The last two years were wild for e-commerce sales in the wake of the pandemic, making clear the importance of having a solid holiday marketing strategy. And while e-commerce revenue marginally dipped by 0.8% between 2020 and 2021, we expect the upcoming gift-giving season to sustain itself or see improvements as more shoppers flock online. 

Still, we know how hard it is to develop a new digital marketing plan while attempting to boost e-commerce sales during the holiday shopping season. We also understand the difficulty of knowing what makes a great holiday marketing strategy.  

Read on for five holiday marketing strategies for e-commerce businesses that actually boost sales and increase brand loyalty. 

1. Review Past Seasonal Data 

As a Portland digital marketing agency, we begin every holiday season by looking at what we did last year to see what worked and what didn’t. Taking those steps not only allows us to make data-driven decisions but create a clear path forward for how we’ll tackle the busiest online sales period of the year. 

Start by reviewing your digital channels to see which ones made the most significant impact, including your: 

  • Site performance in Google Analytics.
  • Email marketing performance.
  • Paid media data.
  • Social performance.
  • Content marketing and SEO efforts.

Did email marketing increase your e-commerce holiday ROI vs. your social efforts? Or did you underinvest or not adopt a paid media strategy last year? Taking inventory of your strengths and weaknesses is the easiest way to make data-driven decisions and improve performance ahead of the holidays. 

Let us know if you’re struggling to answer those questions or simply can’t interpret the data—we’re happy to help.  

2. Make an Abandoned Cart Email  

Even a single abandoned cart follow-up email can recapture sales from the 69% of customers who leave behind items. For us, creating an automated cart recovery campaign has become a key addition when considering ways we can boost e-commerce sales during the 2022 holiday season. 

Best Practices for Abandoned Cart Emails for the Holidays

  • Personalize messaging and present the items they left behind.
  • Make the design festive, but keep it consistent with your brand.
  • Trigger the send to go out 2-4 hours after cart abandonment.
  • Consider providing an offer to encourage sales.
  • Send a second follow-up triggered 24 hours after recipients receive the previous email.

If you’re wondering, “Do abandoned cart emails work?” Yes—50% of the users end up making a purchase after clicking a cart recovery campaign.

3. Leverage Paid Media 

It’s becoming more challenging for e-commerce businesses to increase their ROI over the holidays without a paid media plan. And while this digital strategy is perhaps the riskiest tip here, we recommend those without PPC experience explore how a digital agency can aid them with implementation and execution. 

Google estimates that for every $1 spent on Google Ads, businesses receive $8 in profit. That aligns with our experience after netting an 832.95% return on ad spend (RoAS) after partnering with Solmate Socks for their Black Friday Holiday Sale

Our work with Solmate Socks saw us creating and launching 109 ad variations across paid media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and Google Ads, with a mix of clever ad copy, keywords, audience targeting, and eye-catching creative. Including the metric above, we saw a 173% growth in YoY website purchases and a 234% increase in conversion value. 

Want to know more? We’re just a contact form away.

4. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content (UGC)

The holiday season is an excellent time for brands to engage with their customers and encourage them to share their experiences with your products. 

If you’re new to UGC, here’s a basic Instagram campaign that almost any e-commerce business can replicate over the 2022 holiday season:

  • Host a giveaway for a product. 
  • Keep the content festive and on-brand. 
  • Use your email newsletter to promote the giveaway.
  • Ask followers to post a picture of a product to their social profiles. 
  • Offer incentives for tagging friends to increase awareness.   
  • Come up with a hashtag (#) to link your posts.       
  • Pick a few lucky winners. 

5. Get Social 

E-commerce businesses should also use their social networks to communicate festive messaging and promote products or sales. These platforms need to be managed by an individual to show customer gratitude or mitigate any issues that surface from supply chain issues or product failures. 

Deliver the best consumer experience by responding to questions or product praise ASAP. Doing that shows your brand has integrity, making others more inclined to convert. 

Are You Ready for the 2022 Holiday Season? 

We hope all of our readers have a successful holiday season. Nevertheless, we know how hard it is to execute on every platform during the busiest shopping period of the year. If you’re looking for advice or wish to partner with us, let’s chat

Cheers! Happy holidays.