September is anything but relaxing for consumer ecommerce marketers. Not only are they tasked with wrapping up back-to-school initiatives and planning for Black Friday and beyond, but in the shorter-term they must also create persuasive campaigns that rise above the noise and actually drives sales for the spookiest holiday of the year: Halloween.
No matter how creative or compelling the Halloween promotional materials are, companies that fail to take advantage of all digital channels at their disposal are leaving money on the table. To maximize their seasonal campaigns’ effectiveness, marketers must communicate promotions onsite throughout the customer journey, as well as utilize email remarketing, social sharing and display advertising.
The goal is to move the needle on the metrics that matter most, from reducing bounce rates and re-engaging abandoned shoppers to getting customers who already bought to make a second purchase.
For marketers looking to maximize their Halloween conversions, here are five tips to consider:
Use onsite overlays to highlight promotions for shoppers who abandon
If someone is on your site in the next month looking at a costume, candy or Halloween decorations, there’s a good chance she is shopping with the intent to purchase before October 31. Making one last attempt to recapture a customer’s attention before she leaves the site can go a long way towards combatting high abandonment rates leading up to Halloween.
As a shopper abandons your site, display onsite overlays to highlight Halloween specials. You can consider reemphasizing an existing sale on the item the person is looking at, or sweeten the deal by offering an additional “early bird” Halloween promotion if the person buys the item before a specific date.
Tailor remarketing emails to include items that shoppers left in their carts
No matter how persuasive your onsite promotions are, the reality is that some shoppers will still abandon your site. The average abandonment rate for ecommerce sites is around 70%, and can be even higher during holiday periods when people do more comparison shopping.
For shoppers who leave items in their carts, use email remarketing to move the purchase forward. In addition to listing the products in your emails, you can offer an additional Halloween-themed incentive for completing the transaction, from double points in your rewards program to a coupon that can be used on their next purchase.
Use ad retargeting for customers who visited but did not make a purchase
For shoppers who came to your site but left without completing a purchase, retarget them with Halloween-themed display ads. Personalize these ads by displaying one or more of the products the shopper was looking at, rather than a generic promotion for your business.
Be smart about the frequency and timing of these ads. Serve a reasonable number of ads for a few days after abandonment, and then move on. You don’t want to discourage her from going back to your site during the Q4 holiday season to make additional purchases.
Encourage customers who do purchase to spread the word via social
A customer who just made a purchase could be one of your best Halloween marketing assets. Studies have shown that shoppers are strongly influenced by social media in making their purchase decisions. Encourage them to share the deal they got on social media, and incentivize them to do so.
For instance, in your purchase confirmation email, you can include a social sharing incentive, “Want to save 10% on your next purchase with us? Share your purchase on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll send you a code!” When the shopper does share, include the name of the product, some eye-catching Halloween sales offer, and a link to buy.
Social sharing can go a long way in increasing your brand reach and driving new traffic to your site from your customers’ friends and followers.
Reach out to customers who made a purchase with sales for complementary goods
When a shopper makes a purchase, include special discounts for goods that relate to the products they just bought.
Complementary goods are one great place to start. If your customer bought a children’s costume, offer a discount on a matching trick-or-treat basket. If someone purchased an inflatable ghost for their lawn, they might also be interested in ghost window decals.
Halloween offers an opportunity before Black Friday to test sales ideas and campaigns. By challenging themselves to maximize the effectiveness of their Halloween initiatives, marketers will not only increase conversions in the short-term, but gain additional insight into which tactics are working best for their business as they prepare for the holiday shopping season.
Terri Mock is the chief revenue officer of Ve Interactive.