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    October 7, 2021
    7 minute read

    10 Holiday Ecommerce Strategy Tips for Brands

    by: Chris Caesar

    No matter what holidays you celebrate this upcoming season, there are a few special dates all marketers should prepare for: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Super Saturday.

    It’s no secret that fourth-quarter sales can make or break a brand’s bottom line, but with holiday revenues projected to exceed one trillion dollars in 2021, the stakes are now higher than ever to make an impression on holiday shoppers.

    Forty percent of U.S. consumers relied on online shopping in 2020, according to the 2021 Salsify Consumer Research Report. And with an ever-increasing number of shoppers moving online, the importance of standing out on a crowded digital shelf is more important than ever.

    But what’s the best way to go about it? Salsify digital shelf experts Sara Gupta, Naomi Swenson, and Kelly Rianda recently held an on-demand webinar outlining some best practices for brands beginning to tackle their fourth-quarter ecommerce strategy.

    Here are 10 of their best tips for a successful close to the year.

    1. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Early

    Planning for holiday campaigns in the middle of the summer might feel a bit like hanging up your Christmas lights in June, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a head start — and much preferred to dealing with the headaches of a late one.

    In fact, Salsify offers a free comprehensive ecommerce planning calendar that identifies 30 important dates for any holiday campaign — starting in July.

    Barring that? The best time to start planning your holiday campaigns is now.

    2. Start With an Honest Assessment

    Sit down with your team and review your findings from your last holiday campaign. Which approaches worked well, and which didn’t?

    Whether there were certain kinds of product pages that performed unusually well, a keyword or search term drove conversions, or a promotion garnered you a lot of attention, apply those lessons to your evolving ecommerce strategy — while cutting out the ideas that didn’t work.

    3. Focus On Enhanced Content

    As you can imagine, customers want to feel like they “know what they’re getting” when they make an online purchase. And while they can’t hold the product in their hands online, the creative use of enhanced content can get them pretty close.

    One of the most important things you can do to boost your conversion rate is to include relevant multimedia. According to Salsify’s research, the inclusion of high-resolution product photos, video, 360-degree views, lifestyle images, or other dynamic visual elements increase conversion rates anywhere from 10 to 36%.

    Ideally, you should strive for each of your product pages to have at least seven pieces of enhanced content.

    4. Sweat the Details (In the Copy)

    While customers respond well to visual cues, don’t overlook the importance of nearly oversharing in the product information section.

    Including any reasonable details that would be pertinent to the customer will go a long way in not only fostering trust but confirming that your product will meet whatever specific needs your shopper may have.

    Details to include are:

    • Size;
    • Compatibility;
    • Other customer reviews; and
    • Competitor comparisons.

    Something else to consider: Customers also point to a lack of such information as a “red flag” when making a purchasing decision. Nearly one-third of all shoppers report that a lack of product detail was the number one reason they decided not to make an online purchase.

    5. Strive for Personalized, Relevant Info

    The more you know about your customers and the path their sales journeys typically take, the more you’ll be able to personalize your product pages with the relevant information that they need to click “buy.”

    And it’s not just a flashy gimmick: 51% of shoppers report that they are “very likely” to buy when there are “personally relevant reviews, images, videos, and text.”

    Consider what brings certain customer segments to your product pages, and how to best cater to their segmented interests.

    6. Emphasize Quality

    Customers are typically willing to pay a little more for a product when they know it’s an investment in quality — especially in an online context, where it is often hard to determine from a product page alone.

    Forty percent of consumers say that high-quality ingredients, materials, craftsmanship, etc. are very important qualities when considering whether or not to trust a brand, according to the Salsify Consumer Research Report.

    Don’t shy away from highlighting what makes your product unique and distinguished — your customers want to know all about it.

    7. Rethink the “Brick-And-Mortar” Experience

    With the rapid rise in popularity of ecommerce over the past two years, it might be easy to overlook innovative ways you can use the digital shelf to enhance your brand’s in-store experience, too.

    For example, a growing number of customers expect services like:

    • Same-day pickup;
    • Curbside pickup; and
    • Comprehensive inventory reporting from many retailers.

    Of course, these services became a necessity for many in response to the pandemic.

    It’s a trend that goes hand-in-hand with the number one reason customers say they do their shopping online: convenience.

    Keep convenience in mind when developing your ecommerce strategy as well as the creative ways your brand can provide even more of it with in-store and cross-channel services.

    8. Brainstorm Holiday-Related Deals, Coupons, Sales

    It seems simple enough — customers are always looking for deals, and there’s no quicker way to look for a coupon than on the Internet.

    So why not make it easy for them? Last year:

    • 44% of shoppers said they searched for a deal online for Black Friday; and
    • 41% of shoppers said they used a holiday discount when making a holiday purchase.

    A well-placed deal could be the campaign that gets your brand on a cost-conscious coupon cutter’s radar.

    9. Embrace Rewards Programs

    Incorporating a successful rewards program can boost sales, brand visibility, and customer loyalty — and there are a number of clever ways those programs can be tied into the holiday season.

    Offering monthly subscription services at an annual discount, providing premium services, store credit/cash back rewards, referral bonuses, and more are all different ways you can retain high-value customers with a little extra “thanks.”

    10. Consider Cross-Channel Promotions

    As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar and digital channels become increasingly blurred, there is a tremendous opportunity for innovative brands to engage in cross-channel promotions.

    Whether encouraging your customers to tweet their experiences with a branded hashtag, an Instagrammable scene in your physical stores (a selfie with Santa?), or even a discount for your mobile app users, the possibilities are limitless.

    If you’d like to hear more about ways brands can prepare for success this upcoming holiday season, check out our full “2021 Holiday Readiness: Tips from the Salsify Retail Team” webinar.

     

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