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Holiday Season Advertising 101

You may have heard about the colossal Singles’ Day holiday sales that takes place in China every year. For some Chinese companies, 33% of their annual revenue can be generated from this one-day online shopping spree that puts Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shame. Last year, online spend in China exceeded $5.75 billion USD on that day alone, which was almost three times the volume seen on Cyber Monday in the United States. This year, Alibaba did $9.3 billion USD on Singles’ Day —that’s as much revenue as Nordstrom’s US retail sales for all of 2013!

Most North American retailers feel just as strongly about holiday shopping on this side of the world, with e-commerce leaders regularly stating that Q4 — and the last 6 weeks of the year in particular — can make or break their year. In fact, many of them are starting earlier than usual in 2014 to make the most of the season.

Halloween, Fall Sale, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Winter Sale, Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s and Back-to-School. Holidays and celebrations take place throughout the year, but with so many occurring in such a short time, the sales opportunity is tremendous — and the consequences of failure can be dooming. GameStop’s stock plummeted after poor sales last year, and Best Buy had to lay off 2,000 managers to make up for a slower than expected holiday season.

The best advertisers strategically prepare for each holiday shopping spree to take advantage of the wild conversion rates that naturally take place then. Your performance would improve considerably just by running your standard campaigns during this season, but why not improve it _exponentially_ by making holiday-specific campaigns to maximize your reach and upside?

Have a deal ready for each holiday and be prepared for more organic volume. Users are actively looking to spend money and they are looking for deals to reward their search efforts. A deal is usually what you offer to get a shopper’s attention, but since you already have it because of the seasonal craze, a deal becomes the way to quickly make the close. The holidays empower you to start further down the conversion funnel than any other time of year, don’t mess that up!

Almost any business can take advantage of a holiday with enough creativity. Plan intelligently and imaginatively, and Santa will reward you with outsized revenues this Christmas.

Posted by: Mateo LLinas