The holiday season is all about excitement and building memorable experiences. For brands’ and their e-commerce holiday planning, this means not just maximizing sales or capitalizing on opportunities — it’s also about forging connections with customers that will keep them coming back long after the holidays. Social media is now the prime destination for pop culture and entertainment, and brands are achieving outstanding organic results by tapping into their communities and their wishes for content.
This season, a well-thought-out strategy that carefully balances commerce with emotional resonance will leave a much longer-lasting impression on audiences than just sales — this blog shares how brands can achieve that balance.
A well-executed holiday e-commerce strategy, firing on all cylinders across digital touchpoints, can make an extraordinary difference in brand awareness, community engagement and sales results. The following holiday selling e-commerce tips explain how marketers can make holiday shopping seamless and fun for consumers, ultimately building a strong foundation for sales conversions.
First impressions are crucial at any point, but traffic is notably higher for holiday season e-commerce. A minor annoyance on your website that leads to less user retention is a bigger deal this time of year due to scale. It is an excellent exercise to go through your product pages, even as a social media manager, and ensure that images are meticulous and high-quality, with detailed descriptions and accurate information on pricing and availability. Since social media is closely linked to e-commerce, it’s valuable to ensure a consistent brand identity across all touchpoints to maintain continuity and keep users engaged throughout the buying process.
Many social media managers have been here — it is frustrating to launch a new product on social media only to see it is out of stock, with an influx of comments from upset customers. Social media managers being in the loop about inventory management and supply chains is crucial during the high-demand holiday season. A wrong move here could lead to a strong marketing campaign doing the opposite of what it was supposed to, hurting the brand’s reputation and sales.
Tracking consumer trends — e-commerce holiday trends included — has evolved from just looking at hashtags or reading demographic reports. Advanced AI-powered social listening tools can provide deep insights into consumer behavior, sentiment and preferences, customized for your brand and using insights from those who actually buy your product. This data can be invaluable in tailoring your holiday marketing campaigns to what really resonates with your audience.
If you aren’t linking your posts to your e-commerce store, you are missing out on the full potential of Instagram. The channel has evolved from a photo-sharing app to a full-fledged shopping platform. These days, users are tapping ‘Save’ on Instagram like they would fill a shopping cart. Fully shoppable posts allow users to buy directly from their feed, creating a seamless marketing and shopping experience. This is particularly effective during the e-commerce holiday season, as consumers are actively looking for gift ideas and deals and may be more inclined to buy your product based on first impressions.
TikTok has also become a powerhouse for social commerce, especially among Gen Z. The platform’s focus on discoverability means that the algorithm will show your content to people who don’t know your brand. Its format makes it ideal for showcasing your brand in a fun, out-of-the-box way. Adding direct product links to your TikTok videos ties your content nicely with your e-commerce objectives, turning casual viewers into buyers in just a few taps.
Your link-in-bio is more than just a landing page. It’s the front door to your brand. Decorating LikeShop for the holiday season, the way you would put a wreath and holly on your door in real life adds a festive touch that makes the user journey more engaging and enjoyable.
Bath and Body Works uses their LikeShop landing page to showcase popular and new seasonal scents for the upcoming holiday season.
Customers expect customer service to be lightning-fast. As the holiday season is likely the peak time for customer interactions with your brand, it’s crucial to ensure that your AI chatbots and other conversational commerce tools are well-optimized for performance and capable of scaling to higher volumes of requests. This will help maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, avoiding any drop-offs in the buying process due to slow response times.
The impact a well-structured short video has on customers cannot be overstated. It offers a dynamic, engaging way to showcase products, and the most successful short videos are often 10 seconds or less. Production value is less important than entertainment and wit — and the best short-form content is filmed on a phone. This is a brand’s opportunity to give customers a sense of why they need to buy your product.
Advanced analytics tools allow brands to dial in on the best customer segments to target through remarketing and tailored ad campaigns. This enables brands to optimize costs per click and maximize ROI by focusing efforts on social media demographics who are most likely to convert. We’ve written an explainer on how to boost Instagram posts, where we share more on how to hone in on niche audiences.
User-generated content is a potent tool to help build social proof and earn engagement. 45% of consumers will not purchase if there are no reviews, and 98% report reviews as an essential resource when making a purchase decision. Brands can encourage more UGC by amplifying existing content, partnering with creators and giving incentives for reviews, such as giveaways or contests. Additionally, brands naturally earn UGC over time simply by having high-quality products, so it’s crucial to use UGC management tools to make identifying UGC creators and asking for usage rights easier.
Youth to the People taps into micro-influencer @connie.mp4 to share her Youth to the People product recommendations for followers to purchase during Sephora’s bi-annual sale. This a great example of leveraging a UGC creator who’s an existing fan of their products to encourage holiday shopping.
If your social strategy goes as planned, you’ll see an increase in web traffic — here are a few tips to ensure your website is ready to meet consumer demand and ensure a smooth experience for website visitors.
The holiday season often sees a surge in customer interactions across all digital platforms. Effective community management, like responding to customer questions, is essential to ensure that each customer feels heard and valued.
Influencers and creators can amplify your brand's reach and credibility. Influencer marketing measurement is often just as important as measuring brand engagement due to the high Reach and engagement rates influencers achieve. Identifying and collaborating with influencers who align with your brand's ethos and can authentically engage with your audience is essential.
The holiday season significantly increases web traffic, putting your site to the test. Ensure your site is optimized for performance to handle this surge and prevent customers from dropping off. This includes load time, mobile optimization and general user experience – such as buttons that are easy to click or a shopping cart that is easy to find.
Dash Hudson is an all-in-one social media management platform that allows brands to execute their holiday marketing strategies with finesse. Brands can use the Scheduler to plan and publish their content and Social Analytics to monitor performance. Teams can use Competitive Insights and Benchmarking to measure their performance against competitors, and hone in on specific campaign metrics with Campaign Reporting to seamlessly measure holiday campaign ROI, view cross-channel campaign metrics and more.
Additionally, LikeShop provides a seamless path from your meticulously planned social campaigns to product pages, ensuring curious viewers can immediately convert and cross items off their holiday shopping lists.
Brands can get more sales by balancing sales-driven strategies with community-building efforts to build a loyal customer base.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days, but brands should not underestimate the power of more minor, niche holidays, especially when they align with their audience.
In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, other notable e-commerce holidays include Christmas, New Year's Day (especially for wellness-related resolutions) and Valentine's Day. Each offers a unique opportunity to engage with your audience and drive sales.