It’s never too early to start planning for Christmas. In fact, a post mortem of last year’s Christmas should ideally occur when you returned from the festivities in January – so those notes made can now be brought up as a crucial part of the preparation for this year.
But, this is about 2020; a year that has been challenging for most of us and with the worldwide pandemic, 2020 threatens to continue to be filled with uncertainties and challenges for your e-commerce shop. This means that, as well as the usual preparations things like the supply chain and distribution, will need extra attention.
But let’s start with the fun bits:
How does your branding fit with a Christmas theme? Think about what can be changed to create a festive feel. Can you easily make some changes to give a Christmas look to aspects of your website?
If the answer is yes, then the next question is how soon you should do so.
If your market includes the USA, then straight after Halloween is a good time to ramp up the Christmas theme, but remember to include some Thanksgiving themes as well.
If your primary demographic doesn’t celebrate Halloween, then the beginning of October is an excellent time to start the campaign with a full-on Christmas themed website by the third week of November.
It’s a good idea this year to look at what you can offer your customers, in a highly competitive market space – people are going to be shopping around. Can you offer Christmas discounts for multiple purchases or offer free delivery? Depending on your products, it may be possible to provide a suitable discount to encourage consumers to buy most of their gifts from you instead of your competitors. A unique Christmas discount code is a useful marketing tool. Just remember not to sell yourself short too as you may undervalue your own products.
Aiming your blog posts towards Christmas as a way to kick-start the season (does this mean I can get the tree out now?!). Get links to your blog posts out on social media and the blog, in turn, can offer links to your Christmas products to help promote them and extend the reach of your audience
As well as products that you may buy in specifically for Christmas, take a good look at the rest of your inventory and include anything that could be given as a gift, worn to a party or could in any way be useful for Christmas in the Christmas stock list.
Have a solid plan for your social media and marketing campaign and start it early but subtly and ramp it up nearer the time. Think about when your last order day is for deliveries before Christmas and have strong media messages to order in time.
This year, talk to your suppliers and distributors. Has your chosen supplier got a strategy in place to cover lockdowns and other possible supply difficulties? Do they have the goods in their warehouse to send you early if required, and can they guarantee the supply of your projected orders? Will your chosen distributor or courier company continue to work if there is a lockdown or partial lockdown? How will the pandemic impact on overseas orders?
Finally, decide if it’s worth starting early in 2020 with an unequivocal message to your customers and potential customers to buy early in case of later difficulties due to the global situation. We don’t know what is going to happen weeks from now, and that uncertainty is something you need to plan for as a business.
Do you have any ideas? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to hear how you are planning for Christmas 2020. We may just include your feedback in our article too.