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The holiday season is just around the corner, and your customers are getting ready to celebrate. With drastic life and economic changes this year, people miss having things to look forward to. From making one’s home feel festive to gift-giving and practicing traditions — it’s no wonder why people are more excited than ever to have fun and find familiarity in the holidays this year. 

Pinterest reported seeing a 77% increase in holiday-related searches on their platform, and this year is going to be the biggest holiday season for online shopping ever. Yet, according to our recent survey, only 15% of e-commerce marketers reported holiday-related programming as being top-of-mind. 

But you know how the saying goes: “Better late than never!” 

Focus on these three goals this September to set your brand up for success this holiday season.

Goal 1: Reach New Customers 

Although March was madness, and no, we’re not talking about basketball here (although sports were severely impacted too), CPMs have been following 2019’s trends steadily since May. Brands can expect CPMs to rise through Q3, and peak in November. 

Now is the time to double down on reaching as many new potential customers as you can. Start with brand awareness advertising targeted toward high impact audiences to increase your email list and drive new site visitors this month while CPMs are lower. Take some time to implement a cart abandonment strategy, and identify critical target audiences for retargeting and personalization.

For more on how to create an abandoned cart recovery campaign:

How to Create an Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign

Goal 2: Plan Logistics and Operations 

With more shoppers online this year, logistics, inventory management, shipping, and packaging are critical components to your brand’s success. Plan and finalize operational pieces now to ensure great customer experiences, then communicate them loud and proud. 

Salesforce projects that traditional delivery services like FedEx, UPS, and USPS will exceed capacity by 5% across the globe this holiday season. “That’s more than 700 million gifts that are at risk for not arriving in time for the holidays.” 

Your brand’s biggest advantage in the marketplace is how it makes your customers feel and the relationship they directly develop with it. Keep it positive and trusting by taking time now to get ahead of potential issues that could lead to customers feeling disappointed and frustrated. Prioritize safe delivery methods, efficient logistics, and clear customer communication. You can also take this opportunity to create special in-real-life gift opening and unwrapping experiences. 

Goal 3: Plan Your Seasonal Promotions 

A later Prime Day and a lack of in-store shopping events means that this year, promotional shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday will no longer be limited to just one day. Instead, expect people to be shopping online and looking for holiday promotions starting the first week of October and running through the end of November. 

Rather than having one huge deal that runs for a single day at the end of the shopping season, break it up into several smaller promotional offerings that start at the beginning of October and end at the end of November. Finding ways to motivate your customers to do their holiday shopping early, often, and directly from your brand’s e-commerce store will not only increase sales, but will also reduce the issues your business might run into with logistics, shipping, and operations. 

Over the next few months, plan creative email and social media marketing programs to drive engagement. Also, set aside your advertising budget for October and November to ensure your brand stays top-of-mind throughout this competitive time of the year. 

For a guide on creating discounts and promotions:

A Guide to Discounts and Promotions for D2C Brands

It’s Time to Get Rolling

While a lot has changed this year, we’ve reached a point where the world is normalizing, and people have begun to fall into a new rhythm. Now is the time to make the most out of e-commerce growth opportunities and help your customers have some fun celebrating the holidays. From industry research and market predictions to tools and services that help you grow your brand, we are here to help you have a successful rest of the year.

Stephanie Abe
Author

Steph is the Community Marketing Manager at AdRoll. A relationship-builder, she’s behind the Growth Guerilla Collective (GGC); the community for D2C marketers. Before AdRoll, Steph ran Customer Marketing at a B2B SaaS company in San Francisco. She is passionate about customer-centric marketing.