13 Holiday Marketing Campaign Ideas for Ecommerce Businesses
By Karamjit Kaur
Sep 24, 20217 min read
As the holiday season approaches, most people think it’s time to relax, but not you eCommerce marketers! For you, it's time to pull your socks up and get ready for the frenziest three months of the year!
Holidays account for the greatest share of profits in the year, especially for eCommerce brands who can leverage these as the most important time to capitalize on. Other than preparing inventories and stocking up on the supply side, it’s imperative that you increase demand, and of course, the best way to do that is to engage thematically with consumers through holiday marketing.
Adapting your marketing campaigns to the holiday season is key. Here are a few tips on how you can alter your campaigns around the coming holiday season.
Generally speaking, for any holiday, you can make a few small changes to your holiday marketing campaign.
- Change your website homepage theme to match the decor for that specific holiday. Decorating your online store is a proxy to decorating an offline store and puts a consumer in a festive mood as soon as they enter the store, physical or virtual.
- Change your mobile app icon but not entirely. Stay on brand, and don’t make it unrecognizable. This is not a rebranding exercise but simply a moment of embellishment. For reference, you can see the tiny Santa hat the VLC traffic cone dons as Christmas approaches.
- Use themed posts for social media. You could adapt your color scheme, your font, or just add some graphic elements. Let your consumers know it’s almost sale time!
- Offer discounts for early-bird shoppers. These discount codes can emerge through contests on your social media, email campaigns to subscribers, or as a general pop-up banner to anyone who visits your store.
- Club your products together into gift bundles for consumer convenience and increased collective sales. This makes holiday shopping less stressful and better organized for consumers and more profitable for you.
Now, let’s be more specific to each holiday.
Here are a few holiday marketing ideas curated for your eCommerce business.
Consider this our holiday present to you! ;)
Thanksgiving brings with it the two great sale events—Black Friday for offline sales and Cyber Monday for online sales.
Other than advertising the shockingly low prices and great deals offered on Cyber Monday, an ecommerce company can play to the emotional and festive side of Thanksgiving in their marketing campaigns.
- For a B2C company that wants to engage in CSR as well, an emotive marketing campaign can play out simply by using packaging. “Thank you” packaging could include the names or roles of everyone involved from the conception to the delivery of your product, making consumers realize the value of your product and its sustainability quotient.
- For Cyber Monday, through a “Thank you Gifting Guide”, a B2C company could promote values of gratitude and kindness to thank those who are not often acknowledged such as mothers, teachers, cooks, and friends. Given that Cyber Monday makes sale prices extremely low, these gifts wouldn’t pinch as much. The guide would simplify and streamline the noisy and chaotic experience of Cyber Monday shopping.
- As a useful, cool, and low-cost freebie, a B2C company could send thanksgiving dinner conversation starters (to avoid family fights and awkward silences at dinner) and a recipe book pdf or physical copy (for those who cannot be with their families at thanksgiving) with every order, therefore also making this an emotional campaign.
- As a B2B company, you can optimize your holiday marketing campaigns with an emotive campaign that will not just make you more visible to your consumers but also to your consumers’ consumers. The campaign suggests that the real heroes are always hidden as B2B products often go unnoticed by B2C consumers.
A proxy can be used with a chef being complimented and thanked but a sous chef, who cuts the vegetables and plates the dish preparing a large feast for thanksgiving, is not being thanked or even noticed. Nor is the dishwasher or the knifemaker noticed, even though they play key roles in the preparation of the Thanksgiving feast.
This is a two-pronged marketing attack that encourages consumers to ask questions and pay attention to the elementary B2B products that make the B2C products they directly consume. It is a good B2B holiday marketing strategy as consumer-accessible B2B holiday marketing makes consumers put pressure on the B2C companies to use their favorite B2B products.
Halloween comes with its spooky symbolism that is visually catchy and easy to incorporate into holiday marketing campaigns—jack o lanterns, ghosts, spiders, mummies, a drippy bloody font, and other scary imagery are celebrated elements of Halloween marketing.
- One way for any ecommerce company to increase sales around Halloween is to make your ads a little spooky—avoid jump scares; just make sure your audiences catch a spooky vibe. The good news is that horror storytelling has an arc that builds interest and peaks only in the end, making Halloween ads more interesting and almost unskippable.
- Consumer interaction is paramount for B2C companies. Thus, for consumer engagement on social media, given how diverse and complicated Halloween costumes featuring puns, jokes, and references have become, you can organize a contest for your followers to “Guess the costume” to get a discount code to use on their ecommerce platform.
Considering the importance of consumer reviews and testimonials, you can also ask your consumers to give product reviews dressed in their Halloween costumes to get discount codes in return.
- As a B2B company with complex products, you can explain your product features with spooky animation using whiteboard animation where the pen/cursor is a spider and all the content looks like it's either woven by or caught in a spiderweb.
- Both B2B and B2C ecommerce companies can use the theme of a Haunted house, making it optional with the dark mode on their website and mobile apps.
They can hide easter eggs in the design using hover and click animated pop-ups like a ghost coming out of a chimney, a window cracking and creaking, a spider crawling across the products, or a vanishing banner.
Christmas is the most magical time of the year. It is not just for joy and festivities but also for magically doubling sales. The spell is cast by using Christmas symbolism in your marketing and capitalizing on the spirit of the holiday which is already inherently capitalist because people must buy gifts for each other.
- Santa Clause is the King of Christmas and the dominating symbol when it comes to Christmas marketing. Ecommerce companies can not only use the visual of Santa but also the concept for their marketing.
Since Santa and eCommerce companies have a delivery service in common, an eCommerce company can make its delivery agents dress up as Santa Clause for Christmas deliveries, making consumer dreams come true.
- A CSR campaign by eCommerce companies can be based on the afforestation of Christmas trees instead of their deforestation. Your company plants trees and then makes Christmas tree-shaped products or product bundles to replace them, either with your products or with recycled plastic, on which ornaments can be hung. Also, include attachable strings with all your ornament-sized products so that consumers are able to use everything as a tree ornament.
- Both B2B and B2C companies can use a “12 days of Christmas discount calendar”. B2C companies can do it on a subscription basis so that a consumer wins something special in concessions each day and shops more. On all 12 days, B2B companies can introduce new products to their consumers and educate them of their features and benefits, while also providing discounts and freebies.
- B2B companies can use animated videos and list product features to the tune of Christmas carols for catchy advertising.
- Apart from making a gifting guide for thoughtful gifting, ecommerce companies can themselves engage in thoughtful gifting. Under the tree is a thoughtful gifting CSR campaign for trees that wouldn’t otherwise have gifts under them on Christmas morning. In the spirit of Christmas, companies can try to use profits to donate some gifts to charities or to homeless people.
As you prepared to double your sales and profits this year? Remember to capture the spirit of the holiday season and make your marketing emotive and generous to those the holiday season isn’t as kind. Happy almost-Holidays!