top of mind and offer customers even better value.

Bring last year’s customers back

The Pareto Principle says 80% of your sales come from just 20% of your customers. That means it’s easier to drive repeat purchases than new purchases.

Previous customers already understand your product or service, and have had some form of interaction with your brand. They likely have an opinion and believe what you offer can satisfy their needs. Exploit that.

The success of remarketing, however, will depend on the effectiveness of the communication channels you use. Consider both the content of your message and target audience before choosing any one channel.

FOMO is real

The festive season only lasts for a limited time, which is great for businesses willing to create a sense of urgency.

FOMO is a powerful motivator that can make an audience act on your offer and achieve the conversion you’re after. Brands often place quantity or time limits on offers, which pushes consumers to act faster than they normally would. 

It’s all in the details

Research from Google found 40% of customers purchase more goods from retailers who personalise the shopping experience across channels. With so much competition out there, a brand that can create solid connections will see the benefits, ensuring those customers engage with your campaign.

Plus, utilising your customer behavioural and demographic data and incorporating it into the campaigns you are running can give you a leg-up.

Joe Frazer is managing partner and digital lead at Half Dome – the first media agency to top the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Australia 2020 program.