Christmas Trading in 2020
I can’t decide whether this year is running fast or slow this year. On one hand it feels like we’re caught in a vortex of the same news, same routine and same four walls. On the other, we’re almost halfway through September; how did that happen? It’ll only be a matter of weeks before we start seeing Christmas wrap in the Supermarkets, Christmas decorations in the garden centres and the highly anticipated John Lewis Christmas Ad on our screens. Love it or loathe it, the peak shopping season is looming, and now is the time to set out your promotion strategy.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas
This year, the peak trading period will inevitably be different to previous years. Here are some of the key factors you need to bear in mind for how you tackle your promotions in the present ecosystem.
eCommerce has now been widely heralded as mainstream.
Whether buying groceries or ordering essentials, everyone has now embraced some form of online shopping. Whilst traditional brand marketing will still play a role this peak season, those who embrace digital brand building will be more likely to succeed, because that’s where your customers are today. With more and more attention and marketing dollars focused on driving awareness and conversion, the defining factor of success will be creating a great, seamless customer experience.
Ever growing competition online as a direct result of the pandemic.
The amount of new businesses being registered at Companies House has increased by over 60%. Typically, there are around 50,000 new businesses registered per month. In July, that figure was 81,354. Whilst not all of these businesses will be consumer-led, new stores created on the Shopify platform grew 71% in Q2 2020 compared with Q1 2020.
Furthermore, the pandemic has been a catalyst for many of our supermarket staples to launch D2C sites. The likes of Pepsico, Heinz and Nestle have all opened their own online stores, adding to the ever expanding ecommerce opportunities for consumers.
Amazon has cashed in and is bigger than ever.
With a net market cap gain of over £400bn (!), it’s clear to see where we turned when the country was closed in a bid to ward off the virus. Existing and new customers have reinforced their behaviour and Amazon is here to stay.
With all of this in mind, there are three things you should consider as you plan the next 3 months to make the most of the peak trading period, ramping up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and into the Christmas countdown.
- Everyone is now online. Creating tailored campaigns will be key to attracting your different customer segments.
- Online is becoming increasingly fragmented, crowded and consequently diluted. Investing in brand and discovery alongside your promotional strategies will help ensure you continue to acquire and convert shoppers.
- Investing in customer experience online is key. The learned behaviours from using Amazon coupled with the sheer diversity of options means standing out for great UX will be key to converting and retaining customers for the future.
Promotion Solutions for your peak trading period.
We all know that engaging your existing customers is the most lucrative way to drive sales. If you’re reliant on your existing CRM or eCommerce promotional capabilities, you might be missing out on the level of sophistication required to be able to offer unique, deep rewards and incentives to your customers for fear of promotions being shared or leaking into unintended places.
Uniqodo can provide you with unique codes and a simple HTML widget for your email templates or onsite use to control your promotions to only your intended customers or audiences. Secondary validation with ‘logged-in’ only codes or email confirmation can provide an added layer of protection. Not only can this boost your engagement strategies, but it also protects your margins.
Uniqodo’s API integration with CRM systems can help you create granular personalisation of promotions to your customers, delivered across your CRM channels.
Partnerships have been one of the main growth areas in marketing this year, beyond the traditional publisher space, this now extends to influencers, cashback, closed-groups and content. A great way to target new audiences and leverage the reach and scale of partners.
The previous concerns of these campaigns being swept up by deal sites and plastered all over the internet are a thing of the past with Uniqodo. Unique codes and advanced validation ensure your campaigns are targeted at only your intended audience, with only your approved partners, giving you the ability to be truly creative and collaborative.
There are of course other factors involved in creating a great customer experience in your promotions. Making sure you have availability, and targeted products that need the most attention, at optimised times is also critical to create that seamless experience, but also to make sure you’re achieving key business objectives.
With Uniqodo, our advanced validation capabilities allow you to monitor trading conditions, optimising campaigns on the fly to keep your promotions on point.
Co-branded partner journeys
Your customers have found a great offer and they’re ready to buy. Great! But on click through, they get dropped onto the landing page and immediately feel lost. Has that code been applied? Where do I find the products it’s related to? Will the code actually work?
Too often we think about basket conversion, but curating the journey from an affiliate onto your site is actually one of the biggest opportunities to improve your conversion rates. Uniqodo has been working with clients across all industries, and with a broad array of partners to create a seamless journey from choosing an offer to landing on your site.
If you’ve sent out some offers to your customers through your CRM or social channels, or even some onsite promotions based on customer behaviour, using messaging to remind customers of the offer, and to direct them to the available deals is key to converting your promotions.
Can’t apply codes at the checkout?
Lots of brands don’t have promotional fields in the checkout. Sometimes due to technical limitations, and sometimes to protect code seeking behaviour. However this doesn’t mean you can’t still leverage affiliates or CRM opportunities with code-protected campaigns.
What about a content gate, where your unique code becomes the access key to a set of products or offers? Or it might even be access to a new or exclusive collection for your most valued customers.
The beauty of a Managed Promotions Platform is the ability to supercharge the humble discount code to create lots of engaging ways to deliver promotions. Here’s a few examples to get the creative juices flowing:
Drive Urgency with Diminishing Discounts
On mass spending days, it’s important that your products are high on customers’ priority lists.
A diminishing discount - with its decaying value and compelling call-to-action, is an effective way to encourage urgency amongst shoppers.
Discourage indecisiveness with Countdown Codes
Like Diminishing Discounts, Countdown Codes are limited edition offers set to expire a particular time after the promotion is set live. The critical difference is that the offer’s value does not change before expiry. This makes Countdown Codes a softer way of discouraging indecision among your Black Friday & Cyber Monday shoppers.
Drive click-throughs with Mystery Discounts
Set up an enticing lottery-style offer, unlocked with a code. Simply pick an average, upper and lower value for the offer. Customers are tempted to find out how much discount they might receive, which is only revealed at checkout
Improve your average order value with Basket-Value Discounts
Encourage greater spends with a discount offer proportionate to basket-value.
“5% if you spend £10”
“25% if you spend £50”
Use validation rules and data-driven discounts to support criteria based promotions.
Reward loyal customers with a Loyalty code
Improve customer retention by issuing unique codes to existing customers to drive loyalty.
“Thank you for your order, here is a code off your next purchase over £50…”
Activate to convert
Dynamic error messaging
Presents in the bag and promo at the ready, don’t lose the sale at the last hurdle because a code can’t be validated in the basket. Helping your customers to understand why their basket hasn’t qualified can help them meet the necessary criteria and complete their purchase, rather than abandoning ship and shopping elsewhere.
Uniqodo’s error messaging uses the promotion validation rules to dynamically message to your customers to help them make changes to their order to qualify for the offers.
With all the best will in the world, we’re wonderfully distracted beings, and the intention to shop may get interrupted. Reminding a customer of an available offer on their next visit provides a great, personalised experience online and helps drive retention as well as converting a sale.
If you’re ready to start planning your peak trading campaigns and need a little inspiration or some advanced capabilities, give us a shout.