Global spending has hit some serious milestones nowadays. Customers dished out more than $1 trillion globally for their holiday items.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to rise in popularity. Now, they’re considered the two most popular days of online holiday shopping. A couple of years ago, almost half of all holiday spending was done during Cyber Week.
So, how can retailers make sure their website and holiday marketing campaigns are up to par with increased shopping rates during the holidays?
In this piece, we’ll look at the top best practices for retailers to use during the Q4 holidays. You’ll discover tips for reaching new customers, retaining existing ones, and creating differentiated experiences for both groups. In addition, we’ll deep-dive into the technical bits — how can your site stay supported through increased traffic, and how can you decrease attrition while customers are in your shopping cart?
Let’s dive in.
1. Treat mobile as its own experience.
It’s safe to say that mobile and desktop shopping experiences are very different — due to the on-the-go nature of smartphones and the smaller screen size. Because of this, retailers should be wary of one-size-fits-all approaches to optimizing their visual storefront during the holidays.
Consider adding push notifications to your store app to ensure you’re grabbing customers’ attention. Be mindful of the amount and timing of these notifications — you don’t want to annoy a customer.
Perhaps of the most importance on mobile is the checkout experience. Make your checkout process three steps or less. Consider adding additional payment gateways like PayPal and Apple Pay so that customers don’t need to take their credit cards out when they’re on the go.
2. Keep your prices dynamic.
Dynamic pricing sounds complicated. It’s not, though. It’s just a matter of time because it’s simply more profitable than any other ecommerce pricing strategy. Thus, you can simply implement it with automation into your business strategy.
Price management is crucial for sales preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as these events involve significant discounts. Consumers often compare prices, making it essential to ensure that your prices are competitive. That’s why you must set reasonable prices to attract more customers.
3. Don’t forget about SEO.
Sometimes, seeing the rewards of SEO takes a while. However, you can get some quick wins to help drive traffic during the holidays.
Optimize for promotional keywords like “gift,” “coupon,” and “discount” on your product pages. Consider creating a gift guide that links to both your and others’ products, to help get a few backlinks.
For seasonal products, consider changing the title tag and description to include information about how they’re a good holiday gift.
4. Personalize, personalize, personalize.
Holiday customers are smart. They know where to find discounts. They know how to research product quality. Once they’re loyal to a brand, they will return year after year until they’re convinced otherwise.
So, how do you capture a new customer and rise above the noise of your competitors? Many brands do this by adding personalized campaigns geared towards wherever the customer is in the shopping funnel, and whether or not they’ve purchased before.
Consider creating a buy-back campaign for customers who purchased from you last year. Remind them of their pleasant holiday experience and offer them a discount if they return.
You’ll need to nurture new customers to understand more about your brand. Spend time highlighting glowing customer reviews. Remember that they’ll most likely be comparing your products to your competitors at every step of the way.
5. Take a look at your post-purchase experience.
It becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a rising competitive holiday atmosphere.
Many innovative brands look at their digital post-purchase strategy (such as follow-up emails, review solicitations, and scheduled retargeting) to combat higher customer acquisition costs.
But there is one other area that retailers should also look at – their fulfillment and packaging practices.
Shipping a package to a customer for the first time is considered the first physical touchpoint they have with your brand. Why not use this as an opportunity to showcase your story and stand out from a sea of brown boxes? Consider creating customized packaging in your brand colors, or having a fun unboxing experience with personalized tissue paper and add-ons.
Additionally, consider using sustainable packaging if that type of messaging is important to your brand. The decrease in fast fashion paired with the increase in eco-friendly purchasing behavior, makes “going green” a viable holiday marketing tactic for many types of brands.
Make sure it is also return-friendly, no matter what your packaging looks like. With many online purchases being returned during the holidays, make sure your packaging is durable and easy for customers to re-pack.
6. Prepare your on-site technology.
Your site needs to be prepared for an increase in shopper traffic. From a front-end perspective, your pages need to load quickly. Your navigation should be intuitive, and your checkout should be secure and fast. On the back end, try not to add any new tools or add-ons to your site right before the holidays in case things go awry.
Make sure to continuously test your website and your third-party integrations leading up to the holidays. Back up your data using a tool like Rewind.io, in case your site goes down due to a server error. Last but not least, make sure you have on-call or on-staff tech support available during the holidays to fix anything that comes up.
With these six main ideas, you’ll be geared up and ready to drive real revenue during Q4. With online retail continuously rising, there are more and more opportunities to capture new customers. Ensure they return throughout the year with your business plan.e-commerce marketingholiday marketing