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8 . 9 . 17

Christmas in September?!


To my colleague’s dismay, I am already counting down the days until 1st December when I can deck the halls of the twentysix office with trees and tinsel. However, with the big three – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas – looming in the online world, it is actually the perfect time to start preparing (I may even be listening to Christmas music whilst I’m writing this post to get in the mood!)

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have seen to revolutionise the online retail space for the final quarter of the year with the main focus shifting from December to November illustrated last year with overall retail sales fell 1.9% MoM from November to December. This is not to say that December sales are dwindling; the average weekly spending online in December 2016 increased 21.3% YoY, with the amount spent online accounting for 15.1% of overall retail spending in December – an increase of 15% YoY.

Suffice to say, Christmas is coming earlier. November and December are prime times for the online retail space and we have to get all our ducks in a row in advance ready to tackle the mayhem with full force.

I have generated a preparation key and a check list of top priorities to think about when developing your Christmas marketing plan that you can refer to and also send to your affiliate marketing agency (a perfect time to bring twentysix on board to maximise your online potential for peak time!)

Preparation:

Website load testing – ensure your site is prepared and capable of experiencing a higher volume of traffic

Site speed – review your site speed. Not only does this affect your overall page rank, it ultimately enhances the user experience

Conversion rate – review your conversion rate and user journey throughout the site. Are there specific channels and areas on site that need to be optimised in order to influence the user to convert? Do you have a high bounce rate on specific pages? 

Tracking – audit your tracking. Is everything working correctly? Are you tracking all channels?

Check List:

Channel integration – ensure all your digital channels are aligned, you all share the same information and are working collaboratively rather than in silo

Budgets – confirm budgets ahead of time (sooner rather than later) in order to have a clear understanding

KPIs/Objectives – this comes hand in hand with budgets. You need to understand your budget to work towards your KPIs whilst you need your KPIs to then plan your budget accordingly. Push your clients for these as soon as possible to ensure you have appropriate time to plan

Creative/Messaging – if creative is needed – display, email, social etc. – discuss with your client ahead of time specifications, design etc. This not only enables you to have a rounded targeting approach but it also ensures that you are not wasting valuable time and budget on amends

Road map – collate all of the above in one roadmap document to track your daily/weekly actions. There are only 10 weeks until Black Friday. That’s a lot of points to get confirmed and actioned. Make sure you stick to your schedule and always allow for delays

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