Christmas time is big business online. And if you want to get ahead of the festive curve, now’s the perfect time to start. This Christmas, it’s estimated that more bargain-hungry shoppers will be doing more of their holiday shopping online rather than on the high street. A recent survey by Shopblocks survey reveals that 30.1% of respondents said that they’d be doing their festive shopping on Amazon. Another 30% said that they’d do theirs on the highstreet, while 22.9% said that they’d rely on Google or another search engine to help them fill the Christmas stockings.
It’s easy to see the appeal of online shopping at this time of year. After all, who wants to wade into the dark and the bitter cold after a hard day’s work to elbow their way through crowds to browse the sparse shelves of their local shops?
As eCommerce becomes the preferred platform for many value-hungry shoppers, online retailers can expect things to get more competitive than ever. As the quarter and the year draw to a close, these last few weeks of the year are the perfect time for retailers to steer into a profitable end of year, getting their books in the black (maybe that’s why it’s called Black Friday?).
The only problem, of course, is that the tools and opportunities available to help you get ahead are just as available to your competitors. Fortunately, we’re here to help you beat the competition with these tips!
Make sure that you establish a presence on every channel
If you’re a fashion retailer or sell anything that anyone might want to gift someone over the festive season, you need to get yourself in front of shoppers. And the sad truth is that it’s a fallacy to assume shoppers will just wander over to you. It’s essential to establish a channel-agnostic approach that puts you in front of your target audience. Multi-channel shoppers tend to buy 3 times more than their single-channel counterparts, so make sure they can see you!
A channel-agnostic approach starts with your own online store. Even if you’re selling products elsewhere, your website is the lynchpin upon which the rest of your strategy lies.
Your website isn’t just where people go to buy your products, it’s also the centre of your digital marketing efforts. It’s here that customers can keep coming back to look for new codes, promotions and offers, find out what’s new with your business, engage with valuable online content like blog posts and videos, and build a lasting relationship with your brand. It allows you to use gated content to give shoppers a sense of exclusivity and scarcity. It provides you with everything you need to ensure that they shop with you throughout next year and beyond.
As the world’s largest and most trusted eCommerce channel, it’s fair to say that you should have a presence on Amazon. It accounts for a whopping 13.7% of the global market share. As far as third party marketplaces go, it’s the place to be. Make sure your product descriptions, product pages etc. are all properly optimised for Amazon’s search crawlers.
Did you know that 35% of all product searches online start with Google? If you want to make your brand visible to new customers throughout the festive season, it’s imperative to establish a presence on Google. A presence on Google shopping can go a long way towards establishing your presence in the market.
What’s more, Google is much more forthcoming with customer insights than Amazon so it can really help you to formulate an agile festive strategy.
Using social media
More shoppers are using social media to do their shopping. In fact, 8% said they’d turn to a social platform like Facebook or Instagram for their shopping, so they’re also definitely markets worth pursuing. These are platforms that shoppers know and trust, and as time goes by it’s safe to say that there will be a lot more shoppers turning to their social channels for bargains in the months and years to come.
Get creative with social media
Speaking of social platforms, as well as being a useful channel, they can be an invaluable marketing tool, allowing you to establish a great relationship with your brand. If you’re a fashion retailer with your sights set on a trendy younger audience, a strong social presence is an absolute no-brainer.
As well as helping you to engage with your audience and showcase your amazing products, social platforms allow you to gain a foothold in your target audience by reaching out to the social influencers who matter to them. Make no mistake, young people trust social influencers. Why? Because they’re consumers too. And they’ll trust their word on your brand more than they trust anything you say about yourself. In fact, 40% of millennials feel that their favourite YouTube creators understand them even better than their own friends do.
As well as sending influencers products for their consideration, you can also give them their own unique promotional codes to give their audiences an incentive to try out your brand. What’s more, this can also provide you with a useful analytic to help you to ascertain which influencers are bringing the most impressive conversion rates.
But leveraging social influencers is far from the only great way to use unique promotional codes.
Stand out with personalised promotions
You don’t need us to tell you what a fiercely competitive landscape the digital marketplace is, especially at this time of year where cost-conscious shoppers will be scouring the internet looking for great deals. Unfortunately, as we draw ever closer to the 2020s, just being present isn’t good enough anymore.
Customer expect promotions, and the holiday season is the perfect time to offer them. They can help you to create the perfect first impression. The truth is that today’s shoppers have become conditioned to expect new brands to give them a sweetener. 75% of consumers now expect some sort of promotional offerings from brands they engage with. And if you’re not giving them what they want at this time of year, there’s a good chance that they’ll take their business to somebody who is.
Unique single-use promotional codes also serve a number of practical purposes. They allow you to try A/B testing of promotional campaigns to test which kinds of offers and discounts are the most meaningful to you. They can show you where the highest spending customers are coming from and which social platforms they’re using. They can help you to target the ever-present problem of shopping cart abandonment and coax shoppers who have been sitting on the fence to commit to a purchase.
Single-use codes and automation tools can also make it quick and easy to get creative when forming and delivering unique and personalised promotions for new and returning customers.
A little something, just for you!
Promotions are great. But in an era where they’ve become commonplace, most unsure shoppers won’t just go for any old promotions. Engagement on social platforms and through email subscriptions can allow you to deliver customised messaging without dedicating hours and hours to it through the magic of automation. But by investing in the software to create unique promotional codes, you can also create special customised promotions. Again, these are no longer a novelty. They’re increasingly seen as a necessity, with almost 80% of consumers stating that they’ll only engage with promotional offerings if they’re matched to their previous interactions with the brand offering them.
With the automated tools to create unique, single-use promo codes you can create promotions based on customers’ purchase histories. You can gamify discounts, allowing customers to collect new promotions or accrue points as they purchase certain items. You can even have “blink and you’ll miss it” promotions pop up and disappear on your website as a gift to the fast-fingered.
And because these promotional codes are single-use, you can be sure that you’ll never have to deal with the results of code misuse like diminished profit margins or reduced value offerings.
The holidays are upon us -- start planning today
You know how it is with this time of year. One moment the yuletide festivities seem a million miles away, but before we blink, they’re right on top of us. Establish your presence on the eCommerce channels and social platforms that matter to your target audience. Start building the hype for your new seasonal promotions on social media. Use automated tools combined with a dash of creative flair to create a campaign of compelling and highly personalised seasonal promotions to delight new customers and reward the devout.
Make loyal customers now and you can count on their support all year round so that yours is the only name they think of when it comes to their Christmas shopping in 2020.