Marketing Analytics

6 Ways to Gear Up Your eCommerce Marketing for the Holidays

By Josh Carter on November 17, 2015
Josh Carter

Director of Marketing at Blue Triangle

As Blue Triangle's Director of Marketing, Josh enjoys sharing ways businesses can improve digital experience and revenue. He is also an avid swimmer, runner, cyclist and drummer.

The holidays are rapidly approaching. Are you ready?

Your team has probably conducted Load Tests and A/B Tests over the past few months to ensure your site is ready for scale. But as a marketer, it’s now time to optimize sales and conversions. Here are 6 ways you can gear up your efforts for the holidays: 

Tip 2: Combat Showrooming and Optimize Webrooming

Shoppers engage in showrooming when they visit a store to check out a product but then purchase the same item online. Since Amazon’s Price Matching application was released in 2011, show-rooming has become a serious issue for retailers. To combat this, marketing efforts must be omni-channel: eCommerce marketing must integrate with in-store marketing to offer price matching, loyalty programs, and promote seamless in-store eCommerce purchasing if an item is not available (example: American Eagle’s Store-to-Door). Physical stores should also offer free WiFi – redirecting visitors to the eCommerce site to further increase conversions. Don’t forget that this type of traffic will almost always be on mobile! We’ll get to that later.

Webrooming occurs when consumers research products online before going into the store for a final evaluation and purchase. Since 69% of consumers webroom, and 46% showroom, it is vital that eCommerce marketers optimize this growing trend by encouraging in-store pickups for online orders, descriptive product detail pages, and showing product availability.

31.7% of modern shoppers are “Experience Seekers”, so be sure you to give them the best omni-channel experience. You’ll see sales increase and showrooming for competitors decline.

Tip 2: Get Your Emails Ready for Blast Off

Your list is growing and so is the amount of data about your shoppers. You must engage in one-to-one segmentation, otherwise your emails will not convert well. In fact, relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast email. (Jupiter Research).

Here are some ideas for each segmentation type:

Age, Gender, Family Size

Activities, Interests, Opinions, Attitudes, Values

Customer surveys, previous reviews, previous purchases, offer redemptions, and social media interaction can help you group your list this way.

Previous purchases, number of visits, time spent per visit, etc.

Don’t forget to constantly conduct A/B tests, such as by subject line, body copy, graphics, custom personalization, etc. In a recent A/B test, I found that one email had a 3% higher click rate just by eliminating one line of body copy. When thousands are receiving your emails, 3% can make all the difference.

Tip 3: Set Up Holiday Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

This is something that oftentimes gets pushed until the last minute. Be mindful of the changes in keywords that your market may be searching. After all, it is the holiday season. If you sell designer jeans, bid on the keyword “Cyber Monday designer jeans," for example. Also, keep in mind that your competitors are probably bidding on your brand name, so while it may cost you a lot of money in clicks upfront, it is important that you bid on yourself so you do not lose a potential customer.

Tip 4: Ramp Up Remarketing

It’s simple: if a shopper views your awesome designer jeans online, it’s important that you serve up search and display ads about similar products while they are on your site and elsewhere on the web. This will make their shopping experience personalized and will increase conversions. For detailed information, check out how Google AdWords’ Remarketing works here.

Tip 5: Monitor Landing Page Performance

Performance monitoring was once something that only IT professionals worried about. But since shoppers have a continual need for speed, all sides of your business need to be concerned about performance and its impact on user experience and revenue. As a marketer directing traffic to specific landing pages, you need to know if your site’s performance is impacting your conversions and sales. Is your organic search traffic more sensitive to page speed than your paid traffic? How much more money could your site generate if you improved your product detail landing pages by just 0.5 of a second?

Check out this Infographic on how performance impacted eCommerce sites in 2014.

Tip 6: Have a Mobile First Strategy

Mobile shopping is increasing at an incredible rate. According to Criteo, Mobile shopping accounts for 34% of all eCommerce transactions, and is expected to reach 40% by the end of 2015. While consumers spend more time within apps than a mobile browser, shoppers are more likely to shop on a retailer’s mobile site than within an app. Thus, it is pretty alarming that only 60% of the Top 100 retailers have a dedicated mobile site. While you probably aren’t building your website, you are sending shoppers to it. Don’t forget that showroomers are almost always going to be using a mobile device. Continually optimize for mobile. 

If you are running a display ad, be sure the text is readable on mobile, otherwise turn it off for mobile devices. Always monitor your mobile, tablet, and desktop traffic and how they convert. As the holidays progress, you can take this data and make proper investments.

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