Hear those sleigh bells tingling in the distance?
Feel those queues building?
See your social calendar filling up with obligations?
Yup, Christmas is fast approaching.
Everyone's favourite time of the year.
Except for those of us working in retail.
For retailers across the world, the last two months of the year are a period of anxiety-riddled horror.
You know the feeling.
Kevin knows the feeling...
It begins with the less than subtle re-emergence of tinsel-ravaged department store displays and audibly assaulting carol soundtracks.
Suddenly it's easier to find a real life elf than a car park.
A slightly obese bush-bearded stranger with a strange reddish palour is given a brief chance to babysit small infants. Unsurprisingly, tears often ensue.
And the whole population of your region decide all at once to collectively thrust their credit cards your way in a fury of festive madness.
Tempers flare. Patience withers. Even Mariah Carey and a pet reindeer wouldn't be enough to please your manic customers.
Ahh, the delights of the retail silly season.
Why would you want to brave the crowds, the stress and the madness to go to the shops?
Wouldn't you rather sort all your Christmas gifts from the comfort of your own lounge chair?
Warm festive beverage in one hand, mouse in the other - you can have all your shopping done in the time it takes to bake your Christmas cake.
The Great Ecommerce Christmas Marketing Opportunity
Simply, online Christmas shopping is so much easier.
Ecommerce gives your customers the opportunity to avoid the following Christmas shopping nightmares...
And General Christmas Shopping Debacles.
Compare these perils with the beauty of online Christmas shopping...
The Ecommerce Christmas Shopping Environment.
This is our chance!
Our big bricks and mortar brothers have wrapped this one up in a great big bow and placed it carefully under the online retail tree.
Christmas should be our time to shine.
The silly season brings out all the best benefits of ecommerce and amplifies them brighter than a Griswold's rooftop.
We need to make the most of online shopping's Christmas customer friendliness.
Sadly, most ecommerce brands don't.
Instead, Christmas is just a time of 'increased traffic'. More potential 'add-to-cart' prospects. All we think about is how to sell as much stuff as possible.
November-December turns online retailers into the Scroogiest, Grinchiest, cash grabbing used car salesmen.
Flash sales, Click Frenzies, daily deals - all the old grifts come out for the great end of year swindle.
Online stores can end up looking like clickable advertising catalogues, shouting "buy our stuff" to unsuspecting visitors.
Tone it down. You don't want your brand to be this guy.
We get it.
Don't scare off a bunch of potential lifetime brand fans with relentless selling.
Maybe we're doing online Christmas marketing wrong?
Christmas is our one big annual chance to start a collection of new long term customer relationships.
Sure, the festive season brings more visitors to our site. Of course we want to make as many sales as possible.
But our focus cannot be on our profit.
We need to maximise our annual unbeatable advantage:
Ecommerce is so much more customer friendly for Christmas shopping
There's no crowds, no queues and no traffic in your customer's living room.
Instead of optimising our online stores for sales, optimise the shopping experience for our customers.
Your Christmas goal should be a bunch of new loyal, lifetime customers, not a ruthless collection of one-off, discount induced sales.
Focus on improving your customer's Christmas shopping experience
If we online retailers are serious about dominating our bricks and mortar counterparts in the Christmas shopping season, we need to emphasise the advantages of ecommerce, and find a way to replicate the best parts of the offline shopping experience.
The effort retail brands go to at Christmas time is astonishing.
The holiday window displays of the likes of David Jones, Bloomingdale's and Barney's are the stuff dreams are made of. Families make the annual december pilgramage just to peruse the incredible decorations.
Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods take things a step further, with Christmas parades and displays designed to conjur the whimsy and wonder that make this time of year so special.
It's time for ecommerce brands to develop their own Christmas spectaculars.
We need to turn our online storefronts into must visit Christmas destinations.
We need to find a way to develop a Christmas shopping experience that gives our customer's the warm and fuzzy's.
We need to spark genuine emotion from our customers to keep them coming back for more each year.
How do you improve your online Christmas shopping experience?
There's no one simple answer.
But we have pulled together 26 different ideas into one simple guide to help you improve your online store's Christmas shopping experience in preparation for the ecommerce silly season.
We've split those 26 ideas into 5 different areas, so you can share these tips and tactics between other relevant members of your team:
- Content Marketing
- Customer Experience
And we've even added specific examples for each of our 26 Christmas ecommerce hacks to show you how brands have implement these tactics in practice.
All of our advice has been carfeully developed with your customer's needs as first priority. This guide is about turning your newfound Christmas shoppers into loyal, repeat subscribers with helpful, friendly, customer-first-sell-second marketing.
You can download your free Ecommerce Christmas Marketing Guide right now, and get cracking early on your brand's Christmas marketing preparations.
Instead of looking like this for the entirety of November and December...
You can enjoy Christmas for once.
Time to unwrap your early Christmas Present
Our ecommerce marketing wisdom is wrapped up into one neat bundle of ebook learning goodness.
It's hiding just one click behind this giant silver button.
Open it up.
Banish those silly season shopping anxieties and remember - Christmas is a time of giving, not repeatedly asking people to buy your stuff.