The 2017 holiday season is officially here. While we at the Oracle Marketing Cloud understand the importance of starting to prepare as early as possible and know that probably all of you already have, we have outlined some key tips and trends to enhance your holiday preparedness efforts. The time is especially ripe, as one in every four shoppers already begin their holiday research in October.
Emphasize Your Mobile Marketing Efforts
The proliferation of mobile shopping apps is surely on the rise. How important is mobile marketing during this holiday season?
- Nearly two out of three consumers (65 percent) have mobile shopping apps on their phones and just as many have made a purchase through a mobile app (66 percent).
- In 2016 there was an increase of 33% in spending on mobile devices since 2015 and mobile devices accounted for 55% of all online shopping visits on Black Friday.
Check out the following tips to improve your mobile marketing efforts:
- Make sure your company’s online information, specifically cost-comparison data is up-to-date. This type of information will surely influence the decisions that potential customers will make.
- Ensure that mobile payment features like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay are enabled to make it extremely easy and fast for customers when they shop with you.
- Send emails that are mobile-friendly. By making sure these are responsive, you are automatically addressing the rise of in-store shopping that will be taking place during this time-frame.
Deliver a Best-in-Class Online Shopping Experience
Online shopping will play an integral role in driving sales, therefore, it is imperative to optimize the site experience as well. All retailers experience the Amazon-effect and should instill these key best practices:
- Deliver a personalized message that stems from your email messaging and translate that into a seamless site experience.
- Respond to customer service inquiries as soon as possible especially as it relates to social media comments as well.
- Create offers around “free and or expedited shipping” to ensure timely delivery.
- Give customers the option to buy online and pick up in-store as an alternative means of delivery. This is especially important because 55% of US Digital Buyers prefer to buy online and pick-up in the store.
- Plan and test your site in order to be prepared for heavy traffic volumes. A 10s mobile page load time has a 123% higher bounce rate than a 1s page load time. If a mobile page takes longer than 3s to load, 53% of those pages are abandoned.
Drive Relevancy through Messaging and Segmentation
Both messaging and segmentation are necessary for delivering a personalized shopping experience. These tips will help you stand out during a time when consumers are truly bombarded with promotional messages:
- Steer away from a blast and batch approach since it can have a harmful effect on deliverability. Be respectful of timing and messaging overload as subscribers’ inboxes are overloaded already and increased messaging volumes can often lead to an elevated number of unsubscribes.
- Create real-time content especially as it relates to inventory updates, store hours, and other benefits that can have a direct impact on customers’ ability to buy.
- Utilize flash sales to help drive a sense of urgency.
- Fashion attention-grabbing subject lines, as they drive higher response rates.
- Segment your audience by using your data to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.
- Do not email inactives at this time because there is an increase in likelihood that inactives will flag your message as spam.
Incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Social Influencers
With the increasing emphasis behind mastering artificial intelligence (AI) and social influencers, these new practices and trends can give your marketing efforts a boost this holiday season:
- Take advantage of the increasing opportunities of voice search. Many customers are utilizing this customer-friendly feature when shopping and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day.
- Collaborate with influencers to create videos, blogs, and any type of content that is relevant and shareable. The promotion of this content is great for driving long-term brand awareness and engagement.
- Create referrals, influencer codes, and any other types of incentives like contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways.These sales-driving tactics are more likely to be shared by your social influencers.
For even better holiday shopping results, take a look at this retail shopping research in the guide Making Spirits Bright. We look forward to hearing about your results in early 2018. In the meantime, please do let us know how the Oracle Marketing Cloud can help you achieve your best holiday season yet. Cheers to a successful holiday season!