The holiday shopping season is a crucial time for e-commerce brands to take advantage of additional consumer activity. Smart marketers recognize that holiday season strategy needs to be crafted well in advance of Black Friday. If you haven’t started thinking about your marketing efforts, you need to get on it!

With that in mind, we asked three marketers to give some advice on what brands should be doing now so that they will be ready to grow their sales and handle the holiday season.

Use Imagery

Video and visual images are an effective way to sell product. Relying on traditional search won’t be enough in a digital world that is increasingly centered around video and imagery. Gabrielle Upton, Agency Partnerships Manager at Pinterest, elaborates on that idea, saying:

“Start way earlier than you think you should! Around the holidays consumers tend to plan early. This holiday season e-commerce companies should focus on two strategies:

1. Video- With auctions in social and search getting ultra-competitive during this time brands need to stand out. Put your efforts into video showcasing your product and telling your brand story. Forget about the clever tag lines and show some beautiful content.

2. Focus on visual search and shopping. Utilizing tools like Instagram or Pinterest where visual is key as people start to plan their gifts. Think non-traditional for each of the holidays. People often search for simple, rustic, or nautical themes for Christmas rather than glitter and glitz trends.”

Employ Flash Sales

The holiday season makes a busy marketplace even more crowded. To break through and reach potential customers you need to have innovative and unique sales strategies. Employing flash sales and other strategies designed to capture consumer attention are good ways to separate yourself from the clutter. Kevin Sides, CMO at Shipmonk agrees, saying:

“Flash sales have been tremendously popular for facilitating even more
sales, especially around the holidays. The idea is that eCommerce companies
looking to make way for new inventory, while simultaneously piquing
interest in their brands and product, can use a flash sale to differentiate
themselves from their competitors, who may be more reluctant to conduct a
flash-sale that time of year. While the margins will be lower in the short
term, the massive brand awareness and sales volume that you can generate is
much more valuable in many cases.”

Analyze Past Performance

Make sure you’re tracking the right data so that you can optimize your strategies for increased success. Learning from the lessons of years past is arguably the best way to craft effective campaigns in the future Just take it from Mischaela Elkins, Chief Empathy Officer and Lead Growth Strategist at Minivest, who tells us:

“Dig up your stats from the same period last year during holiday season.
It’s not too late to do a post-mortem of what went well, what didn’t go so
well, and how you can improve. The best way to plan for the holiday season
is to understand what your key levers to get people into your funnel were
last year. Look at how you’ve grown and strategically map out your ramp up
into how to get MORE first time customers, MORE recurring customers, and
MORE impressions.”