Santa Claus will soon be coming to town and although ‘tis the season to be merry, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping on the high street is one that many of us try to avoid.

Year-round, every one in five pounds that's spent in the UK is spent online, and this is likely to rise as we head towards December, making the festive shopping period an extremely lucrative opportunity for consumer e-commerce brands.

That said, it’s also a time when all your competitors are upping their marketing game (and spend), so how do you ensure your strategy stacks up and puts you in front of all the right shoppers?

1. Identify your audience

When planning for Christmas, it’s more important than ever to be clear who you are targeting and to understand their festive buying habits.

Last year, 53 per cent of UK consumers started their Christmas shopping in October and November whilst only 24 per cent started in December and 10 per cent started as early as July.

With this mind, it’s imperative to ensure you’re targeting and engaging with customers at the right time and with the right products so there’s no wastage on your marketing spend. For example, consumers will start by buying high ticket price presents earlier and leave stocking fillers until closer to Christmas, so choose your timing wisely.

2. Content

When it comes to the internet consumers are becoming savvier, with 88 per cent of shoppers carrying out research on their smartphone before making a purchase and many of them turning to video to make buying decisions. In fact, nearly two thirds of shoppers saying online video has given them ideas and inspiration for purchases.

Whether it’s creating a brand video, investing in a festive game or working with influencers to secure third party content, you need something immersive and engaging to leave your competitors out in the cold.

Need a little inspiration? Last Christmas we helped Plusnet really stand-out from the crowd during the festive season with an interactive game which was a twist on the nostalgic Snake game but with cuter animals which helped created brand awareness and kept consumers engaged.

We’ve also seen some fantastic results this year with our social media client Nextbase by keeping fans engaged with interesting rich content, educational pieces and reactive posts which create conversation and debate. We’ve also got some exciting things planned for Christmas so watch this space!

3. Appear at every point

It’d be hard to take the trophy from John Lewis when it comes to having the most highly anticipated Christmas advert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get people shouting about your brand.

With a massive 76 per cent of seasonal spenders using three or more social channels, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, its vital to appear in as many places as possible - at just the right time. Your brand needs to be appearing at multiple customer touchpoints, so you remain front of mind. From being in the best online gift guides to bidding wisely on AdWords, ranking high organically and being creative with your display ads, there are many ways to reach your perfect customers.

Our intelligent approach to engagement drives creative and strong commercial outcomes for clients; We build retail campaigns that combine the best of abilities in design, development, technology, content, engagement and performance. Our belief in our approach ensures we sell product and own share of voice during key trading times.

4. Social shopping

The number of consumers shopping via social is rapidly increasing, a trend which is set to stay.

With 61 per cent of shoppers open to buying from new retailers during the festive season, and the majority of these saying they have discovered new brands via YouTube, there are many opportunities to go from pic to click in the lead up to Christmas. there’s no better time to revise your marketing strategy and get your brand seen than during the busiest shopping period.

If you’re a retail brand with a strong online community, but yet to introduce social shopping, you are missing out on high direct and organic sales. The growth of chatbots on Facebook has also led to an increase in transactions made on the social channel and is a great way to make for a seamless shopping experience.

With opportunities to sell products across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, social shopping is an efficient way to reach out to existing customers and prospects.

5. Make buying simple

It’s Christmas, everyone’s busy and wanting to get their shopping done quickly and efficiently. Therefore, it’s a crucial time to have your website and apps running as effectively as possible.

To ensure customers don’t prefer to use competitor sites, e-commerce brands need to have a seamless user experience and make online shopping easy for consumers. It’ll also make them more likely to return and buy again.

A responsive website is imperative, as well as looking at having advanced features such as in-app purchase capabilities, easy pay options and add to basket options.

With an advanced web and app development team we can create industry-leading, user-centric online experiences that your customers will want to return to.

Big Brand Ideas is an agency focused on creating engaging, immersive and highly creative experiences for brands. We are a collaboration of some of the top names from network and bespoke agencies, brought together to deliver a boutique experience and service to clients.

If you would like to achieve maximum brand exposure this Christmas, we would love to talk to you.

Find out more

By Tamsin Dyson

PR and Outreach Account Manager

Design Digital Social Media Development Engagement

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