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Tue Oct 29 2019

How To Get Ahead of Competitors During Seasonal Peaks

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Every year, it feels like Christmas decorations are going up earlier and earlier. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because all businesses want to cash in on holiday shoppers before their competition does – as they should! 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have officially arrived in Australia. In 2018, this week of sales was the biggest in Australian eCommerce history. These events in late November-early December have brought forward the traditional Christmas shopping period, and consumers are now expecting sales from this period through to Christmas.

Consider this – 15% of all Australian eCommerce transactions in 2018 occurred in the five weeks from 11 November to 15 December.

No one can change the underlying seasonality of this demand, but we can leverage it into a competitive advantage for our businesses. And even if your business isn’t seasonal, rest assured that your customers often purchase in reaction to a particular season in predictable ways that you can use to enhance your profitability. 

This is why nearly 40% of all online sales happen in the last three months of the year – October, November and December. 

Is your business ready to take advantage of this season’s buying frenzy before others do?

Seasonality Can Be Your Competitive Edge

You would think that all businesses account for holiday shifts in their marketing plans, but many don’t. As such, they fail to take advantage of selling opportunities that these holidays present. 

That is quite unfortunate when forecasts predict Australians will spend more than $50 billion in the lead up to Christmas.

Businesses that understand the highs and lows and plan accordingly, always end up with higher profitability. That’s why it is essential to find ways to smooth out the costs and engage in activities that help your prospects relate your products/services to the season. 

Look for ideas and technicalities that others may be ignoring so you can make seasonality your competitive advantage.

Doing all this can take a lot of time and resources, though. That’s why we have compiled a list of ideas that can help you get ahead of competitors during seasonal peaks.

Let’s get started: 

Find a Seasonal Opportunity That’s Right For Your Brand

Every season is unique in terms of product and marketing needs; while your offering may not be a good fit for Valentine’s Day, you might be able to see it sell for Mother’s Day if you push your marketing content in that direction.

The key here is to be selective; research the various holidays, events and seasonal themes in your target market. Then choose the ones that are most likely to help you engage with your prospects – also remember that 55% of all holiday purchases happen online, so make sure you aren’t missing out on this opportunity.

The stores that perform the best on public holidays are the ones that have prepared well in advance. They have advertised shopping events to their audience and have a local calendar to guide them through the shopping year.

Approach The Markets With An Appropriate Message

Businesses pull out all stops to entice customers to their products and services, and the only way you can one-up them is by ensuring that your seasonal campaign messaging is on point. 

As with all marketing campaigns, map out the customer journey before you come up with a story to tell your prospects. Then create an emotional connection with the audience that helps them relate your brand to their holidays. 

If you can do this successfully, you’ve already won half the battle as they are more likely to understand where you are coming from – which means they’ll take action on your CTAs (your ultimate goal).

Model Successful Older Campaigns

Look at what the leaders in your niche are doing, and study other successful content campaigns that have garnered attention over the years – for this type of research, tools like Ahrefs and BuzzSumo are great. 

Think about how they’ve worded, styled, formatted and distributed their messaging to invoke a particular emotion. For example, the Red Cups by Starbucks or the ‘Write A Letter to Santa’ campaign by Macy’s; both successfully tapped into the Christmas spirit and enticed everyone, even those who were not their regular buyers, to visit them. 

2018 Starbucks Christmas cup designs
2018 Starbucks Seasonal Cup Designs

Additionally, one of the best aspects of seasonal marketing is that you can recycle and reuse your best-performing ideas year after year. For example, Starbucks has now made it a tradition to introduce new cup designs for every holiday and these have become a collector’s item. 

Segment and Treat Each Customer Individually

Modern marketing wisdom compels us to consider individual segments of customers when creating a marketing plan. Tailor your efforts to each customer individually, regardless of the channel – do this by creating comprehensive customer profiles that give you a clear idea about who they are as a person.

It’s no secret that consumers appreciate this personalisation; in fact, 59% of customers say that personalization influences their buying decision. 

Granted, not every campaign can be fully tailored to a client’s needs – but it is important to group them by behaviour and buying habits so you can deliver content that speaks to them on a personal level. 

The Last Word

It’s a good idea to start preparing for the peak season as early as possible. 

Test during peak seasons and experiment with multiple approaches to find the best campaigns. This way, you can pull in a good 50% to 100% of revenue in comparison with the rest of the year easily.

Overall, eCommerce companies can experience a significant rise in conversions and sales during holiday periods. But it is essential to understand that the most effective seasonal marketing ideas go well beyond putting up blanket deals and specials.

Want some unique ways to leverage the power of seasonality for your business?

We can help you do just that by creating a powerful eCommerce marketing strategy; give us a call today to learn more. 

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We’d love to hear about your digital requirements. Even if you don’t quite know what you need, get in touch as we can help formulate a whole digital strategy to meet your business objectives.

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