Tis’ the season to focus on holiday sales. Since it’s November, there’s not enough time to do a site redesign. With no time to waste, here are six timely strategies and tactics retailers are implementing to attract shoppers and increase sales this holiday shopping season.
At this time of year, a quality omnichannel strategy for retailers includes wish lists. Whether shoppers buy a product as a gift or for themselves, items on wish lists are more likely to be purchased. Another benefit to retailers is that lapsed customers can be reminded to revisit a site through segmented email campaigns. Shoppers will often share these emails and/or favorite products with friends and family, who might end up purchasing items for them. The extended effect is retailers have an opportunity to get in front of other potential customers.
According to The National Retail Federation, nearly 57% of those celebrating the holidays began their shopping in early November last year. Retailers are no longer waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to offer deals. They may also want to consider jumping on China’s Singles Day bandwagon. Retail giant Alibaba hit $1 billion in the first 8 minutes of their Singles Day sale in 2015.
Astute retailers recognize the value of catering to procrastinators. Sometimes instead of offering a percent off deal, they lure in the last-minute shoppers by offering free guaranteed delivery. Late in the holiday season, guaranteed delivery is often more important to shoppers than a deal on a particular item. In 2015, 90% of retailers offered an option for free shipping.
Many retailers now offer a generous return policy to holiday customers. Some extend their normal return window to accommodate early shoppers. For example, a customer buying a gift in early November requires more than the standard 30-day return period, so many retailers will extend the deadline to late January. Top retailers feature this prominently on their site as well as through other channels.
Despite the growing social media marketing trends, email is still the most effective tool to drive sales. Savvy marketers know the formula for successful holiday email campaigns:
- Short, attention-grabbing headlines
- A festive, holiday look
- Links to holiday landing pages
- Clear call-to-actions (CTA)
Inboxes will be flooded with promotional emails from now through the end of the year. To stand out amongst competitors, retailers may want to include a witty or personalized subject line, if it fits the brand voice. Some include eye-catching photos of their products or holiday-themed images with clear information, plus a strong CTA or two.
Personalization and Segmentation
To further bolster email effectiveness, retailers are incorporating personalization and segmentation. When the average customer email click-through rate is2.5 times higher using personalized emails, retailers can’t ignore it. Shoppers are more likely to respond to a message crafted for them rather than a generic mass mailing.
There are many ways to increase revenue and customer satisfaction during the holidays. The suggestions above can still be implemented with planning and quality partners. Now is the time of year for retailers to review last year’s strategy and data, see what worked and what didn’t, and come up with fresh ideas to make this truly the most wonderful time of the year.
Cheryl Amaya is Director of Client Success at WebLinc.