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September 15, 2021

Alcohol E-Commerce & Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

By Sommer Burbank
Paid Media Specialist at Speakeasy Co.

Introduction

In the Wine and Spirits Industry, there are 3 months of the year that have grown to be not only the busiest months for e-Commerce, but also the most important. October, November and December (OND) are when e-Commerce store owners ramp up their result-oriented strategies with the hope of winning the holiday season.

With the right e-Commerce, paid advertising and email marketing strategies, even the smallest of businesses can make huge profits. Here are tips to increase holiday success for beverage alcohol brands based on simultaneously implementing strategies in those 3 areas.

E-Commerce

Choose Celebrations That Match Your Brand’s Personality

From Thanksgiving and Black Friday to Cyber Monday and Christmas, certain holidays may relate more to your brand and the products you’re selling compared to others. Overlapping the essence of your brand and products with relevant holiday celebrations and deals can catch the eyes of consumers and ensure that your holiday messaging is consistent with your brand’s image.

Upsell & Cross-Sell Your Products

Introduce your customers to similar or better products with “Customers Also Viewed” or “Top Tequila Products” options while they are shopping on your website.

Offer Holiday Packages & Gift Boxes

Holiday Gift Pack for Alcohol Brands
Source: Beverage Trade Network

Make gift-giving easy for your customers with holiday-themed variety packs and gift boxes. By offering pre-packaged beer, wine and/or liquor cases with limited edition wrapping or packing, you can simplify the buying process.

Bundle Your Products

Not interested in a holiday theme? You can still offer bundle options of your wine and spirits to simplify your customer’s shopping experience. Bundle complementary beers, wines, etc. to create your own “theme” offering that still allows for simple bulk shopping for the holiday season.

Prepare Your Site for Incoming Traffic

With increased holiday shopping comes an increased number of site visitors. Consistently monitor your inventory to ensure that you are stocked up on the products that matter most to your store and update your site to inform consumers of out-of-stock or back-ordered items.

Optimize Your Site for Mobile Shoppers

Ensuring a seamless shopping experience is critical for reeling in e-commerce sales, especially for mobile shoppers. Consider the following best practices to enhance the user experience of your site:

Site performance is key to increased revenue. Improving page load times can potentially increase the number of visitors who will buy.

Inspire Urgency with Limited-Time Deals

Source: Google

Create seasonal discounts and offers to share with your prospective customers on your website (i.e., in a pop-up), in your marketing (i.e. a Google Search ad or Facebook ad), and in your email campaigns.

Paid Advertising

Set a Holiday Marketing Budget

Choose a sufficient budget that aligns with your holiday marketing goals. Be sure to determine whether your primary focus is to increase purchases among repeat customers or new customers, and plan your budgets for periods of high CPC and increased traffic.

Create Holiday-Specific Content

After choosing your budget and honing in on your audience targeting, create holiday-specific content that matches your overall goals and meets the needs of your designated audience. From ad copy to ad creative, ensure that your messaging and visuals correlate with your website and product offerings to create the perfect funnel for your prospective and returning customers. Facebook and Instagram are known sources of gift inspiration for many online shoppers, so use that to your advantage.

Look at Previous Data & Target Past Customers

Have purchase data from last year’s holiday season? Review past campaigns to identify successes and lessons for setting up your new holiday campaigns. Whether you have great copy or successful images, use what you know works; the holiday season is not the best time for experimenting. You can even use this data to target past holiday customers (or general past customers if you don’t have previous data) in order to mitigate the more competitive ad auctions and increased advertising costs on Facebook and Instagram.

Optimize Your Shopping Campaigns

Direct to Consumer Alcohol Shopping Ads
Source: Google

When it comes to the 2021 holiday season, retail clicks are trending more toward Shopping Campaigns. This means, if you are using Google or Microsoft Shopping, your campaigns should be consistently optimized to meet the needs of holiday shoppers. Be sure to update your product feed with GTIN, MPN, Brand, Shipping Cost, Multiple Images and any additional, pertinent product details that can help consumers find what they are looking for.

Optimize Your Search Campaigns

Upload your holiday marketing campaigns early and optimize keywords, ads and ad extensions to reflect promotions and content relevant to your holiday goals. It is also important to set bids in anticipation of increased competition during the seasonal peaks so as to not exhaust your budget too quickly or inefficiently.

Example Holiday Google Search Ads
Source: Google

Email Marketing

Start Promoting Holiday Sales Early

Many consumers shop online and look for gift ideas well before Christmas arrives; research indicates that online shopping for gifts starts as early as Spring! From your website and social media to your paid advertising and email marketing, use all opportunities to let your audiences know what sales are to come.

Send Abandoned Cart Emails

Alcohol Abandoned Cart Email Example
Source: Get Site Control

Abandoned cart emails are a perfect opportunity to create urgency and personalize messaging with relevant products for consumers who have left your site.

Use automations to encourage prospective customers to complete their purchase with a custom email that includes links to the product they abandoned with special offers and discounts.

Relate Your Products to Your Customers’ Lifestyle Needs & Wants

As a consumer looking to buy alcohol, you want to be able to envision enjoying that beer, wine or spirit in your life for a number of circumstances. If you are sending emails to one of your lists for a new vodka that just hit your store, inform your audience of cocktail recipes and other ways they can enjoy your product.

Conclusion

As businesses and consumers continue to readjust throughout the pandemic, the 2021 holiday season is more than ever anticipated to be a return to normalcy, which means shoppers will be searching for gifts in-store and across all online channels. Employ these strategies and other relevant tactics to help foster a smooth shopping experience and create some holiday magic!

Sources:
https://beveragetradenetwork.com/en/btn-academy/articles/get-ready-for-holiday-programming-10-lean-marketing-to-get-your-going-302.htm
https://www.brandmuscle.com/resources/seasonal-and-holiday-best-practices-for-local-beverage-alcohol-marketing/
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ecommerce-holiday-marketing-tips/177816/
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/08/08/holiday-marketing-tips
https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/holiday-readiness/#steps-for-preparing-for-the-2021-holiday-season
https://blog.shift4shop.com/6-actionable-ecommerce-marketing-tips-to-drive-more-sales-this-holiday-season
https://getsitecontrol.com/blog/abandoned-cart-email-guide/
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