With Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and Christmas around the corner, many retailers are getting ready for the online shopping onslaught. Here Jess Stephens, Chief Marketing Officer at SmartFocus offers some top tips.
For many marketers the festive marketing season has already kicked into gear. With many consumers — especially Millennials — using their mobile devices more and more, mobile marketing will play a greater role this shopping season than ever before.
- Use real-time data to avoid lost sales. If stock is shifting quicker than usual due to the increased purchasing cadence at this time of year then your marketing needs to keep up. Use real-time optimisation in emails to show ‘live’ stock numbers that populate when the customer opens the message, not when it is sent. This increases urgency to buy and avoids disappointment as items can be switched out automatically once out of stock, even after the email has been sent.
- Optimise for your customers. The customer is more open to influence at this time of year; they looking for inspiration and this is a service that retailers can provide. Brands should complete an audit of their sales funnels online to ensure every touch point contains personalisation designed to help the shopper with recommendations whilst increasing average basket size.
- Accommodate gifting within personalisation. If you have personalisation active in any channel, be sure to carefully watch your algorithms before and after the busy period. Your solution should be adaptable to account for the larger amount of gifting in the period. For example if you use personalisation on the web based on click behavior, don’t assign a male persona to my record from first click, when I might, in fact, be female browsing for gifts.
- Tie together bricks and clicks. From a multichannel perspective we are seeing a trend away from ‘online only’ or other channel exclusive offers. The holidays are a good time to build your multichannel strategy and to stop forcing customer behavior into silos. Any offers should work across bricks and clicks; better still, online promotions can drive in-store behaviour where merchandising can increase basket size beyond just the item the customer intended to purchase.
- Start early. Remember that by starting early and using a longer campaign timeframe, marketers are able to include many types of shoppers through different promotions such as wish lists, sneak peeks and consumer-generated content to drive sales. Some people will always wrap up their Christmas shopping before Halloween, while others will always complete their festive shopping at the last minute. You don’t want to leave any potential revenue on the table, so serve both groups by launching your Christmas mobile marketing strategy as early as you can.
The quicker you get started, the sooner you can start bringing in those sales.