Preparing your eCommerce store for Christmas 2020

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Preparing your eCommerce store for Christmas 2020

Post by Expandly on 22nd January 2020

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Yes, it’s January, and yes, we mentioned the c-word. But don’t worry, we haven’t gone completely crazy. If you spent last month cursing your annual promise and failure to be ready for Christmas early, then this blog on preparing your eCommerce store for Christmas 2020 is just for you. 

“Well, that came around quickly.” You say the same thing every year, yet every year it comes as a surprise. Preparing your eCommerce store for Christmas is a mammoth task, yet often, it’s left to the last minute.

But this year is different. Full of January motivation, we’re here to get you on track for Christmas 2020 now, so you can spend more of December eating and less of December sobbing into your laptop.

1. Note the key Christmas dates

First, it’s important to know the key 2020 Christmas dates that you’re preparing for.

Halloween 

While not strictly a Christmas event, Halloween certainly kicks off the festivities, making it a worthwhile date to include in your plans. Taking place on 31 October (as always), this year’s Halloween falls on a Saturday. As a result, we predict more spooky parties and ghostly celebrations than normal.

If your products are Halloween-worthy, then this is the ideal year to ‘go-large’.

Thanksgiving

Celebrated in America but recognised across the world, Thanksgiving falls on the 26 November 2020.

While not directly relevant to UK brands and consumers, it’s a nice opportunity to ramp up your Christmas campaigns, because the following weekend is kind of a big deal.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Yes, Black Friday and Cyber Monday always take place the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving. The 27 and 30 November 2020 will be chock-full of sales, discounts and overall mayhem.

Christmas

The biggest event of them all takes place on Friday 25 December 2020, meaning that shoppers will be shopping throughout the week and right up until Christmas eve.

New Year’s Eve

And, the final celebration of the season is on a Thursday this year – giving everyone plenty of recovery (and sales shopping) time.

2. Review last year’s performance

Now that you know what dates you’re preparing for, it’s time to see how well you performed on those dates last year. Specifically, you should analyse last year’s sales data to find the trends, successes and fails of the season.

This could include:

🛒 The best and worst selling products

🛒 The most successful and unsuccessful advertising campaigns

🛒 The most common complaints received

🛒 What your competitors did better than you.

Use this information to come up with a list of practices you want to repeat and a list of practices that you need to improve.

3. Plan your products

It may be a little too early to confirm the top trending products for Christmas 2020, but it’s never too early to start making waves.

If you’ve got a new product or line that you’re itching to try out, then now is the time to plan the advertising, hype and mayhem of that product in the lead-up to Christmas. That include pinpointing order dates and planning your inventory management to keep up with demand.

4. Create your marketing plan

The first glimmers of Christmas advertising tend to surface in September/October – giving you fewer than nine months to plan.

Take a read of our guide on the four types of Christmas shoppers and how to target them, and then organise your advertising campaigns accordingly. If you’re super prepared, you can even write the content now.

And, don’t neglect any post-purchase marketing to increase customer retention after Christmas.

5. Brainstorm promotions

Whether you’re joining in on BFCM or not, promotions will likely feature somewhere during your Christmas period, even at the end.

Knowing the discounts that you’re going to offer and advertise is important, but planning how you’re going to manage a surge in sales is essential – especially if you’re multi-channel selling.

6. Get scheduling

The best part about preparing your eCommerce store for Christmas 2020 now, is that you can have everything scheduled to go, while you sit back and devour the chocolate tin.

We’d love to hear how you’re preparing for Christmas this January and February – join the conversation on social media.