A Guide to Q4 Ecommerce Marketing Plan
Q4, the most crucial quarter of the year, is here for e-commerce businesses. The upcoming holiday season in Q4 presents boundless ideal opportunities for e-commerce sellers to boost their transactional momentum. Companies of all sizes can capitalize on the holiday season, achieve extraordinary sales targets, and generate a significant portion of revenue. Black Friday is aptly named so because on Friday after Thanksgiving, businesses saw their profits skyrocket (back) after months-long losses (red). According to Google, 50% of the shopping happens during the holiday season. Insights from Forbes Advisor suggest that e-commerce sales in 2023 are expected to grow at a rate of 10.4%, and the global e-commerce market is expected to reach $6.3 trillion by 2023. So, a Q4 e-commerce marketing plan will make or break the fiscal year for businesses!
Here is an effective e-commerce marketing plan for businesses to nail Q4 and end the year on a profitable note!
Have a solid marketing calendar
As the competition is tough in the e-commerce sector, a marketing calendar in place will let businesses strategically target holidays and grab customers. With a well-organized e-commerce marketing calendar, companies can avoid any last-minute struggle and roll out campaign offers at an apt time on various channels. Keeping key dates in mind, e-commerce businesses can get their assets and inventory ready. Q4 has many special days for e-commerce businesses to plan numerous offers and incentives. They include:
- Halloween (October 31)
- Black Friday (November 25)
- Cyber Monday (November 28)
- Christmas (December 31)
- Hanukkah (Dec 18-26)
- Kwanzaa (December 24-31)
- Free Shipping Day (December 14)
Evaluate your previous Q4 e-commerce marketing plan
Look back to moving forward! Before formulating the present Q4 e-commerce marketing plan, businesses should assess their previous strategies and zero in on methodologies that worked well for them. They can leverage Google Analytics data from last year to infer which products gave them the highest returns, offers, or deals that brought traffic to their website. Based on the insights, businesses can plan their inventory, restock the bestsellers, and decide the product pricing for best results.
Spend wisely on your marketing budget
Businesses should divide their marketing budget across platforms to get their money's worth. Before opting for any media for their brand, companies should get accurate data and evaluate the best social channel and display platforms that fit best for their product. Based on the budget allocation, e-commerce businesses can decide the duration and type of campaign they can afford. It is recommended that companies follow the 80-20 rule and spend 80% of their marketing budget on prospecting with cold leads and the remaining 20% on re-targeting. As re-targeting efforts are considered cost-effective, marketing to an audience who visited their website in the last 365 days, social media followers, or consumers who purchased products in the previous six months will be profitable for e-commerce businesses.
Run a quick competitor analysis
Observing competitors will help businesses anticipate new trends and comprehend the shifts in the market. Companies can take up competitor analysis by searching online for names of firms offering similar products to understand the type of audience they are targeting and the offers or incentives they are using to lure customers. By assessing competitors' strong and weak points, e-commerce businesses can devise the right strategy to benefit them. Companies can attract competitor customers by offering them better deals than their competitors are running and bolstering their sales.
Explore multichannel promotional endeavors
E-commerce businesses should never limit their marketing to single channel as customers never stay loyal to a single channel. Insights from Shopify suggest that companies that take the multichannel marketing route witness 190% higher sales than enterprises that stick to the single–channel approach. Many customers visit various channels to check and compare offers or deals businesses offer. Hence, in the best interest, e-commerce businesses should vigorously promote their products on all possible channels to attract maximum customers and boost their sales productivity. It would be beneficial if companies targeted various age groups of customers like baby boomers, Gen X, millennial, and Gen Z across channels, including billboards, flyers, social media, TV ads, telemarketing, direct mail marketing, and more.
Create compelling product videos
Compelling product videos helps e-commerce businesses gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. It allows them to show the consumers what their product is about, which drives traffic to their website and sales. A video that highlights the product's benefits and features works wonders attracting potential customers and allows businesses to turn cold leads into hot leads.
E-commerce businesses can also utilize Infomercials to showcase their product's best features entertainingly and draw consumers' attention.
Leverage a strong content marketing strategy
An efficient content strategy goes a long way in effectively engaging the customers. Cue content marketing helps businesses tell their audience why their product is best and how it will resolve the pain points affecting them. Today's consumers are inundated with product promotional communication. If e-commerce businesses need to be heard, their content should be hard-hitting; it should cut through the fluff and convey the product's nitty–gritty benefits and uses. Unique marketing materials that can be shared on various social platforms, like how-to videos and product guides, can increase product awareness and drive organic website traffic, giving the required push for sales.
Opt for email marketing
Email marketing cannot be ignored in the Q4 quarter. Email marketing provides the perfect platform for e-commerce businesses to easily reach their audience and get a head-start to achieve their sales targets during the holiday season in Q4. Insights from mailcharts suggest that companies across industries have a 13% higher send rate than other quarters of the year. E-commerce businesses can use teaser emails to build anticipation, coupon emails to entice consumers who made purchases in Q4 to buy more next year and retain them, and launch stacked promotions to increase sales via emails. With an effective email marketing funnel, businesses can have more lead conversion, highly benefiting e-commerce enterprise's sales margins.
Upselling is vital for e-commerce businesses in Q4 as it improves their revenue by 30%. Enterprises should include upselling in their marketing plan, as selling to existing customers is always easier than selling to new customers. E-commerce businesses can display additional add-ons to the product the customer is viewing and persuade them to purchase more. They can also offer lucrative deals to customers, enticing them to buy more. For instance, a customer might not say no to a deal in which they get one blue light block eyewear for 30 $ but two of the same product when bought together, cost 40$. The extra dollar the customers spend here becomes additional revenue for the e-commerce business. Besides fetching good income, upselling also increases inventory turnover for businesses.
Incorporate messenger bots
E-commerce businesses can enhance customer experience through messenger bots and effectively manage the holiday sale rush during Q4. It allows them to simultaneously reach new customers, generate leads, and create an avenue to interact with the consumer. Also, by integrating messenger bots into social media platforms like Facebook, businesses can share ads and showcase products. It enables them to filter out interested buyers and automate certain aspects of the sales cycle, thus streamlining operations.
Businesses can also include technical SEO overhaul, e-commerce PPC advertising, and other methods to drive website traffic and optimize sales capabilities.
A well-prepared Q4 e-commerce marketing plan is a big step in the right direction for businesses. It will arm them with the much-needed goals and guidance to make the most of this lucrative quarter with confidence. With an effective plan, e-commerce businesses can avoid mistakes that will cost them dear, get the most out of their buck, and be in a better position for success.
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