McFadyen cybersecurity in ecommerce 1024x1024 Cyber Security and eCommerce in 2017: 4 areas you should invest to strengthen your defence

2017 is here and the ecommerce sector is looking towards a bright future this year as well according to predictions. In the US alone total average spend on ecommerce per customer is expected to be $1804 which means that the industry is in for huge strides. The rise of mCommerce as covered in one of our previous blogs is another hot area for innovation and investments as far as ecommerce companies are concerned. But we decided to focus on something that is even more important for ecommerce companies in 2017 – Security Threats.

For long cyber threats have plagued enterprises with digitally enabled platforms and ecommerce is no exception. Newer technology deployments have added more convenience for the end shopper but at the same time opened up new avenues to exploit for security threats. We throw light into 4 areas in ecommerce companies that will witness cyber exploits in full throttle for 2017:

Internet of Things (IoT)

Today a good majority of ecommerce companies utilize IoT enabled frameworks to handle their warehouse management and logistics operations. With superfast connectivity and razor sharp sensors, businesses trust such systems to carry out critical tasks and reduce human intervention. However such automated systems can be vulnerable as sensors are not yet equipped to thwart unidentified intrusions into their control hardware. To bring down costs, organizations often rely on cheaper connectivity options and this increases vulnerability of sensors exponentially.

Deliberate brand devaluation

In the era of digital marketing and social media, brands are finding it hard to appease their social savvy customers. On top of that, cyber fraudsters are now busy tarnishing brand images on social media with fake reviews, sentiments and comments. Brands that do not monitor their social media sentiments are easily prone to such schemes and even competitors hire agencies to bring down reputation of established brands with fake sentiment creation. 2017 will witness more of such attacks that focus on core brand values such as trust and customer relations and ecommerce companies need to be well aware of this threat.

Compliances and Regulatory Pressure

Governments across the globe have been cracking down on internet enabled businesses such as ecommerce and asking them to abide with local compliance rules and regulatory policies with their data assets. In order to achieve this compliance, many a times, organizations are forced to offer transparent data exchanges for authorities to monitor their transactions and these windows can easily be exploited by cyber fraudsters.

Cyber-attacks as a service

The heading might sound funny, but there exists a good number of criminal syndicates who break into technology ecosystems with large daily transactions such as ecommerce if they are paid to do so. Their attack modes range from Denial of Service to hijacking of enterprise networks to stealing customer data to name a few. In 2017 it is forecasted that such syndicated would form new partnerships globally and create even stronger cyber-attack frameworks to target digital transactions on the internet.

2017 will undoubtedly witness greater investments in cyber security by ecommerce companies globally and if you are an ecommerce organization looking to strengthen your security our 4 picks are the right areas for you to start.

5 tips to drive more sales on mobile screens this holiday season

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McFadyen SalesViaMobilescreen 1024x1024 5 tips to drive more sales on mobile screens this holiday season

Black Friday 2016 witnessed more than $1 Billion of single day sales happening from mobile devices alone. So now marketers know that mobile is no longer a second priority channel for their campaigns and tweaking the campaigns with a mobile first approach can seriously land them with better ROI. So the question now is how do you plan your marketing strategy to capitalize on traffic generated from mobile phones? Or in simple terms, how do you convince mobile shoppers to spend more on your site during the holidays? We have handpicked some strategies that will help you connect well with your mobile shoppers and here they are:

Email Marketing

Emails are still rated as one of the best ways to draw in an audience or potential buyers for an ecommerce website be it both app or mobile based shoppers or PC based shoppers. If you have purchased online from multiple sites, then check your inbox and you will see campaign mails from at least one site every day. The emails are primarily intended to convey a sales message for you to check out some latest offers or a promo sale or some shopping promos that may be of interest to you. You only need to ensure that your campaign emails are mobile friendly as a good majority of them are now opened from mobile phones. Keep an eye out on opening rates, sales leads generated and other marketing trackers to evaluate your strategy and bring improvements or major changes if necessary.

Be gentle with your push notifications

Push notifications are the best way to lure in buyers form their smartphones to your shopping site or app but very often marketers make the mistake of aggressively sending out push notifications to users all the time. As it is said, too many cooks spoil the broth, shoppers would get annoyed if you constantly send notifications on their mobile phones. This could turn worse if you send out notifications about events or promotions from which the customer might have already made a good purchase. The same happens when they constantly receive notifications about sale of items they never want to buy. To avoid situations like these, customize your push notifications as much as possible and send them out on calculated frequencies. Find out from the customer about the notifications he or she would love to hear about and target them with only those. The more subtle and personalized you become with your push notifications, greater will be the conversion into actual sales.

Be creative with your campaigns

Marketing is ultimately dependent on creativity to freshen up consumer minds. With technology embedded marketing tools, modern market analysts are able to receive a huge chunk of info about buyers both existing and potential. To further monetize this knowledge, you need to come up with creative ways of expressing your brand’s products or services. The occasional refresh in your creativity should extent to both the content you push out to your customers as well as in the selection of channels for pushing out the content.

Feedback analysis and refinement

As with any marketing mechanisms, you need to collect feedback about your mobile marketing campaigns. This could be automated data collection using state of the art marketing software or through app ratings surveys or feedback emails and many more mediums. You also need to track metrics such as conversion rates, open sessions, share frequencies and much more.

Deep Linking

When you are redirecting user’s courtesy an email campaign or a landing page, then try linking them to a specific landing page on your mobile website or mobile app. This way you can better organize content on mobile specific screens and entice users when they visit the page.

Mobile commerce is here to stay and as stated in one of our previous blogs, it is going to reshape digital commerce in more ways than what retailers can imagine. So with smart marketing, ecommerce companies can capitalize on this tremendous opportunity and monetize customer visits as much as possible.


McFadyen holiday Shopping 1024x682 How to convert first time buyers into long term buyers this holiday season

It’s reaching midway into December and online retail is witnessing an explosive sales cycle. Black Friday 2016 alone accounted for $3.34 Billion in single day sales across the US and Cyber Monday witnessed $3.4 Billion in single day sales. Experts have opined that the last quarter of every year is fit to be called the equivalent of child birth for retailers especially online retailers, because most of them arguably witness more than 30% of their annual sales happen in just under a month during the holiday season. It is also the time when they acquire tons of first time buyers with attractive holiday promotions. But many often ecommerce players fail to capitalize on these new leads generated during the holiday season and subsequently a good majority of first time buyers never return again to shop from them.

We believe this is because marketers at such online retailers fail to create an effective sales framework where the intention of the holiday campaign is to create loyal customers rather than bring in a slew of one time shoppers. Considering the huge advantage of technology inspired automated marketing channels available today, it is nearly a fatal mistake to target both new buyers and existing buyers with the same set of campaigns in the form of email, print, social media and other marketing channels. Engaging first time buyers is crucial to convert their first time impression into marks of loyalty. Here are some tips for marketing folks at ecommerce companies to drive repeat sales from first time buyers after the holiday season:

A great user experience         

So your email and social media campaigns have borne fruit and leads start to pour into your online store. The biggest factor that determines how well leads are converted into actual buyers is the ease with which they can navigate on your website and how fast they can finish the checkout process to buy an item they loved. Keeping this experience hassle free involves a great User Interface on both computer screens and mobile screens, seamless information access, secure and easy checkout processes with popular payment facilities and above all, a scalable technology architecture that is able to handle huge spikes in traffic.

Data Collection

New customers arrive from different sources and as far as online retailers are concerned, it is quite easy to track the source of each sale through analytics. It is essential to collect vital customer info causing minimal or no inconvenience to first time buyers. Through registration process and geo tagging, it is easier to determine geographical location and thereby understand demographics of shoppers.

Data analytics

So now that you have decided to collect data in as many ways as possible, the next question is what do you do with this data? It’s simple -This data should be utilized for further connecting with those buyers after they have made their first purchase on your website. It’s similar to the cross selling and up selling practices that retailers follow but here the suggestions should be as precise and focused on the customer as possible. With analytics, you can determine their shopping patterns, their most searched items, their preferential price ranges for products, etc. This will help you guide them to new purchases with better offers thereby improving their brand loyalty on your site.

Targeted campaigns

Once first time buyer lists are available, marketers should prepare a separate set of campaigns to inform them about how great your website the rest of the year. Educate them about how long term shoppers have rated you as the best and direct them to sign up for exclusive benefits such as cashbacks, premium membership packages and much more.

Feedback Surveys

Online retailers should thrive to be as customer-centric as possible. On that note, it is essential to know how shopper’s especially first time shoppers felt about their experience. A simple survey or a dialog box asking shoppers to rate their buying experience right after the transaction step is over would be the basic feedback survey that you could use. And don’t just ask users to take the survey without giving back something in return. Say offer an X% discount for their next purchase if they complete your survey and you have the double benefit of getting closer to customer hearts and guaranteeing a second sale with the discount coupon.

So there you go folks, our 5 step guide to help marketer’s convert 1st time buyers into loyal shoppers. However it is important to keep in mind that your biggest asset is your existing list of loyal buyers and you should never drop your focus on them. Their word of mouth and social media signals promoting your brand is the biggest drawer of new shoppers to your website. Feel free to connect with us to learn more about how your digital strategies can be aligned to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.


McFadyen Email Marketing with Videos 1024x1024 This holiday season make your email campaigns livelier with videos

“Target will open its doors at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Best Buy stores will open an hour earlier at 5 PM and Walmart will start a Black Friday event at 6 PM on Thanksgiving and most stores are open 24 hours.” This was a CNN News feed in Facebook on the eve of Thanksgiving. It indicates only one thing – Welcome to the holiday season folks. 2016 is coming to an end but the grand shopping season is just beginning.

It’s that time of the year when people head out to their old folks, meet up with their buddies, watch their favorite movies, travel like never before and most importantly spend on shopping like crazy. The National Retail Federation expects American consumers to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday season. That’s like $650 Billion worth of sales opportunity for retailers in just a time span of 50 days or so.

Now comes the big question to retailers! How do you capture the most of this opportunity?

A single marketing or promo video embedded in your email campaign for the holidays holds the key to winning consumer hearts this holiday season. Video is the best way to bring out your marketing messages to consumers in all forms of digital media be it mobile phones, computers, television screens or even on city billboards and movie screens. Need some confidence boosters? Check out some interesting statistics about video marketing below

  • And Adobe study pointed out in 2015 that 51.9 % of marketing professionals worldwide selected Video as the form of content that had the best ROI.
  • Revenue growth rate of video equipped marketing strategies outran non-video strategies by nearly 50%
  • Nearly half of internet users search for videos about a product or service before making a buying decision
  • Consumers who view videos are 1.81 times more inclined to spend on a purchase when compared to non-viewers

Using these stats as a base, we clearly believe that email campaigns for the holiday season from retailers should definitely carry a video message embedded in it. Today there is enough tech available in the market that offers the best video experience in each medium after identifying the email client you consumer is using.  Sometimes all you need to do is include a static image in your email with a play button on top of it which directs the user to a YouTube or Vimeo channel where the video is uploaded.

And you don’t have to shoot a professional ad of your offering to embed in a promo email. Even a smartphone with a pretty good camera would do the job for you. The video may be a tip on how to use your offering in a better way or hidden benefits or comparisons or anything that users are required to know about your product or service.

Videos in emails have created some fantastic results for marketers globally. Some have reported as high as 65 percent increase in click-through rates and lowered unsubscribes by as much as 26 percent. Your Thanksgiving emails may be already out but the holiday shopping season has just begun. So there is enough time to shoot some fabulous videos and use them in your email campaigns. Do share your success stories as well to inspire more marketers to follow this trend.

Try A/B testing to build the best buyer persona for your business

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McFadyen AB Testing of Buyer Personas 1024x852 Try A/B testing to build the best buyer persona for your business

Buyer Personas are an essential part of both digital and conventional forms of marketing. As a marketer, creating a buyer persona is the first major task that needs to be on your to-do list when you are entrusted with marketing products and or services for the brand or company that employs you. If you take the case of any successful organization in any business domain, they would have executed at least one strategy based on buyer personas. If you are still not convinced, then have a look at the following statistics about buyer personas.

  • Targeted persona strategy increases sales leads by 124%
  • Email campaigns using buyer persona targeting has witnessed twice the open rate and 5 times more click through rate
  • 55% growth in organic search traffic

We can publish even more statistics but assume that you are already convinced with these. The bottom line is that buyer personas enable you to think from a customer’s mind and identify what is the best way to connect with them. No more guesswork and assumptions but a solid set of 3 or 4 buyer personas that will define more than 90% of your consumer base. So far we have been speaking about getting more leads or closing more sales with perfect buyer personas. The question now is how do you select the perfect buyer persona for your business? The answer lies in another marketing arsenal – A/B Testing.

If you thought A/B testing was just used for deciding on the perfect landing pages or email campaigns for promotions, then you are mistaken. A/B testing allows you to take data supported decisions on how incremental changes can improve performance of an entire system be it landing pages or email campaigns or in this case even the selection of your buyer personas.

With A/B testing you can steadily improve the quality of your buyer personas. In simpler terms it will help you to fill areas of your buyer persona where you experienced uncertainty. Let us take an example to point out the real benefit of using A/B testing for your buying persona.

Consider yourself to be in charge of marketing for a new digital product launch for a commercial bank. The product is a new insurance package for which the bank wishes to see a good number of subscribers in a short month. You start with building the ideal buyer persona for the product. Assuming that all studies point out to fear as the number one motivation of your potential customers to buy the product. Fear for their lives or for their loved ones who might be affected due to lack of insurance facilities, etc. Your buyer persona is created with fear as the central theme and you decide upon a marketing campaign centred on this single reason. If it clicks then you will receive a tremendous amount of positive response and lead generation becomes a piece of cake. However if your perception of customer’s priority is wrong, then your efforts have a big chance of ending up in vain.

Here is where A/B testing comes into picture. Take the above scenario or persona as A and consider another scenario where buyers are willing to spend on insurance products for another cause say for tax savings as B.  Now you have 2 valid cases to test. A proper A/B testing can give you tons of info to arrive at a decision. The information includes but not limited to

  • A or B, Which is their main motive?
  • Positive language or negative language! Which clicks best with your customers?
  • Does promo schemes such as discounts or coupons or limited deals draw their attention?
  • Do they react more to the benefits of A or to the benefits of B?

The list will go on but the ultimate result is that you will get quantifiable information on whether Plan A or Plan B is the perfect marketing campaign for the product. The one that witnesses more sign-ups or subscriptions will answer each of the above questionnaire and you can quickly summarize your results to arrive at an informed decision.

So there you have it folks, the perfect way to build your buyer persona. A/B testing can surely create drastic changes in your efforts and prevent marketing budgets from skyrocketing as it helps to avoid wrong decisions at the right time.


Big Websites Vs Small Websites SEO How small websites can compete with established biggies in search engine rankings?

For more than a decade, marketers have exploited the World Wide Web to bring out the best of brands. Their biggest challenge or should we say the biggest focus area was visibility in search results. Hence Search Engine Optimization or SEO became a household name and every website owner starts to think about it the moment they are live on the internet. But then comes the question! How do smaller websites or newer entrants compete with established websites for search engine rankings for similar business interests?

Before we go into the tips, let’s check out three main parameters that make established brands so attractive for search engines:

Brand Recognition

With years of providing quality services to their customers, established brands have their own fan clubs and also have folks who regularly search for products or services with their brand name along with it to get results from only them. This rakes up a huge advantage in search rankings.

Big ticket marketing

With their size and bank balances, biggies can afford to spread word about them in a multitude of channels be it print, TV, web ads, search engine ads, social media advertisements and several other mediums. It is easier for customers to notice at least one of their popular ads in any of the different communication mediums. Marketing draws up user searches and that too with a huge proportion of organic search traffic. This translates into higher SEO rankings.

Quality linkage

When established sites post content, there would be several sites that would backlink to them including sites that have higher rank authority like for example famous media portals or news portals. This increases contextual importance of the content and these pages would hence be a darling of search engines.

Now moving onto the advantages of small sites, well you have a pretty long list. Let’s just break it into a few points here. The advantages of smaller sites or newer sites in terms of SEO are:

  • Ability to experiment with ideas
  • Easier to integrate more tech since business starts from scratch
  • Creativity
  • Able to focus on niches
  • More personalized consumer interactions due to smaller user base

Now let’s answer the question we discussed in the beginning. How do smaller websites compete with bigger ones for SEO?

Choose keywords that bigger brands do not often care to target

When a bigger brand does its SEO it takes into factors such as generalised domain of operation, the associations they have with partner brands or selling channels, audience demographics, globalization of products/services and much more. But as a newcomer, you have all the luxury you need in terms of keyword focusing. Choose long-tail or editorial or comparison or any other type of keywords you may wish. Since bigger brands need to strict to generalization and global or national operational areas, you can focus on localized keywords to grab more attention. You are free to target neighbourhoods or localities, create content that may or may not create conflicts between associated brands( because you will not probably have them) and can easily draw attention from search engine users.

Be as specific in your niche as possible

For example if you are competing against TripAdvisor for travel or accommodation arrangements, then you could focus on niches such as City specific packages, or localized travel options, local attractions, etc. to gain more unique site visits. These would add up to organic traffic which would further boost your rankings.

Educate your customers more than showcasing your ability

For users to navigate to your new site, there needs to be some take away or value addition they would get. The bigger brand names will already be registered in their minds and the best way for you to garner some interest would be to educate them with tips and tricks or how to articles for your domain of operations. Write great content that educates users on how to make the best selections in your business domain and in the end you could put up direct sales or contact links to specific pages.

Personalized engagements

While you create great content on your social media channels, make sure you respond more actively to engagements you receive. People may share your content, comment on updates and link back to your pages. In all cases, try to keep up the conversation so that search engines are able to trace active engagements. This will automatically translate into higher rankings. As a smaller brand, it will be easier for you to interact with responders as they would be limited in number. But it is a great way to start building trust with your customers. You stand a greater chance to convert them into brand advocates in the long run.

That sums up our tips for small website owners to grab some serious share in search rankings. Size is never a constraint and the smarter you work, greater will be the results you will gain.

 

 

 

 

6 Essential elements of a Brilliant eCommerce Checkout process

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McFadyen eCommerce Checkout Best Practices 1024x768 6 Essential elements of a Brilliant eCommerce Checkout process

Checkout is perhaps the most decisive area in an eCommerce website. It is the place where people buy and retailers get paid. In other words, it is the area where the most crucial data interchange takes place. The data includes financial credentials, personal data of shoppers like address, telephone numbers, emails and much more as prescribed by the retailer’s delivery information norms. Retailers need to make this experience as smooth, simple and secure as possible for shoppers and win their confidence. From our experience in helping some of the most prolific online retailers, we have created a list of 6 most coveted essentials that an eCommerce Checkout process should have. Let’s have a look at each of them:

Simplicity

In a majority of cases, a visitor at checkout is a genuine buyer who wants to buy the product at the listed price. He or she might have already put in a considerable amount of thinking before arriving at the purchase decision. Their only aim now is to finish the checkout ASAP. This is where the Checkout forms need to be as simple and flawless as possible to enable a quick completion of the transaction. As a retailer, your success lies in the ability to offer a Checkout process that requests only the bare essentials needed to complete the transaction and deliver the product. Having a single page checkout process is the best option. No unnecessary buttons, information fields, surveys, recommendations, etc. should consume the time of shoppers.

Security

Many eCommerce companies employ some of the best financial security policies during checkout to ensure that financial or personal data of shoppers are not compromised at any point of time. However it has been repeatedly proven that displaying certificates of your safe shopping framework like the verified payment options, trustmarks or trademarks of recognized security providers and merchants, etc. will increase confidence in buyers and accelerate the checkout process.

Enclosing the Checkout

By enclosing, we meant to isolate the checkout page from the rest of the website’s navigational features and other tabs to give only a bare essentials view of the checkout process. This adds up to the simplicity parameter we mentioned above and relieves shoppers from having to focus on too many options and ultimately guide them to a faster checkout.

Guest/Express Check out

Guest checkouts are fast catching up with shoppers today. After all you only need an email address to continue your association with a shopper after they have made a purchase. This logic translates into guest or express check out where you do not force people to create an account on the website to shop. Of course you get less of their data, but there are other ways to gradually collect them. When a shopper is at the checkout page, the primary objective is to get them to complete the purchase and not get them to divulge more of their personal data which could lead to loss of the sale.

Progress Indicators

We have already pointed out earlier that it is best to have a single page checkout process to better serve shoppers. But in case you prefer to have a multipage checkout process or multiple tab check out process in the same page, it is vital to let the customer know how much ground they have covered in the checkout. A single progress bar on top or an indication of the percentage they have completed in the checkout will be of great use to shoppers.

Basket Summary

This is one piece of information you should not leave out on any stage of the checkout process. Make sure you have a persistent area of the checkout screen dedicated to showing the cart. This will allow the shopper to have a crystal clear idea of what they are going to pay for right from the initial stage in checkout. They will not have to abandon the checkout process midway after realizing they missed out on buying something.

This is our compiled list of essentials that every eCommerce site should have on its Checkout process. The whole concept behind all of these is to help the shopper complete the transaction in as fewer clicks as possible. If you are an online retailer, it is highly advised to follow these footsteps and ensure that you satisfy buyers by offering the most user friendly checkout experience they can imagine.

5 SEO trends for eCommerce websites

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7 150 300x300 5 SEO trends for eCommerce websites

 

A recent research by Forrester revealed that the US alone is projected to record $523 billion in annual sales from eCommerce by 2020 and 270 million people would prefer online shopping over store purchases in the same period. So how do online retailers draw in digital shoppers to their eCommerce sites? Search Engine Optimization is a major factor that contributes to increased traffic to online stores. So for folks who manage SEO at eCommerce sites, today we look at 5 major trends that you need to focus on while optimizing your eCommerce website for better traffic.

Content in Long-form

Marketers and content creators have traditionally focused on creating crispy and short form content on eCommerce sites. But that has to change because to drive search results, it has been found that long form content with greater detail and with more conversational tone has a greater affinity for search engine bots. Conversational sentences form a good portion of search queries and hence long form content in reviews, product descriptions and other content pieces should be encouraged on eCommerce sites.

Social media centric content creation

Social media marketing is one of the trumpcards for eCommerce companies and surveys have pointed to increased ROI on such marketing campaigns. So while creating content for your site, writers can be advised to create content that would entice readers to share on social media. The greater the number of authentic shares you receive on social media, greater the search engine friendliness of your ecommerce site.

Mobile friendliness

The record growth in eCommerce sales globally will be driven primarily by users who shop from their mobile devices and hence when you focus on SEO for your website, make sure you keep special focus on making your online store search friendly on mobile platforms as well. Make sure your site is lightweight, meets minimum standards for mobile search friendliness as recommended by search engines like Google and create consistency in the experience you render to users across devices.

Optimize for Voice search

It’s the era of digital assistants and voice search. You have Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, Alexa and many more intelligent digital assistants available in the market today for devices. Keyboard browsing is slowly starting to pass on some load to voice based searches and SEO gurus have already taken measures to grab their share of the voice search traffic. Better colloquial phrasing, long-tail content, reviews and answers tailored to suit digital assistant searches are now a key focus.

Localization

Online stores are making every effort to penetrate new markets and a huge factor driving their efforts is the ability to localize their offerings. No longer do you target a global or national level audience for search optimization. The more you are able to optimize your website for regional specifics, more the traffic flow. Localized names, demographic nomenclature of products and integrating location details courtesy of wearable tech to define search preferences are some of the ways you can aggressively localize your SEO efforts.

It is hard to count the number of eCommerce websites that exist today and there is every chance of being left out in the race if you are not competitive. Driving differentiation through multiple areas is the best way to stay ahead of the pack. If you are planning to make it big with your SEO efforts in online retailing, make sure you keep a close eye on these 5 trends.

 

Sources:

https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/01/29/online-sales-will-reach-523-billion-2020-us

How Successful Retailers Gears up for the Holiday Season

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holiday shopping 300x300 How Successful Retailers Gears up for the Holiday SeasonClearly retailers need to understand what are the best and most effective methods to consider driving their loyal customers to their site during the holiday season.

SEM and email marketing are some of the ways retailers are trying to hook into visitor intent and cultivate profitable and lasting relationships. This is away from the traditional price-based promotions as a method to cultivate customer loyalty. Holiday season campaigns are measured with metrics that segment and identify customers across demographics to ensure successful sales. Some of strategies one can look at how to implement an effective holiday season are:

Countdown for shoppers

Time-tailored promotions and specials help shoppers count down to the holiday season. Campaigns like ’12 days for Christmas’ helps shoppers start planning and finding the right gift before the season and these early purchases helps retailers plan more repeat buyers’ incentives.

Give shoppers a sense of urgency with taglines like ‘offer of the day. Gone tomorrow’. These prompts the shoppers to make their purchase decision today knowing that tomorrow it might not be the same offer.

Special offers

Most of the consumers definitely would come to your site during the holiday season. but equally inviting would be to throw in some offers like free shipping with a certain amount of purchase, free gifts, or even special repeat buyer discount to fuel repeat purchases from existing customers. These special offers dig your customer loyalty relationships and ensure a consistent flow of new and old customers.

Free shipping is vital as holiday shoppers are bound to purchase more when they know all they buy can be shipped without a cost. Most retailers offer this but marketers should also have legal implications to cover up demographic shipping issues and costs.

Site features

Personalized promotions, suggested items, gift idea center, live chat are some site features retailers use during holiday season promotions. these are used primarily to generate revenue from loyal customers. Most of these features should be personalized with the click stream behavior of the customers to get maximum sales.

Highlight seasonal content, products and categories and put the holiday season front and center so that shoppers can find, choose and buy gifts easily. Taglines like ‘shop for our exclusive gifts’ gets the message across clearly – recipients are unlikely to get these gifts anywhere.

How to Determine ROI from Analytics Tools

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stats 300x231 How to Determine ROI from Analytics ToolsMany retailers possess high performance analytic tools but at one point they find that these tools are not providing what it required and expected. Higher end solutions like Web Trends, Omniture or Coremetrics have capabilities which may outrun what a basic retailer requires from their sites. No tool would automatically improve site performance right out of the box – marketers have to select and configure as the first step. Some of the reasons some retailers have with their unsuccessful data metrics could be because:

Data using has no methodology

Some of the tools provide more than 4-6 million different views of your site’s website data. Retailers and marketers need to put a methodology in place to analyze the data based on overall site goals, identify opportunities and test solutions using analytics. It’s mandatory to have a team and process in place to keep this moving.

Focus required on KPIs

Metrics has to be clearly defined and prioritized before the KPIs are received to get the maximum data results. Focus is lost when the metrics are not clear and there is no priority levels defined.

Poor implementation tools

Retailers need to ensure that the tools which are set to provide information on key metrics has to be implemented and configured correctly. Otherwise data presentation would not be accurate and misguided patterns will arise.

Accuracy issues

If incorrect or incomplete data occurs due to poor tool implementations or less focus, then marketers should not act on them. Accuracy issues occur when marketers tent to adopt the incomplete data.

Poor communication

Retailers need to ensure that people who control the tools should communicate with those who are responsible for the site.

Tool training is must

Each tool is unique in how it presents its data and lets you to navigate and acquire the desired metrics. Marketers require to be trained or have the basic understanding of how to exploit the tool and know where to look and which data to focus.

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