Tips to Win Paid Social for Holiday eCommerce Sites

While you may be focusing on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), paid social is also a key tool in your arsenal – especially if you’re looking to win big during the eCommerce holidays.

The rise in popularity of eCommerce has meant that no matter what products you are selling, you’re going to face a lot of competition. This is increased exponentially by the shopping sprees that take place during eCommerce holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. Using the correct marketing strategies on these holidays can be the difference between extreme success, or missing out on massive profits for an eCommerce site. 

So, capitalising on these eCommerce holidays throughout the year is more important than ever for the viability of an online business.

An effective paid social strategy is also the perfect complement to your website’s SEO. If you want all the digital marketing strategy tips you can get on how to stay ahead of your competition, read on for the First Page guide below.

The Shopping Spree & the Arms Race

The Shopping Spree & the Arms Race

Whether you’re a start-up or an established e-com behemoth, social media advertising remains one of the most successful ways to drive sales during the important holidays.

With the ability to target your audience at the most granular level, plus the speed at which you are able to adjust your campaigns, few other media platforms compare to the sheer effectiveness and efficiency of utilising social media marketing.

Most importantly, all your competitors are out there, trying to crowd you and each other out of the market. It’s like an arms race out there.

During these hectic times, it takes a focused digital marketing strategy to stand out from the crowd. So, it’s critical to make sure that your social media ads reach the right people at the right time during the holidays to coax them down the sales funnel until they add your products to their cart and hit the check out button.

Market Your Products Directly as Gifts

Giving gifts is an act of love, so they are the perfect positive expression to celebrate and advertise on your social media accounts.

If you want shoppers to buy your products as gifts, don’t be coy about it. Be direct about the messaging in your ads, and entice people to shop on your eCommerce site for gifts for their loved ones.

Gift Ideas

ift Ideas

At this time of year, many people are struggling to come up with good gift ideas. It’s tough to find gifts that are sure to be well-received while also hitting the mark in being novel and inventive.

The businesses that win at eCommerce holidays are able to suggest the perfect gift ideas for a particular shopper based on their particular customer characteristics.

Make sure you position your paid social ads to entice potential customers to make quick decisions about buying your products. Avoid confusion – don’t leave them stranded among your potentially vast product catalogue. Instead, help them out by highlighting the most suitable products for gifts in your paid social ads, where time-poor shoppers will be able to snap them up in their holiday shopping.

Gift Bundles

ift Bundles

As well as gift ideas, you can sell your products as a gift bundle. This is a win-win scenario for both your customers and your business.

Your customers get a range of products designed to delight, rather than a single gift that will fall short if it doesn’t quite hit the mark. The bundle is usually at a discount, so the shopper can score a bargain compared to buying each product individually. Additionally, the fact that they are receiving more than one of your products means that there is a higher likelihood of a repeat customer.

Meanwhile, your business gets to ship a lot of products in one swoop, so you can move more inventory with each purchase. If you want to experiment, gift bundles also give you the opportunity to mix the staple favourites in with less common products you may want to promote.

Gift Cards

Gift Cards
Image source: Christian Wiediger /

What’s the best way to ask your existing customers to refer new shoppers? Gift cards are the modern, digital version of a recommendation. After all, the person who buys the gift card is inviting a new shopper to browse your eCommerce site at their leisure.

It’s also a great approach for a simple, hassle-free gift idea that puts the power of decision-making into the hands of the receiver, so they’re sure to pick out a gift that they’ll use and love. It’s a the perfect alternative for those last-minute gift shoppers too!

Seasonal Offers Drive Seasonal Sales

Seasonal Offers Drive Seasonal Sales

Though special offers always drive sales, this is especially true during the holiday season, when customers are likely expecting some kind of deal or discount.

Special offers can be offering something extra on the side to sweeten the deal, offering up bundles of your products, and/or making the process of gift shopping and giving more convenient. Staying on top of this will ensure your eCommerce store wins over more customers during the holiday season.

Given that many of your competitors will be exploring similar tactics, keep a careful eye on what they come up with. Additionally, make sure you track the success of your own campaign to understand what worked and what didn’t for future reference. 

Discount Deals

Online shoppers are on the lookout for discounts during eCommerce holidays. Similarly to providing special deals or offers for customers, discounts are a highly effective way of enticing your customers into purchasing and ensuring your eCommerce sites make their mark during the holiday season. There’s nothing like a juicy deal to achieve marketing cut-through.

A targeted bargain, backed up by some crisp holiday season messaging, is a classic sales strategy for an eCommerce business.

Promotional Items

Promotional Items

All shoppers love freebies, and the holiday season is the best time to celebrate with your customers using giveaway promotions.

While you should be clued in to the specific needs of your defined audience, there are several benefits that will entice most shoppers who see your social media ads into making a purchase. These include:

●  free and fast delivery

●  free returns or size swaps

●  an offer like “buy one, get one free”

●  a free gift or gift card alongside a purchase

●  free gift wrapping

●  a personalised card

Even a small free gift with a purchase can have an impact, and will ensure that your customers remember your eCommerce brand. For example, businesses could slip in a sample pack of one or a few of their products with each delivery. This adds additional benefits to the business by promoting new products as well as encouraging repeat sales.

It’s this kind of personal touch that can distinguish your brand from your competitors and enhance your brand reputation and connection with your audience.

Give Shoppers the Information They Need

Give Shoppers the Information They Need

There’s no point buying a gift if it’s going to arrive too late, so making sure your processes for packaging and shipping out your orders is streamlined is very important. Additionally, eCommerce shoppers like to know the shipping details, tracking information, and other key details about their order. 

Often, this information is necessary before shoppers will go ahead and buy a product – so if you’re not upfront with these details, it could be a barrier to closing a purchase.

Make sure some of your ad copy variations include clear information about shipping. This transparency will soothe anxious shoppers, and entice them to click on your ad, clear in the knowledge that their order will be delivered to them in time.

Adding a guarantee your customers will receive their order in time if they place an order before a specific time or date is another way to build trust in your business and encourage timely sales.

Adjust Your Strategy throughout Holiday Periods

Adjust Your Strategy throughout Holiday Periods

Timing is key, but there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of throughout the eCommerce holiday season. All you need to do is adjust your campaigns accordingly.

The best paid social campaigns will vary their messaging, and potentially even their targeting, across the course of the particular holiday that shoppers are buying for.

One strategy you could use is to start early to target those highly organised, early-bird shoppers. This strategy especially makes sense for big-ticket items that require a bit of forward planning.

In conjunction with your early-bird specials, you can also run campaigns to target last-minute shoppers who’ll be looking for great ideas for gifts and enticing discount deals. Incentivising last-minute shoppers by using powerful ad copy that creates a sense of urgency is a great way to boost those final sales. 

Connect with Your Social Media Audience

Your paid social ads are the easiest way for potential customers to reach out to your business at any time of the year. These platforms are the perfect avenue to interact with your customers and encourage them to love and want to follow your brand, which will translate into higher sales during eCommerce holiday periods.

Customer Service

Customer Service

It’s hard enough work to get your customers to step through your (metaphorical) shop door. Once they’re there, providing stellar customer service is a highly effective way of getting them to purchase your products – and keep purchasing from you even without the holiday discounts and benefits.

No matter the innovations of the digital era, there’s nothing like old-fashioned customer service to ensure confidence and loyalty from both new and existing customers.

Being Responsive

Being Responsive

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, your business will see a spike in enquiries from customers. Most of these will be about shipping, returns and other FAQs, as well as questions around how they can be sure this is the right gift for their loved ones.

With the key role that paid social ads play in bringing in new customers and driving sales, you can expect to see a lot of questions coming in specifically through your social media channels – whether it’s by directly engaging with the ad itself or via direct messaging.

Make sure your customer support staff are ready to meet this increased demand. A well-run, and responsive social media account is key to keeping your customers happy and ensuring the success of your paid social campaigns.

Keep the Shopping Experience Simple

Keep the Shopping Experience Simple

Things are hectic enough as it is, so people want the most convenient online shopping experience during the holiday season.

Focus on creating a seamless experience all the way through the customer journey, from clicking on a paid social ad to receiving the purchase confirmation email. This includes choosing landing pages that make sense for the given ad or offer. If a shopper has clicked on a specific item in an ad, don’t make them have to hunt for it on your website! It also means ensuring that navigating through your site is simple, intuitive, and efficient.

Not only will this help you drive sales during the holiday season, it’s also a key part of improving your brand’s reputation and being able to entice repeat sales from existing customers at any point during the year.

Top User Experience

Top User Experience

Simplifying and streamlining the user experience is a relatively overlooked method that can provide an edge over your competitors, especially for driving conversions from first-time visitors to your eCommerce store.

Rather than just driving one-off sales during the holiday season, improving the overall user experience will pay off in the long-run, even if it is expensive to initially do so.

Advertising, Content and SEO for eCommerce

From EOFY sales to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, right through to Boxing Day, capitalising on eCommerce holidays year-round is key to a successful eCommerce business.

Ensuring your entire digital marketing strategy, which includes your paid social ads as well as the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your site, works seamlessly will be the make or break for your online business.

If you get your approach just right and nail your digital marketing strategy in ads, content, and SEO for eCommerce, the sales will be exponential.

If you want to drive as many sales as possible during the eCommerce holidays throughout the year, you need to use the tried and tested approaches to grab consumers’ attention and get them to click “buy”.

Looking for an SEO company and hard-hitting strategy? To go beyond the marketing strategy tips outlined in this blog, reach out to the team at First Page. Our team are experts in everything from paid social, paid search, premium content, and SEO for eCommerce, and we’ll help you create the perfect marketing strategy to take on the holiday season.

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