10 Ecommerce Holiday Marketing Survival Tips from 'The Walking Dead'

Famous Oxford Street view on Christmas Sale
For many people, the holidays conjure up visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads and a house full of love, laughter and a table piled high with festive goodies.

Clearly, these people with their stockings hung by their chimney with such care, do not own a retail store. Because if you are a store owner, you know that in less than 2 days Black Friday is here, which is the start of chaos, stress and basic survival mode for you and your employees.

Soon, everyone will set out like crazed zombies trying to find the best holiday deals available, and you as a store owner know that having the right marketing tactics in place is the only way to fight through the masses of competition and survive the holidaypocalypse.

Take a cue from the ultimate survival experts from The Walking Dead and learn 10 survival tips that will work in any crisis – marketing included. After all, the holiday shopping season is basically just a zombie apocalypse in disguise for retailers. And those that have the best eCommerce holiday marketing plans in place not only survive, they thrive.

1. Be resourceful with what you have. The heroes on the show become experts at scavenging – making the most of any opportunity that comes their way and utilizing the resources at their disposal to the fullest. Quickly analyze last year’s holiday data to see which marketing channels had the greatest impact, what messaging consumers responded to the most, and then copy it and re-purpose for this year.



2. Be aware of  your competition. There is a lot to be said for paying attention to what is going on around you. Being vigilant of what your competitors are doing can mean the difference between life and death (or simply having an extremely successful holiday season). If your competitors are offering free shipping and you are not, who do you think consumers are going to buy from?



3. Don’t give away your marketing secrets to the competition. While you may be closely watching your competition, hopefully they are not closely watching  you. If they are, then follow survival tip number 4.



4. Do whatever it takes. Take Michonne for instance. She manages to survive by turning two zombies into her “pets” after noticing that zombies don’t attack one another. And like Michonne, you need to do whatever it takes to survive the holidaypocalypse. Price is a powerful motivator, and temporary price breaks are the single best way to drive conversion online (and beat your competition). While your competition is offering free shipping, you’re doing whatever it takes by offering free shipping, a daily holiday deal, exclusive content, free giveaways and coupons to encourage post holiday shopping.


5. Put shoppers on the hunt. Get creative by trying a campaign that hides a special promotion or deal on a secret page on your site. This marketing tactic will encourage people to browse all over your site and expose them to more of your products. The key to making this tactic successful, is making sure that the promotion itself is worth the hunt and that you successfully market it to the right people through email and social channels.




6. Score access to the best tools and weapons. This is a no-brainer. In a zombie apocalypse, you need to be able to not only protect yourself and loved ones but have the tools to build whatever is needed to get by. And just like the zombie apocalypse, you cannot survive the holidaypocalypse without the proper eCommerce marketing tools in place. Some of our favorite include MailChimp, Hootsuite, Triggered Emails, and because we are completely biased, Springbot.


7. Look for last-minute opportunities and act fast. In order to survive, you need to be able to act fast – always looking for last-minute opportunities that you did not expect or plan for. Same is true for holiday marketing tactics. Last-minute shoppers are feeling the holiday pressure – and they still want a good deal. Create marketing campaigns that specifically target procrastinators by promoting digital gift cards.  In fact, in a survey conducted by Deloitte University Press, 43 percent of respondents said they plan to give gift cards or certificates this year. Even better? One in four digital gift cards are sold  between Dec. 21st and Dec. 24th — great news if you’re looking for last-minute marketing opportunities and get shoppers to act fast.



8. You’ve Got a Plan. Now Stick to it. Remember, you’ve got a job to do. In order to survive the holidaypocalypse you need to continually analyze your plan and adjust tactics as needed, so that you can optimize and grow sales this holiday season.


9. Go forth and conquer. After a rough and cold season where Rick & Co. start to lose all hope, they stumble upon a prison overrun with walkers. So what do they do? They conquer said prison and turn it into their new home. The lesson here is that despite the retail dominance of players like Amazon and Walmart, this is your time to go forth and conquer. With the bevy of eCommerce marketing tools available in today’s market, like Springbot, be optimistic about the power that you as a retailer have – especially during the holidays.


10. And if you’re not successful…Don’t beat yourself up. What matters is that you survived. 2015 is a new year and you’ve got 365 days to assess the reasons you were not successful and plan for a killer 2015.



 Happy Marketing!