Last updated: 1st July 2024

The Ultimate Guide to getting prepped for Christmas 2024 for ecommerce brands

CHRISTMAS IN JULY THUMBNAIL

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It’s July, so you know what that means? Summer holidays! Christmas is coming! 

That’s right. It’s time to start your Christmas marketing for your product business.

Okay, so there is method to my madness – bear with me.

Typically we see a lot of product businesses starting to prepare for Christmas after the  summer. The holidays are over – there’s plenty of time to get those marketing emails and new products up on the website. 

But did you know, marketing like SEO needs a good few months to kick in? Consider this your ‘quiet’ time to get a handle on those keywords you’ve been meaning to crack, and fix some of those marketing funnels and emails. And who knows, if you’re all set before Christmas you might even be able to kick back and relax a bit more!

Ready to give it a go? Here are all the things you can start today to make the most of your Christmas marketing for your product business…

Increase your brand awareness and trust now

Brand awareness is a year-round job, but now is the time to double down on it. Why? You’ve got new people coming into your product business all the time. New followers and email subscribers. New customers trying out your products. You want to warm them up, stay in their minds and remind them why you are the perfect brand for them. 

You can do this by:

  1. Perform a brand audit 

  • Are you being consistent in your visual identity? Are your logos, colours, typography, graphics and photography seamlessly transferring from one channel to the next?
  • Are your personality and values shining through?
  • Are people perceiving you in the way you expect? 
  • When was the last time you reviewed your competitors? 

Making sure you are nailing your branding, so that busy Christmas period roles around, people already know, like and trust you.   

or

  1. Review your reviews

Build trust with testimonials, reviews and user generated content. 

  • If your reviews are looking old, then explore how you can capture more recent ones.
  • Consider hosting your reviews on a reputable platform such as Google My Business or Trustpilot to show they are legitimate.
  • Make sure all your glowing reviews are present across your website and marketing.
 
 If you can get video reviews, even better! Incorporating user-generated content into your social media helps to build social proof.

  1. Build your brand awareness posts into your marketing

Do you have a posting plan for your socials that includes messaging around your brand? When someone visits your social media for the first time do they get a full introduction to you?

Showcasing your products is important, of course, but so is showing the people and the values behind your brand. This will create an even stronger connection with your audience. 

  1. Build up your email marketing list

Email marketing is a really effective way of keeping your business front of mind for customers.

According to Smart Insights the average open rate for Retail emails is 33.1%, which is a higher percentage than the average reach of a social post versus number of followers.  

Email also gives you more opportunity to personalise your messaging. 

The more personalised you can be in your marketing messaging the more likely people are to buy. A report by Mckinsey showed that 76% of customers said personalised messages were essential in enhancing their consideration of a brand, and 78 percent said such communication made them more willing to repurchase. Personalised communications are no longer a nice to have – they’re a pre-requisite of a successful campaign. And the technology we have today has made is so much easier for us to implement.

  1. Consider influencer marketing

When done right, influencer marketing is a powerful tool that can significantly boost your brand awareness and trust.

Partnering with influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged following,

Influencer marketing works best when you build authentic, long-term relationships, so by starting early, you can grow a new audience ahead of the Christmas season. 

Improve your customer journey and conversion rate in anticipation of Christmas

If we’re working on upping our brand awareness, the next step is to make sure we are creating a stellar customer experience. Now is the perfect time to smooth out all the kinks that could be holding potential customers back from purchasing.

You can do this by: 

  1. Analyse your website user experience

It’s time to pull out those analytics! 

What’s your website conversion rate? Can you pinpoint where people are falling off the site? The answers to these questions will help you understand where the sticking points are so that you can do something about them. 

According to Wordstream, a healthy conversion rate for ecommerce sites is anywhere between 1% and 4% (that’s the number of sales, divided by the number of visitors, multiplied by 100)

or

  1. Review your product organisation

How to categorise your online store

Are your products laid out in a cohesive way? Think about the categories. Are there products hiding on pages that should be in their own category? What does the view look like on mobile? Have you got enough information in the product description? Are there images at all angles so that customers can get a clear understanding and view of your products. 

Reviewing the customer journey from a customer’s perspective is not always easy for business owners, being as you’re on the inside all of the time. It might be a good idea to employ some trusted friends to navigate your site to report back on any sticking points or observations.

Bundling products for gifting

One way to improve sales is to bundle products together so you can increase your average order value. Create bundles in your online shop or offer related products at the checkout with a small discount. Think about how your products might naturally fit together so that it makes sense.

or

  1. Fine-tune your email sequences

If you haven’t already then take a look at putting in place some funnels to convert potential customers and target repeat customers. 

According to SEM Rush, repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers so having those re-targeting opportunities in place now is going to help you get closer to your Christmas launch targets.

You can also look at techniques such as abandoned cart emails to remind people when they haven’t purchased with you yet. 

or

Hone in your marketing tactics before the noisy festive period

As a product business, you’re already aware that marketing trends and customer needs change year on year. Marketing is an ever-changing process, but the fundamentals are always the same. One of these fundamentals is the review process. The best marketers are constantly reviewing outcomes and tweaking their marketing plans based on results. Take a leaf out of their books and monitor what’s going on right now to shape what you do next.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What hooks have been working best for you and how can we build on that success? 
  • What marketing campaigns have flopped? Can you work out why so we don’t repeat it? 
  • What marketing emails have been working well over the past few months?
  • What worked well last year in the lead up to Christmas and how can you improve upon it based on recent results?
  • What have we updated, such as products, packaging or processes since last Christmas? For example, is your packaging now completely sustainable? Are you offering wrapping this year? Make sure you shout about it.
  • How you we segment your audience so you can be more specific with your marketing messaging. 

The more personalised you can be in your marketing messaging the more likely people are to buy. A report by Mckinsey showed that 76% of customers said personalised messages were essential in enhancing their consideration of a brand, and 78 percent said such communication made them more willing to repurchase. Personalised communications are no longer a nice to have – they’re a pre-requisite of a successful campaign. And the technology we have today has made is so much easier for us to implement.

Now is the time to try and test things out so you have a master plan ready to go when you launch your Christmas marketing.

Work on Search Engine Optimisation early

This isn’t everyone’s favourite topic so it often gets missed. If you know anything about Two Shows Creative you’ll know that SEO is our bag. (you can sign up for my SEO tools here to make it even easier!)

Did you know it can take at least three months to start moving up the rankings for your ideal search terms? Imagine having an audience already looking for you when your Christmas collection launches. Dreamy right? And this is not paid advertising – this is free. 

SEO is a topic in itself – but here are some tips to help get you going for Christmas: 

  1. Perform an SEO Audit

Performing an SEO audit it key to outlining what needs improving when it comes to showing up on Google Search.

Here is a good place to start:

  • Make sure your site is technically sound: Make sure your site in indexing correctly, look for issues like duplicate content, XML sitemap errors.
  • Check site speed: Ensure your website loads quickly to reduce bounce rates and improve user experience. 
  • Review your meta data: Do all your  pages have optimised meta titles and descriptions? Do all your images have alt-tags? 
  • Analyse keywords: Evaluate the keywords you are currently ranking for. Are they relevant?  Where can you see room for improvement? Are there any opportunities to rank for more keywords? 
  • Analyse your on-page content: Are pages structured correctly with heading tags? Is your content keyword-rich? 
  • Evaluate backlinks: Assess the quality and quantity of your backlinks.

or

  1. Improve your websites Search Engine Optimisation

Once you have audited where you are now, it’s time to optimise your website improve your website’s search engine visibility:

  • Keyword research: Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for.
  • On-page optimisation: Optimise each page with clear headings, structured content, and internal links.
  • Off-page SEO: Build quality backlinks through partnerships, guest blogging, and directory submissions.
  • Create a content strategy: Create a content calendar focusing on topics that align with your keywords and address audience needs.
  • Focus on local SEO (if applicable): Optimise your website for local search queries if you have a physical location.
  • Monitor Competitors: Analyse your competitors’ ranking and adjust your approach to stay competitive.

or

  1. Keep an eye on your data and fine-tune your website content as you go

  • Track analytics: Monitor key metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates.
  • Adjust and fine-tune: Use analytics data to make informed decisions and optimize your SEO strategy over time.
  • Continue to make User Experience (UX) improvements: Enhance navigation, readability, and overall user experience to reduce bounce rates.
  • Stay updated: Stay informed about SEO trends and algorithm updates to adapt your strategy as needed.

or

Work to get featured in PR and Christmas Gift Guides sooner rather than later

In the lead-up to Christmas, you’ll see a lot of business owners putting out gift guides. I send one out every year that includes my favourite eco businesses. Look through your emails from last year. Did any of your close connections do the same? Can you drop them a message and see if you can get onto their list this year? 

You could even send out your own Christmas gift guide. Could you collaborate with other business owners in your sector?

Gift guides are popular – especially in the eco sector because people are looking for businesses they can trust, with products that align with their own values. Many of the big magazines put together gift guides at Christmas and they’re always looking for new and unusual products to feature.

Showing up consistently is going to ensure you are the one at the front of your audiences minds when they’re doing their Christmas shopping! 

Future you will thank you for getting started on your Christmas strategy so early!

These are just a few of the ways in which you can start to get your product business ready for Christmas. And just think, if you put in place some of these actions now, your future self is going to be super thankful!

CHRISTMAS IN JULY THUMBNAIL

Need further help?

Let us help you get your Christmas marketing preparations underway so you can relax this year

If you’d like to make a start on ensuring your brand and website are so attractive that they stop your audience in their tracks then get in touch now for a brand or website review with our founder and brand expert Emily.

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Emily Jones
Founder and Creative Lead at Two Shoes Creative

The creative agency for nice people doing nice things

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