It’s that time of the year again! The holiday shopping season is now upon us. Retailers and consumers are both clamoring to be part of the action on the holiday shopping season.
With e-commerce bringing the shopping frenzy to new heights, Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) projects that consumers in the US will spend around $124.1 billion on online shopping this 2018. This prediction accounts for nearly $1 of every $6 spent on holiday shopping from November to December.
ADI forecasts that this 14.8% YoY (Year-on-Year) growth will set new records during the Thanksgiving weekend, making Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day in history. Predicted to be the busiest online shopping time for the holidays, retailers can expect a surge of orders from 7 PM to 10 PM PST on Cyber Monday.
The Amazon Effect
E-commerce giant Amazon is said to be considered as one of the major drivers of online shopping innovation in the US. The so-called “Amazon Effect” has prompted major retailers to step up the way they do their business online. As consumers are set to become all the more inclined to reduce their in-store shopping requirements, Amazon is seen to be the top choice for their online shopping needs.
With that in mind, major retailers like Walmart and Target are determined to catch up and get a piece of that online shopping revenues. A recent report from Luth Research has shown that Walmart and Target have been successful in shortening the gap in online purchase conversion against Amazon for the past two years.
Consumer behavior during the holiday shopping season
A report by Google regarding holiday shoppers noted that “61% of shoppers are open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season, and in the 2017 holiday season, almost half of them did.”
This means that consumers are now more receptive to try out new deals and discounts from other online retailers during the holiday season. For retailers, this only makes the competition for online shopping supremacy fiercer and tougher this year.
Retailers can also expect a more prevalent reliance on mobile shopping from their consumers this 2018. Shoppers in the US were reported to use three or more channels to shop for the holidays.
All these statistics only imply that while shoppers are ready to spend big money this holiday shopping season, businesses still need to be fully equipped and be more prepared to handle the influx of holiday shoppers. These consumer insights can be used to help retailers get all geared up for the holiday shopping season.
Here are several last minute Cyber Monday marketing tips that retailers can use for the holidays:
TIP 1: Prep your store.
Make sure that your servers can handle your store’s web visitors and that it’s optimized for both mobile and desktop devices.
Your store needs to be in its optimum condition for the holidays. Double check with your service provider if your servers can handle the anticipated web traffic of your online store. You can try making little tweaks and changes with your web developer to ensure the consumer’s seamless navigation on your website. To provide a better omni-shopping retail experience for your customers, you should also consider making several improvements to optimize your shop for web and mobile use.
Pottery Barn went the extra mile with their 3D Room View idea.
Pottery Barn along with its umbrella company, Williams-Sonoma Inc., has shown its commitment to provide immersive retail experiences that go beyond traditional retail when it launched its augmented reality app – the 3D Room View.
“In our marketing, we are focused on driving an improved customer experience and further e-commerce growth,” said Williams-Sonoma Inc. President and CEO Laura Alber
The 3D Room View app lets users drag and drop items in a room to see how they work with existing furniture and decorations. Consumers can even completely empty an entire room to start the design process from scratch in the app. Shoppers can also instantly purchase the items they like from the 3D Room View app. In-store customers also have the chance to use the app at Pottery Barn stores all over the US.
TIP 2: Get your digital assets in order.
Let your visitors know that you’re running Cyber Monday promotions with a dedicated landing page and graphic ads announcements.
Customers will be more inclined to buy your products if you condition them to be in their right Cyber Monday mindset. So when your web visitors arrive on your page, make sure that it’s blatantly clear that the products they’re buying are at a discounted price for Cyber Monday.
There are plenty of Cyber Monday-themed digital assets from Shakr, an online video ads creator, that you can try for your business. Professional-looking ads will make your Cyber Monday promotions “more legit” in the eyes of your consumers, thereby prompting them to buy more items from your store.
For their Cyber Monday sale, Sephora made sure to create a design aesthetic that will entice all makeup lovers.
— Sephora (@Sephora) November 27, 2017
Sephora emphasized in their Cyber Monday promotions that the items they have on sale new products from their latest collections. Their well-chosen ad copy combined with their fun makeup aesthetic worked really well in their promotions. By adding a sense of exclusivity in the copy, makeup lovers will be more inclined to be one of the first to grab the latest makeup haul from Sephora’s online store.
TIP 3: Use scarcity marketing to your advantage.
Make your consumers feel like they’re missing out on great deals and opportunity on your website.
Scarcity is a big component when it comes to creating deals and discounts online. By letting your consumers know that some of your products are about to run out, you’re offering them with a bigger incentive to buy the items they want. You can use this tactic into your ad copies and onsite blurbs by using phrases like, “Only one item left in stock” or “Items available while supplies last.”
Amazon does this strategy really well on their website.
By showing the stock levels of the discounted items on Cyber Monday, customers will be more inclined to click that “Buy Now” and “Add to Cart” button. Amazon also tweeted some behind the scene action in one of their package sorting centers for Cyber Monday last year.
— Amazon.com (@amazon) November 27, 2017
The post garnered a lot of engagement and helped Amazon maintain their reputation of providing speedy deliveries during the holiday season. Their social media presence along with its brilliant online marketing strategy are one of the reasons why Amazon was the top Cyber Monday retailer last year.
TIP 4: Hype up your Cyber Monday sale with email marketing.
Tease your loyal subscribers with several deals and discounts they can anticipate on Cyber Monday.
It’s important to build momentum to the days leading up to your Cyber Monday sale. And one way to effectively do that is by email marketing. Since the entire concept of Cyber Monday is built around being online, email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your consumers.
Connect with your shoppers by letting them know about your exclusive deals and discounts and direct them to your online store by creating an effective email campaign.
Fossil added a splash of color with their Cyber Monday emails last year.
Since a lot of brands used dark templates for their Black Friday holiday emails, Fossil created a colorful design that stood out among other email campaigns. The bright colors successfully captured the subscriber’s attention among all the barrage of emails that they received. The copy and layout are also easy to read and understand. Instead of bombarding users with graphic details, this is a great example of an effective email design that keeps things simple and unobtrusive.
TIP 5: Get on social media.
Use social media not just to announce exclusive Cyber Monday offers to your target audience, but to also interact with them by keeping the hype alive.
Social media plays an important role in keeping the Cyber Monday hype alive to help direct your consumers to your website. People are active on social media during the holiday season and creating targeted ads for your consumers is a great way to capture their attention. Not only that, fostering the right engagement strategies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during the holidays can also boost your online revenues.
Take a look at Target’s social media posts on Cyber Monday last year.
— Target (@Target) November 27, 2017
@Target is the place to shop this Cyber Monday…15% off plus 5% to red card members- that's 20% !!!
— ◇ YOU ARE MAGIC ◇ (@ItsMeMirian) November 27, 2017
— Target (@Target) November 27, 2017
Target successfully maintained interactions with their social media followers by creating engaging Cyber Monday posts on Facebook and Twitter. The retailer made sure to reply to every Twitter mentions and Facebook comments on their posts to maintain engagement with their followers. Their witty replies, funny GIFs, and entertaining videos fueled the excitement for Target’s Cyber Monday sale on social media.
TIP 6: Monitor customer reviews.
Set up a dedicated team that will handle customer complaints and inquiries.
Remember to keep in mind that every customer complaint and inquiry is important and each one needs a prompt reply. Whether it’s positive or negative, monitoring your customer reviews during the holiday season plays a crucial role in managing your online reputation. Make sure that your business is equipped with a customer service team that will handle all your online consumer engagement.
Nordstrom pushed the boundaries of enhancing their shopper’s customer service experience with their flagship men’s store in Manhattan.
Nordstrom’s first standalone Men’s Store in Manhattan has successfully combined some of the newest innovations in retail technology with traditional customer service. This retailer has been working hard to reinvent itself in the digital age and the launch of this innovative store tells us that they’re taking a step in the right direction.
Nordstrom allows its visitors to navigate their in-store shopping experience using a dedicated mobile app. Using the convenience of modern technology and Nordstrom’s dedicated customer service, shoppers can select what they’d like to try on, and a Nordstrom staff will set up a dressing room in advance. Shoppers can even order cocktails or coffee while they try on their clothes.
Anyone who thinks that brick-and-mortar department stores are now a thing of the past should take a look at how Nordstrom managed to revolutionize their brand by using digital technology to amplify its commitment to customer service.
Is your business ready for Cyber Monday?
Don’t forget to add more value to your brand by exploring new marketing channels that will make it easier for your customers to know more about you and your products. You can use these tips to springboard future campaigns for the holiday season. Now, go get some piece the action and start working on that Cyber Monday ad now.