Almost every holiday season we see growth from digital and non-digital sales in the US, demonstrating that even a global pandemic could not stop such a growth. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce retail data, the 2020 holiday digital sales growth was 40% year over year compared to 2019. This year’s holiday digital sales growth is predicted to be only 12% down from 2019’s 14.6% growth. However, analyzing from 2015 to 2021 with 2020 being an outlier, we can see that the average digital sales growth number is around 14.5%. The 2020 holiday digital sales number saw a huge historic increase of 40% because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most stores either closed or offering only digital retailing allowed for such an increase in e-commerce sales. Many people working from home had more time and flexibility to take advantage of online sales during last year’s holiday season. Some stores even had inventory limitations, no matter what the industry may be, forcing consumers to look for alternatives. According to Salesforce, several of the main factors of the projected slow increase for digital sales in 2021 are decreases in manufacturing supply, increased logistics cost and labor shortages – this in turn will show an increase in prices during the holiday and possibly beyond.
So now that we have an idea of the statistics, let’s look at what makes a digital campaign successful during the holiday season. The website should be optimized for mobile to ensure a fast, easy and safe shopping experience. Having a fast, responsive mobile website is the key drive more online conversions as consumers take page load times into consideration.
There are different digital mediums to capture holiday sales but every year we see more consumers turn to social media for shopping. Therefore, it is essential to have a dominating presence on social media and have a set social media strategy – whether it be organically through stories, hosting lives, build engaging posts, incorporate strong influencers to even generating unique users to your post through hashtags.
Moreover, on the SEM. (search engine marketing) side you want to make sure your holiday campaigns have the right messaging to capture leads. This may be sales oriented with an offer and even include a promotion extension displaying your offer. Utilizing the right keywords with a strong negative keyword list are important as well to attract quality traffic to your website for a potential sale. The same goes for your landing page, with relevant content on your landing page that match your keywords and ad copy, you will achieve a higher quality score – allowing you to usually pay less against competition (based off Google’s algorithm). Besides SEM and paid social, you also want to make sure your holiday SEO is up to date with any holiday meta data, descriptions and tags matching your holiday-oriented landing page. This will help improve your search rankings during the holiday season against competitors.
Finally, other effective methods of digital advertising during the holiday season include email marketing, OTT (over-the-top advertising delivered directly to viewers over the internet through streaming video services/devices), and YouTube video advertising and display advertising through the Google Ads network. No matter which digital medium you choose for your holiday campaign, as long as you have the right audience, the right ad messaging, the right landing page and content, and right strategy you will see your campaign yield results to success.