What Would I Bank On In eCommerce Marketing This Holiday Season?
Holiday shopping season is a big deal for online retailers of all sizes, revenue models and customer types. People will be shopping as if there is no tomorrow. In US, at least, it is the time when you end up shopping online, offline and in between even if you do not wish to. There will be discounts you cannot resist and pass by. There will be deals, which unlikely available during the rest of the year (think the Black Friday days).
Some people wait for the entire year to buy that high-ticket item, as it will be severely discounted. My last year juicer purchase was of that nature. Normally, it would run for $300, while I was able to snatch it for $200. Yes, I am a proud buyer after months have passed. Who does not like a deal?
So, we know the inevitable, there will be lots of online sales. Most of the online shops are already in a serious preparation mode to meet the demand.
Holiday season is the battle of the fittest in the ecommerce industry.
There is always some serious competition for online shoppers attention and wallets. I hope for some creative campaigns vs. the same old mass emails every day with the same words – “super sales”. I am looking for some enchantment from the online shops this holiday season. Smaller retailers are at an advantage to make it possible.
So, if I would run an ecommerce site, what would I bank on to make ecommerce marketing effective this holiday season?
1. Facebook advertising (with over billion people spending on average of 6 hrs. a day), is a great place to hunt for shoppers’ attention. These days, if you leverage custom audiences, and target precisely who your potential buyers are, you are in for a treat. You have to use software, power tools and a reliant expert vs. simply boosting your posts.
2. Mobile ads on Facebook (with over 50% of the people accessing Facebook on mobile, it is the 2nd place to be with your offers.) Plus, the experience of seeing ads is much better in the app despite the limited number of ad units available and so much more direct and personal. At the same time, conversion on mobile might be much lower than on desktop or tablet devices. Thus, I would approach Facebook mobile as the attention getting campaign with a goal to save the offer, revisit and buy it later.
3. Responsive design for your emails (sounds like a no-brainer), yet I still see hard-to-expand, cramped up templates from some online retailers that expect you to notice anything in a tiny screen. Most people are checking email on mobile devices. You have to do something about your templates and make them mobile friendly. Promise to abandon the old templates like your old clothes. Get in sync with the times.
4. Sales enabled in social media channels can be a great way to get ready-to-buy shoppers in addition to your site experience on desktop and mobile. Can you sell more by sharing a little with some vendors that allow you to sell in tweet streams and Facebook feeds? Perhaps, there are specific items you want to get rid of that would fit. Perhaps, it is also a new way to acquire new customers. You decide how to play it.
5. Retargeting works well during the busy season. You have to chase your shoppers, as they will have options, will be more noncommittal and simply naturally require some time to warm up for the buy. If you reach me one time, I will forget. If you reach me again via the same channel, I will get bored, annoyed or filter you out. If you find new ways to jump in front of me, I will be open to dance with you elegantly to potentially buy from you.
6. Mobile notifications, not just for your apps. So, you have your customer emails and phone numbers, the ones who always buy and call? If so, why not notify them about a new offer via SMS? My hairdresser does it perfect and he even does not sell online. So, why can’t you? Be creative a bit.
7. Mobile PPC on Google, Bing and Yahoo networks is exploding this year with 135% increase YOY the last time I checked. Set your budgets with 85 % on Google and 15% on the rest and you will be good to go. If you also sell more via a phone (because you have a special complex merchandise or you actually differentiate yourself from competition by having real, friendly people), use click-to-call buttons. It is a fact that mobile ads with click-to-call buttons convert at 25% higher than the ones simply leading to the site. Plus, make sure you add site links to give options to those who prefer to not call.
8. Channel based and behavior based dynamic offers on your site is proactive selling. You already brought those interested visitors to your site with dollars or creative work. Why not give them special treatment related to their history, background (channel they came from) and tendencies to abandon? There are plenty of technology vendors available who can make it worthwhile for your visitors to convert better and today.
9. In-store Wi-Fi is a new way to collect data on what your in store shoppers do. Yet, besides collecting the data, why not allow those shoppers’ check-in and share where they are with their friends and offer special discounts inline. Why not use Wi-Fi as one of your best sales people who pays special attention and will not let your customers leave without something bought or wished for.
10. Location-based offers are very handy for big retailers, crafting omni-channel experiences and striving to drive loyalty with holiday season mobile coupons. You can execute it purely for your app users or even strike into other networks, like Yelp or Passbook, or target competitor locations to drive more foot traffic into your stores nearby. By doing so, you also grow your SMS database to market later (which has the highest response rates). Email lists are great, while SMS lists, targeted by geo location are even better.
Those are just ways and tactics to reach your customers. Yet, you still need to craft a strategy of messages and offers that will differentiate you from others, pushing hard and pounding in front of us many times during the day. Make sure you have funny, engaging copy to supplement your ad units or offers. Play with the shoppers’ mind and heart. Make it her or his worthwhile to choose you vs. anybody else. Be different, provoking and a bit controversial. Reapply the psychology of selling to new ways to entice your customers. And if you need help, feel free to connect to us. We will hook you up!