The COVID-19 pandemic has changed commerce as we know it. The earlier shutdowns and in many states the limited access to businesses have impacted consumer behaviors in such that the consumers prefer shopping digitally over shopping in person. Hence many retail shops have pivoted their marketing strategies and their online marketing and offerings.
And as the holiday season approaches, there will be a rise in demand for e-commerce marketing as those retail shops are now entering the space or investing more in eCommerce marketing, hence it’s going to be a crowded space this year. And having a smart and efficient e-commerce marketing strategy for this holiday can be very helpful for your eCommerce operation.
I have compiled a list of 8 e-commerce tips for the COVID-19 holiday season, and those are below. I would very much like to hear from you if you have any questions, comments, or criticism.
8 eCommerce Tips for a COVID-19 Holiday Season
1. Set up an Amazon Shop
If you already have an active amazon shop, then you are head. But if not, I highly recommend you set up an Amazon shop right away and start listing your products.
Amazon is thriving during this pandemic. Its sales have increased by over 400% (source) this holiday season, and Amazon is expected to set a new record.
Amazon has mastered the science and art of e-commerce and has set up a pretty good system that is pretty hard to compete with.
It is true; Amazon can also compete with your business. Also, if you create an Amazon store, it will take a cut from each sale in addition to the monthly fees it charges you. Still, it also provides the best eCommerce platform the world has ever seen with a broad audience looking for products like yours, especially in the pandemic.
Amazon acts as a product search engine for many products. Many users skip searching Google and go to their Amazon app searching for products. I know I do that quite often, usually use Google as a secondary channel if I don’t find a product I need on Amazon.
So while running a shop on Amazon has its risks, it certainly has its advantages. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it can serve as a pretty solid channel for most E-Commerce enterprises.
2. Setup or Optimize Google Shopping Feed
If you haven’t set up a Google Shopping fee or set it up but don’t pay a lot of attention to it, do it ASAP. If you notice, for most eCommerce search queries, Google shows the shopping feed results before it shows any other search results. And according to 70% of search traffic and revenue goes to the top 3 results; you’ll be missing out if you are not there.
3. Revise Google search Ads Copy
We are assuming you are already running Google Ads to promote your products (f you are not, then I recommend you start ASAP). Holidays, especially this one, are a great time to review and revise the ad copy, emphasizing your value prop.
When writing your new ad copies, put an extra focus on your holiday deals, and of course pandemic sensitive verbiage such as “touch-free packaging and\or delivery.”
4. Don’t Forget Microsoft Bing Ads
When it comes to product search, Bing is a much smaller search engine compared to Google and Amazon, but it picks up quite a bit during the holiday shopping rush. The growth of Bing search volume during the holidays is because many windows users rush to finish shopping, and they end up using the default search engine Windows offer, which is Microsoft Bing. So running some Microsoft Bing ads, as long as they convert into sales, can be beneficial for your eCommerce business. Also, your competitors may neglect Bing so that you will have a competitive advantage there. Just monitor your Bing campaigns closely, and optimize per conversion and not impressions or clicks. You won’t get the search volume that you usually get from Google on Bing.
5. Email Is Not Dead
Email is not dead. But you have to get quite crafty with your emails. Your email Subject should grab attention, probably of an irresistible offer you have. And don’t get too fancy with your email designs; these days, a simple template email works better. Customers are a lot savvier, and they value the content and the offer and not the design so much.
6. Not Too Late for SEO
Many eCommerce marketers deprioritize SEO because they believe SEO takes too long. During the holidays, they instead shift their focus and resources elsewhere where they see a more immediate ROI. I don’t disagree entirely with that belief or approach, but as an enterprise SEO consultant, I can attest that you can do many SEO things to see immediate ROI.
For example, fixing your meta tags can help with your rankings and click-through rate almost immediately, translating into more traffic and revenue. And compiling and implementing optimize meta tags don’t take too long. Another SEO recommendation is improving your site speed. Many eCommerce websites, especially those on the older platforms, tend to be slow. Improving your website speed can result in immediate SEO and user conversion. eBay improved its site speed by a few seconds, resulting in millions of dollars in increased revenue almost immediately. So who said SEO takes too long?
7. Smart Retargeting Campaigns
Depending on the industry, e-commerce conversion rates can vary from <1% to >=5%. For example, f your conversion is 3%, which means that out of every 100 visitors to your website, only 3 of them will end up buying. What about the rest? What do they do?
The general recommendation is to retarget website visitors, but you want to make sure your retargeting is a bit more sophisticated during the holidays. So segmenting your audience and having a more targeted remarketing advertising campaign can be more beneficial.
A good example is to retarget those website visitors who added products to the shipping cart but didn’t complete their transactions. By segmenting them, you can target them by customized unique offers and ads to convince them to come back to shop from you. And those offers can only be visible and available via retargeting ads.
8. Social Influencers
Depending on the type of products you sell, you could take advantage of social influencers to boost sales. And the good thing is that you don’t have to go with big-time influencers like Kim Kardashian. You can line up a few smaller influencers for a lot less cost and get better results because of their more nitch following (they also called Micro influences), and work out a fair deal to promote your products and promotions.
Don’t Let Covid-19 Ruin Your Holidays!
Covid-19 has undoubtedly changed the way we shop, do business, and eCommerce shops are not except for these changes. This holiday season, don’t let COVID-19 disappoint you. Please take advantage of the opportunities mentioned above, and let’s have a good holiday season. We are here to help, so reach out to use if you need any assistance with your holiday marketing or digital marketing in general; schedule a call with us.
Happy Holiday Marketing