26/10/2008

RESEARCH

Online christmas planning

I was encouraged and shocked to see that retailers should be turning their planning towards Christmas already and the hints & tips were starting to fly in already.

This year, Christmas begins a little earlier than usual on October 13th.


I came across this rather helpful planning guide, summarised below:
- At 10 weeks to go: start getting your site's gift content and delivery programmes in gear and optimise your SEO (as that takes time).
- At 9 weeks to go: plan your paid search approach. Highlight best-sellers and seasonal picks, then start your email programme by encouraging sign-ups.
- At 8 weeks to go: start weekly email campaigns & boost customer service messages
- At 7 weeks to go: target loyal customers with offers and create/move gift categories into prominence. Create gift guides.
- At 6 weeks to go: promote "collections" via PPC & email. Run a "win your wishlist" competition. Adjust cross-sells to be gifts & cards. Introduce free shipping above threshold.
- At 5 weeks to go: Roll-out free shipping.
- At 4 weeks to go: start emails twice per week (target weekend shopping). Work your wishlists hard. Use seasonal user-generated content.
- At 3 weeks to go: use games/competitions to stimulate activity. Introduce countdown and gift-of-the-day.
- At 2 weeks to go: run 2nd free shipping campaign & communicate last delivery dates. prmote reviews and "top-rated" gifts.
- At 1 week to go: Discount "special" delivery for loyal/top customers. Special promotion around cut-off date. Use global banners (daily) to promote this. AFTER cut-off date, allot space to sale previews.
- 25th December: email news of sales. Explain returns policies!
I am sure there is at least one idea here for everyone.

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