23 October 2018
The holiday season is one of the most sought-after periods for any retailer. With eCommerce sales expected to be around $653 billion in 2018, it’s more about digital clicks and online carts rather than ringing cash registers in physical stores.
The holiday season is one of the most sought-after periods for any retailer. Although traditionally, for brick and mortar retailers, it was synonymous with ringing cash registers, today, with eCommerce sales expected to be around $635 billion in 2018, it’s more about digital clicks and online carts. From Black Friday to Thanksgiving, Christmas to New Year’s – the holiday season is the most joyous of all shopping days for retailers and customers alike.
If you have an eCommerce business, you’re probably extremely busy right now planning your marketing activities for the holiday season. Although you might be stepping up your content development and ramping up your product bundles, it’s also extremely important to keep track of marketing trends to turn casual shoppers to loyal customers.
Here’s 10 eCommerce marketing trends you must know to maximize sales during the holiday season:
1. Mobile will continue to rule
Although mobile commerce is not new, the customers’ expectations from mobile experience are changing. Customers are increasingly using smartphones to surf the Internet, do preliminary research on products and prices, and also make purchases. With mobile commerce sales having accounted for 34.5% of total eCommerce sales in 2017, you need to level-up your mobile game and offer an an intuitive interface where customers can easily advance from researching to the checkout page.
2. Email is not old-school
In spite of the popularity of mobile and social channels, targeted email marketing approach can still be effective and should not be neglected. By capturing geographical, behavioral, and demographic data, you can personalise your marketing campaigns and direct those to specific audiences. With an estimated 54% of emails opened on a mobile device, it's a fantastic way to drive sales this holiday season.
3. Social media marketing for wider reach
Although knowing when to drive your marketing campaign is important, knowing where to deploy it is key. Social media has and will continue to have a big impact on increasing the reach of your products this holiday season. Do you know? Almost 4 in 10 digital users follow their favorite brands on social media, and 1 in 4 follow brands from which they are thinking of making a purchase from.
4. Targeted personalized messaging is no longer an option
Getting in front of your customers at the right time with the right message has a substantial impact on making holiday shopping easier for them. As devices become smarter and customers become more tech-savvy and demanding, you need to offer the right content at the right time. From delivering digital ads in real-time to targeted messages for specific audiences - personalization ensures you provide relevant customer experiences and score high on the relevance factor this holiday season.
5. Story-telling for better relatability
Storytelling is an effective way of creating a narrative around your products and building a brand this holiday season. By carefully listening to your customers, you can discover their motivations, fears and aspirations and align your brand with what drives them. Showing how your offerings are used, why you created them, what problems they offer to solve, and why you care through remarkable story-telling will enable you to efficiently link your products with their lives.
6. Driving an omni-channel experience is a necessity
With customers using so many devices and platforms to access content and evaluate products, sales can happen anywhere, at any time. If you want to make it big this holiday season, you need to understand how and where your customers are shopping and drive marketing efforts across devices and channels for a seamless shopping experience. From Android and iOS devices to email, SMS, Facebook and your blog: if haven’t yet developed a cross-channel approach, it’s time to take the plunge.
7. The impact of video marketing
With every eCommerce retailer driving efforts in maximizing sales this holiday season, it is important to differentiate yourself from the crowd. One way to do this is to include video in your digital holiday marketing initiatives. Statistics show that video marketing is extremely effective in engaging audiences and can boost click-through rates by 200-300% while increasing purchase intent by 97%.
8. Smart automation for better ROI
With eCommerce marketing techniques maturing, smart automation tools will act a great enabler for improving sales. Using smart automation, you will be able in a position to better understand your customers and nurture leads at every stage of the customer journey with more efficiency. What’s more, you can also streamline your marketing efforts, gather data more efficiently and distribute the right content to the right audience at the right time for better ROI.
9. The influence of influencer marketing
As social media evolves, it’s the right time for brands to consider influencer marketing to get noticed. With 18% of customers saying they find new brands via celebrity or influencer endorsements, social media influencers are a great way to drive engagement and sales. And no, you don’t need an A-list star to promote your products; an influential blogger or someone with a big Instagram following in your niche will work just as well. Since influencers will be able to connect with their audience on a more personal level, you can achieve a distinct advantage of authenticity which can be a great strategy to drive your sales further.
10. Build strategies for micro-moments
With the penetration of smartphones and improved 4G speeds, there is a fundamental shift in the way people shop – especially during the holiday season. With people turning to their device more frequently than ever, providing the right information at these micro-moments can enable customers to learn about a product or make a purchase very instinctively. Since such purchase happens impulsively and customers’ expectations are extremely high, you need to immediately deliver exactly what they’re looking for.
Carefully Plan Your Promotions
Preparing for the holiday season is an exciting endeavor. If you’re in the process of putting finishing touches to your holiday marketing campaigns, its important to determine what kind of promotions you want to use to entice your customers to make purchases instead of abandoning their shopping carts. With eCommerce sales expected to increase 17-22% for the 2018 holiday season, it makes total sense to be hyper-focused on your marketing efforts in the coming weeks. From tailored messaging and targeted ads to social media marketing – staying on top of the top marketing trends can facilitate an enjoyable shopping experience this holiday season and propel them straight to the checkout page seamlessly.
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