Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Holiday Hurricane Is Set To Hit Online Stores Soon. Are you ready?

I take it you are.  More so with top retailers, such as Wal-mart and Amazon enjoying explosive profits last year, as they calculatedly threw open their online stores to heavy online holiday discounts and promotions, way before its own offline stores got a feel of it.

But, more importantly, because customers are expected to gatecrash the online stores – about 160 million prospective customers, this holiday season.  All the more reason to believe that your online store would be ready and your promotional checklist for 2016 brushed-up and bright – bubbling with fresh new ideas and events, to ensure you turn all the crests and troughs in your favor.

  • Creating holiday-centric landing pages – Check
  • Setting up an automated holiday e-mailers – Check
  • Chalking out a detailed content strategy – Check
  • Mobile-friendly website page – Check

But then again, have you included the following in your must-do checklist:

  • Chinese Singles Day – ?
  • Podcasting – ?
  • Creating several holiday landing pages – ?
  • Stock clearance sale – ?

Nope? Then read on. These are some of the just-in strategies that could help turn the holiday tide in your favor.

Ok. Ready. Here we go:


1. Single Out ‘Singles Day’

No doubt Singles Day is a Chinese festival, just like we celebrate Valentine’s Day in other parts of the world. But then, what raises every marketer’s eyebrows is the phenomenal online sales this festival managed to garner in China last year. According to Business Insider, this made-up Chinese holiday helped Alibaba rake in $5 billion during the first 90 minutes of the sale, totaling  $14.3 billion in just 24 hours.  The eye-popping sales this shopping extravaganza happened to generate has put this festival in a far superior league as opposed to standard online money-minting festivals such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Stats that matter

  • $2.74 billion. The revenue generated from Black Friday 2015. The day is marked to be the biggest online revenue day in the U.S. history.
  • $14.3 billion. The revenue from Singles Day in China on 11/11 in 2015.
  • $2.9 billion. The revenue from mobile devices alone within the first hour of Singles Day 2015.

Taking a leaf out of Alibaba’s book, the U.S. eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart might as well include 11/11 in their promotional calendars and make a big business deal of it.

So, what’s stopping you?


2. Look Back To Look Forward

Simply put, wrap your head around the previous year’s data and figure out which medium proved more profitable to you for conversions, whether it was email marketing, paid search, or social media. Once you have spotted your strongest strategy, discover ways to make the most of it. Say, if it was paid search that helped you hold your own despite the rocky tides, then paid search it is for this year as well.

Nonetheless, don’t follow the herd. See what suits you better and bet at least your year’s saving on it, if not more.



3. Podcasting Is The New Black

Podcasting is becoming popular. With technological advances and evolving user behavior, monthly podcast listenership has gone up, drastically. As Jay Baer of Convince and Convert clearly points out in The 5 Key 2016 Podcast Statistics:

The podcast audience is 57 million Americans in total.  And while Twitter has more members than that (many more, actually) the research shows their active user base is on-par with the overall podcast audience.

So, it’s time businesses get into the podcast wagon straight away.

Despite the fact that the podcast ecosystem isn’t evolved enough to offer performance-based advertising, but then again, as a branding and awareness tool, one could leverage podcast advertising and even use the regular podcast content to influence shoppers to buy.


4. Cook Up A Storm For Landing Pages    

If anything, build several holiday-centric landing pages before the actual holiday season sets in, and then go ahead and A/B test their effectiveness. This helps you separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff. Once you have identified the top performing pages from the non-performing ones, divert the traffic to those that are doing well.

This will ensure that you have a perfect page and a large group of people to target when the holiday season actually sets in.

Wishpond’s How Many Landing Pages Do I Need on My Website clearly elucidates the benefits of setting up several landing pages.

Studies have shown that business websites with 10-15 landing pages tend to increase conversions by 55% over business websites with less than 10 landing pages. And those with more than 40 landing pages increase conversions by over 500%.

So, you see, the more the merrier for landing pages.


5. Optimize Your eCommerce Site

Not much in terms navigation. But more in terms of holiday look and feel. Come up with banners and ads that have a holiday feel. Speed up the checkout process.  Also, apply for EV/SSL certification beforehand. What’s more, consider staffing up and buying a tool, that sets reorder points. This would ensure you have the least required stock, but more importantly triggers an alarm when it goes below the required threshold.


6. Take Stock And Plan A Clearance Sale

If you have got stock on hand that’s due past its sell-by date, holidays are the best time to get rid of them. So concoct strategies to get this stock out of your way before the New Year booms in. Say, for instance, you could bundle slow moving products with fast moving ones. Or you could put your charitable side on display by giving away some products for free. After all, Christmas is a season of giving. Isn’t it? And, yes, you could generate word of mouth publicity for your brand as well.

In case, money is on your mind, do one thing?  Ask your customers to ‘recommend a friend’ in return for a free gift. This would, to say the least, broaden your database of online customers, which you could cash in on when the holiday season is right at your doorsteps.


Final Thoughts

As the holiday hurricane slowly but steadily gathers speed, it makes sense for online businesses, to pay immediate attention to each of these strategies, besides the traditional stuff. Be assured, it’s going to rock your eCommerce sales this holiday season.

Could you think of any other game-changer strategies that could be included in this post?

The post The Holiday Hurricane Is Set To Hit Online Stores Soon. Are you ready? appeared first on GetResponse Blog - Online Marketing Tips.

No comments:

Post a Comment