Clearly 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.
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.
Online manuals are critical for any ecommerce websites. They guide shoppers to successfully complete the shopping process, update their information, enter payment details etc. Following are some best practices for successfully implementing online manuals.
- Ensure online manuals are up to date with the relevant products.
- Customers and sales teams require notification whenever there is any change to existing or new product manuals.
- Email links to relevant manuals require testing before being sent to customers so that there are no disappointments and returns are guaranteed.
- Manuals are effective tools to enhance your retail brand and also cross-sell and up-sell other products relevant to the main item already sold to customers.
- Standardization is important to the type of format of the online manual. File formats which cannot be opened by potential customers effect incoming business sales.
Many 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.
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.
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.
Ecommerce is a burgeoning global industry on a very impressive scale, and it doesn’t appear to be experiencing any slowing due to the economic recession. With Internet Retailer releasing its “2012 Top 400 Europe” publication, it’s clear to see the international nature of the industry. The landscape of the EU industry in particular and US e-retailers place in it is remarkable in two main ways. First, the number of successful companies making gains is impressive as 33 US companies ranked in the list of the top 400 retailers operating in the European market. More notable, however, is that US companies had collective sales of €20.2 billion ($26.1 billion) in 2011 growing from €15.9 billion ($20.6 billion) in 2010.
This is significant growth especially when considering they beat the growth experienced by European e-retailers in their own market. US companies accounted for 25% of 2011 sales for the Top 400 online retailers in Europe, up from 23.4% a year earlier. This suggests US companies are gaining more than just a foothold; they are thriving and not turning back, trying to gain as much market share as possible going forward. Read more
Partner service extranet
Retailers can create a web site that is exclusive for their partner or partners. The web site can be a part of retailer existing site with an exclusive private access area which only the partners can view. Another option is have a private extranet that uses a separate URL hidden from public view. In both cases the main objective is the same – provide a site that services the partners. Read more