In the e-commerce world, you need an airtight media plan (and several backups) in place for the holiday shopping season before you would even fathom to buy a gift. With people shopping earlier and expecting bigger deals, and with unprecedented competition in the digital space, we’d like to share some tips taken from our strategic plan with our client, YORK Athletics Mfg., on how to maximize Q4.
- Collaborate — This is and always will be one of the most crucial components for e-commerce campaigns. We worked alongside YORK to ensure we planned for every step of the holiday season together. We brainstormed, had intake sessions and shared briefs — Google Docs and Dropbox were lifesavers for this process. We also had countless check-ins as we entered October to assure the website, media channels and our Shopify account all functioned in peak condition.
- Plan Ahead — We began thinking about the holiday season well in advance. Not only because Black Friday has morphed into a weeklong shopping binge that starts early and ends with Cyber Monday, but also because our media actions pre-holiday help shape the success of the campaign.
- Start Early — Our media plan was not specific to just Black Friday and Cyber Monday; we ensured our channels had the proper buildup and messaging to carry people throughout the quarter. While the goal was to sell, we didn’t want it to detract from the larger brand story and relationships we’d built with our consumers across the digital space. We launched our sale earlier and found some of our days with the best return on ad spend (ROAS) were during the week before Black Friday.
- Utilize an Omnichannel Approach — Our media approach was that each channel had its own merits, but ultimately, they needed to play well together. We could use Social to push traffic that would help drive Google Shopping, or use Display to build retargeting pools that reached beyond that digital medium. The point is, we ensured our seasonal plan’s media tactics were team players that helped amplify or assist another channels’ success. In addition, when something didn’t work, we made sure we were flexible and reactive problem solvers to shift quickly.
- Identify Your ROI — Website traffic is imperative to a successful holiday season, so start early. The end goal may be a purchase, but there is power in potential. One of the biggest golden goose eggs of the holidays is retargeting — by prospecting early, you can accumulate a nice pool of familiar people who will remember the brand and hopefully take the next step. You can also develop more nuanced messaging and creative to capitalize on this knowledge. By using this method, we drove a 42% increase in daily web traffic simply by incorporating the retargeting of prospects.
- Think About the Long Term — Quick sales traffic is great, but Q4 also needs to help sustain long-term goals. We identified that email growth was another critical element to driving conversions and was something worth growing in Q4 that could extend into 2020. So many people look to Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the mecca of dates, but identifying earlier opportunities help give a leg up. Our lead generation campaign in early November helped increase brand excitement and grew our email list by over 13K new fans — just in time for holiday shopping.
Friday and Cyber Monday preparation starts early, and ends quickly, which makes
it more important than ever to be meticulous with your preparation. These tips
are sure to make a difference for a Black Friday campaign, or any other significant
e-commerce sale. If you need strategic advice, guidance or a partner for the
entire way, give us a shout.