“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.
2016 witnessed yet another sensational Black Friday and Cyber Monday saga as shoppers splurged record sums of money across retail channels both offline and online. Let’s keep our focus to the eCommerce side where 2016 saw some records being rewritten. Primarily those records were for eCommerce transactions via mobile phones or to be more specific mCommerce. There were reports suggesting that many online stores were ill equipped to handle the huge peak in mobile traffic and consumers were frustrated with low grade mobile sites but when you look at sales percentage, Adobe reports that nearly 36% of all online sales revenue for Black Friday 2016 came through mobile phones.
Though PC’s drove more sales, the traffic volume was higher from mobile screens 55 percent of traffic to retail sites were from mobile screens. Tablet PC’s occupied only a fraction of the mobile traffic and the competition was predominantly between iPhones and Android powered mobile phones. Black Friday 2016 also witnessed for the first time that mobile sales revenue alone surpassed $1 billion on a single day.
For retailers, this is a wake-up call as their reluctance to offer crispier mobile experiences to shoppers will cost them dearly in market share. If you were to ask us for the exact areas to focus on, in order to deliver a seamless cross channel experience for your shoppers, the below would be our picks:
- Responsive websites
- Light weight mobile sites
- Shopping Apps across all popular platforms
- Mobile centric marketing campaigns via emails
As days pass by the shopping season is only going to get hotter and online retailers who haven’t drawn up elaborate plans for mCommerce need to catch up with their app engineers or software vendors to put some great mobile experiences in place.
Online sales have hit a new high in Q4, as per IBM’s final Digital Analytics benchmark report for the year. Department stores were the greatest beneficiaries of this surge as they post 62% increase in online sales in the fourth quarter of 2013. Home good retailers recorded 46.4% increase, 14.7% for health and beauty and 10.2% for apparel.
IBM tracked over 800+ ecommerce websites in US to create this report. They have provide sales breakup of the above mentioned categories only.
Though the report didn’t provide month by month breakup of the sales, it did provide the year-on-year change of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is an increase of 19.7 %, 19.0% and 20.6% respectively.
Mobile was accounted for the 35% of the overall traffic to the retail websites (+40% from last year) and 16% of online sales (+46% from last year). In that, smartphones drove more traffic than tablets (21.3% vs 12.8%) but tablets converted those traffic into sales more (5% vs 11.5%). The average order value of tablets were $118.09 vs $104.72 with that of smartphones.
iOS OS based devices converted more than Android OS based devices as far as OS breakup of sales is concerned. iOS shoppers were accounted for 22.1% of the overall web traffic and 12.7% overall online sales and their average value per order was $115.42 whereas Android shoppers accounted for 10.6% of total web traffic and a mere 2.6% of overall online sales and an average order value of just $83.56.
When it comes to social network referrals, Facebook and Pinterest were the frontrunners. Even though Pinterest referred shoppers purchased more than their Facebook counterparts (109.93 VS $60.48), Facebook converted more than 3.5 times as frequently as Pinterest, according to the report.
- Validation: This stage includes validation techniques used before the order is placed. At this point, we validate the consumer has entered a valid credit card, valid expiration date, valid zip code and email address. The technique used to validate a credit card number is called mod 10 (for modulus 10). Mod 10 is a simple algorithm available as an out-of-the-box feature in most e-commerce applications.
- Fraud subsystem: This is where all the techniques mentioned in the previous section are used. The outcome of this stage is either a valid order which is sent to the Order Management system or a potential fraudulent order (suspected fraud order) that is sent for manual review
- Manual Review: In this stage, suspected fraudulent orders are routed to staff members specially trained to deal with fraud. The fraud specialist will determine whether the order is in fact fraudulent or it is a good order that needs to be processed. This is obviously an expensive task and as we optimize the fraud subsystem stage, we can minimize the number of orders for manual review.