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.
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.
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.
comSocre just released its holiday e-commerce numbers for the week, and according to the report, this past week was the heaviest five-day online shopping period on record. So far, retail e-commerce spending for the first 44 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season was $33.8 billion up 13 percent.
The past week broke records, with four individual days eclipsing $1 billion in spending, led by Green Monday with $1.275 billion. The week was particularly important because it was the last week many will spend at online retailers to get gifts shipped by Christmas.
comScore adds that with some retailers (a.k.a Amazon) offering free two-day shipping, this week could bring more meaningful sales. But clearly, shoppers were flocking to the web for holiday shopping. So far, 11 individual days have surpassed $1 billion in online retail sales, already beating last year’s record of 10 shopping days. Read more
Rising consumer confidence, rampant promotion and a favorable calendar will result in slightly higher growth in holiday online sales than in 2011, according to a new comScore forecast. The research firm projects U.S. e-commerce sales will grow 17% this holiday season to $43 billion, compared to a 15% gain last year during November and December.
The season is already off to a solid start, with online spending for the first 18 days of November up 16% to $10 billion, up 16% from the corresponding period a year ago. Thursday, November 8 has been the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $829 million.
“Recent five-year highs in consumer confidence and early retailer promotions appear to be serving as wind in the sails for the beginning portion of the holiday season, with consumers opening up their wallets early and often,” stated comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. Read more
Walmart is opening its doors on Thanksgiving Day at 8 p.m. local time. To persuade shoppers who may be digesting the biggest meal of the year to leave the comfort of their sofas, the retailer is offering door-busting specials at specific time slots.
Customers who are inside the store and standing in line between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time can purchase a 16-GB Apple iPad 2 with WiFi for US$399 and get a $75 Walmart Gift Card; an Emerson 32-inch 720p LCD TV for $148; and an LG Blu-ray player for $38.
Walmart will offer Guarantee Cards for these items if they happen to sell out before 11 p.m.; it will also make a slew of other items available at special prices on Thanksgiving night, but they will not come with guarantees.
For example, at 8 p.m., shoppers can grab an Xbox 360 4 GB + SkyLanders Bundle for $149; and at 10 p.m., they can snatch a Samsung 43-inch 720p 600 Hz Class Plasma HDTV for $378.
Walmart will be offering special prices all weekend long. For instance, at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, a Singer Sew Mate 5400 60-Stitch Sewing Machine can be had for $99.97.
Will It Work?
An HDTV for less than $400 is definitely a head-turning bargain, but is its lure great enough to get shoppers to interrupt a family holiday — albeit one that is presumably almost over? It’s a fair question, as setting an early Black Friday opening on Thanksgiving day has not been fully or widely tested, said Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group.
It looks like a desperate move by retailers that need to boost holiday sales, she told the E-Commerce Times. “I’m not so sure that customers, let alone retail employees, will want to leave Thanksgiving early and deprive themselves of their family and feasts in an effort to save money and shop.”
It could be marginally effective, though.
“There was some experimentation with opening on Thanksgiving Day last year,” noted Michael O’Hara, CEO of Yumani.
The reasoning behind these decisions is clear: “All these retailers want to scoop each other,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
Walmart’s Thanksgiving Day sales might prove to be effective initially, but in the long run, opening on Thanksgiving Day will either hurt the retailer or be a wash, suggested O’Hara.
“What is happening is they are diluting the Black Friday brand,” he said. “They are taking those dollars that people typically spend on Black Friday and are spreading them out.”
Black Friday Week
Another take on Black Friday, however, is that it is no longer considered just one day — or for that matter, the day after Thanksgiving.
“At one time, the idea was that Black Friday was the cornerstone, or starting point, for holiday shopping, but that is no longer the case,” said Nicole Larrauri, managing partner with the EGC Group.”
Consumers have come to view time on their terms, and they want to shop for holiday bargains at a schedule that is convenient for them, she told the E-Commerce Times.
“People no longer have to wait for Thursday 8 p.m., for example, to watch their favorite TV show,” Larrauri pointed out. They can record it, or watch it later on YouTube.
Thanksgiving has lost its sense of being untouchable by commerce, she said. “We saw signs of that last year when traffic at online stores on Thanksgiving Day surged.”
Walmart did not respond to our request for further details.
This post originally appeared on ‘Ecommerce Times‘
It’s a small majority according to the Chase Paymentech eHoliday Shopping Monitor survey, but a majority nonetheless. Their September survey of 178 ecommerce companies found nearly 60 percent expecting an uptick in sales from the 2011 holiday season.
Not many expect levels of sales approaching those seen before the recession. Only 47 percent of those surveyed thought they might improve upon 2007 sales figures this year.
Hitting decent sales figures presents several considerations for ecommerce. The survey found 52 percent expected reaching new customers would be “significantly challenging” this season. Offering competitive pricing and reaching return customers also received similar mentions. Read more
Online shoppers in the U.S. will spend $54.47 billion this holiday season – nearly a 17% increase over the $46.63 billion spent last year, according to the 2012 Mindset of a Multi-channel Shopper survey released Wednesday.
Ecommerce software and solutions provider MarketLive commissioned the e-tailing Group to conduct the survey. A total of 1,136 consumers completed an online questionnaire last month consisting of 50% males, 50% females; and 61% of survey respondents shop at least several times per month.
Lauren Freedman, president of consultancy the e-tailing Group, said the online sales projection for the holiday season (from eMarketer) marks the fourth consecutive year that online holiday sales (defined as sales in November and December) will post annual growth in the mid-to-high teens, after sinking 8.2% during the recession in 2008. Read more
Visits from shoppers on a smartphone continue to rise for ecommerce sites. Most retailers have responded by implementing a “mobile-friendly” version of their site with reduced graphics and simplified navigation. The website detects the device a shopper is using and automatically routes to the mobile site when appropriate.
While mobile-friendly design has improved the shopping experience, conversion rates still hover at about 20-25% of what shoppers using bigger monitors produce. As a result, sales on smart phones make up only 1-2% of online revenue for many etailers. Read more
- Online sales in December were up 30% year-on-year, and the last week before Christmas saw almost double the sales compared with last year, according to stats from MetaPack.
Kindle and tablet sales
- According to YouGov stats, roughly 1.2m Kindles were given as gifts in the UK this Christmas, meaning 1 in 40 adults either gave or received the e-readers as a gift.
- In total 1.33m e-readers were given away, with Kindles swallowing up 92% of the market share.
- 61% of Kindles were received by women, with over 55 year olds twice as likely as 18-24 year olds to receive one.
- 640,000 tablets were given as gifts to adults, with the iPad dominating the market with 72% of sales.
Android and iOS device activations
- According to stats from Flurry, 6.8m iOS and Android devices, including mobiles and tablets were activated on Christmas Day, compared to the normal daily average of 1.5m and 2.5m for Christmas Day in 2010.
- 4.2m iOS devices were activated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Online Christmas spending
- Boxing Day 2011 was the biggest ever day for oniine retail in the UK, according to Experian Hitwise.
- 96m UK internet visits went to retail websites, a 19.5% increase from last year’s figures. Britons spent 13m hours shopping on Boxing Day
- Gadgets were among the most searched for products on Boxing Day principally the Kindle and iPad 2.
John Lewis Christmas sales
- For the five weeks to 31 December 2011. Total sales for John Lewis were £596m.
- Sales at johnlewis.com broke through the £600m milestone for the year, while online sales rose by 27.9% in the five week period to December.
- Use of Click and Collect operations to buy online from John Lewis and collect from 129 John Lewis and Waitrose stores, rose by 90% in the period.
- Online sales at sister company Waitrose were up by 49%, with orders up by 68% in the week before Christmas. Online wine sales more than doubled.
Next online sales
- According to Next, its strong online performance compensated for ‘slightly disappointing’ in store sales, which declined by 2.7%.
- Total Next brand sales rose by 3.1% in the period from August 1 to December thanks to a 16.9% rise in Next Directory online sales.
Mobile browsing and app usage
- Stats from Adfonic show that mobile ad clicks peaked on Christmas Day with a 50% increase over the monthly average.
- Christmas Day was the busiest day of the year for mobile clicks, with volumes 36% higher than the early month peak on 11 December 2011 and 50% higher than the average for December.
- In the UK Christmas morning saw a frenzy of activity between 9am and 12pm, with the 11 to 12 slot representing the most clicks in a single hour during December.
Post Courtesy – Econsultancy