E-commerce has definitely provided the ease and convenience that shoppers need to purchase their favorite products. With just one click of a button, they can have items delivered at their doorstep.
The way consumers shop is now evolving and the world of shopping as we’ve known it from two or three decades ago are now slowly disappearing. It’s no wonder why the era of e-commerce is changing the way retailers are doing business.
Over the past decade, key data trends are showing that e-commerce is turning the tide on consumer behavior over the holiday shopping season.
Leading CRM (customer relationship management) platform, Salesforce expects that mobile sales will dominate the 2018 holiday shopping season. They are predicting that 68% of all e-commerce sales will be made with mobile phones than any other devices.
Adobe’s annual holiday forecast also shows that Cyber Monday will be this year’s biggest online shopping day in US history with a $ 7.8 billion e-commerce sales prediction that accounts for its 17.6% year on year increase.
Peter Sheldon, Adobe’s senior director of strategy for commerce said, “The overall takeaway is that online shopping growth is very healthy.”
“The other takeaway [is that] mobile is really coming into its own as a channel,” he added.
Implications of e-commerce growth to businesses
The fast growth of the e-commerce sector in the past decade implies that it has already matured to become one of the leading marketing channels of our generation. It is also set to become even more popular in the near future.
Amazon is considered to be one of the significant drivers in the overall upward momentum of e-commerce development. As an e-commerce giant, Amazon accounts for 49.1% of ALL online retail spending in the US.
Since its profits account for a significant share in the actual revenue of the e-commerce sector, it has more online revenues than the 10 largest retailers in the US.
Unlike traditional retailers with brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon has shown the willingness to innovate by experimenting with new business methods like new delivery and shipping alternatives.
Their Amazon Prime service also continues to enhance its customer loyalty and relationship building services. Plus, the development of Amazon Web Services, a cloud-based platform that offers cloud computing services and database storage, helps various online retailers scale and grow.
It’s no wonder why some of the biggest retailers in the US like Walmart and Target have also started to follow suit by making significant investments in the e-commerce sector.
Other retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, and JC Penny have already made great strides as a range of 20% of their total sales accounts for their e-commerce revenues.
The growing shift to e-commerce investment by these major retailers just shows that it’s high time for businesses to reconfigure their overall retail process in order to survive and thrive. During these changing times, trying out various online retail methods may not be such a bad idea after all.
Adapting simple hybrid retail methods can go a long way such as – making product information available online, making in-store online orders with home delivery options, and making online purchases with in-store pickups available.
Here are several tips on how businesses can increase sales on Cyber Monday and everyday online sales:
TIP 1: Mind your website – Organize your homepage the way visitors want to shop and browse your products.
Nowadays, it’s simply not enough to build and launch a website. It also needs to be constantly updated and maintained. You don’t really need to completely overhaul your website to get good results.
Doing small tweaks such as integrating mobile technology into your website can help drive traffic and bolster online sales. Every website visitor wants to do something when they land on your homepage. They may want to find something, browse something, or buy something.
So let’s make it easier for them to do want they want on your website. While your website may be about YOU and YOUR products, keep in mind that ultimately, it’s for your online shoppers.
Domino’s Pizza took this idea to the next level with their Domino’s Anyware campaign.
Domino’s was able to position themselves as a cool and forward-thinking company by making pizza delivery extremely convenient. The goal of the campaign was to make it easy for their customers to order pizza from any of their favorite mobile software like Twitter, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Slack, and Facebook Messenger.
The Domino’s Anyware campaign went as far as creating a customized service that lets their customers order their favorite pizza automatically without even downloading an app or going to their website. Instead, they let Domino’s pizza delivery service be available to the favorite mobile services of their customers.
TIP 2: Encourage user-generated content – Gain customer insight by building a sense of community on your website.
The popularity of user-generated ratings and reviews have greatly influenced the perception of a company’s merchandise online. With the era of social media and online forums, you can now use your customer’s ability for content creation to your advantage.
Creating an online forum by building an engaging community on your website will not only boost brand loyalty, but it will also help your company gain substantial customer insight.
Providing an avenue where consumers can interact and communicate with your brand and with each other will enable you to create targeted campaigns that suit the preferences of your consumers.
American Express (AMEX) pushed the envelope when it comes to creating user-generated content with their Open Forum campaign.
As a collaborative website, Open Forum leverages on the technical know-how of industry experts. American Express invites guest authors to write articles on the Open Forum website. By sharing their knowledge and business acumen, these industry leaders helped create a content-rich website for members of the Open Forum community.
Small business owners from the Open Forum community were also given the avenue to collaborate and share their experiences on the website.
TIP 3: Enhance customer’s online experience: Use social media to connect your merchandise to your consumers.
Social media has been a widely popular enterprise since its inception. Retailers nowadays no longer regard social media as a mere communication and promotional outlet, it can also be used as an effective channel to offer existing merchandise for sale.
Research shows that social media users interact with brands on Instagram 58 times more than they do on Facebook and 120 times more on Twitter. As the most powerful social media platform for brands, studies show that posting a product photo on brand’s Instagram page increases the sales conversion factor by 7% (Lindsey & Borin, 2017).
Nordstrom learned how to capitalize on this trend by using the Like2Buy feature on their Instagram page.
Like2Buy is a convenient third-party feature that adds a consumer purchase process to Nordstrom’s social media page. When consumers take a look at Nordstrom’s Instagram post and they become interested in a product, they can simply click the Like2Buy links of their featured products and be redirected to that specific item on the website.
Bryan Galipeau, social media director from Nordstrom, found this strategy very useful for their merchandise and said, “We connect with more than 500,000 customers on Instagram by posting
items we hope they find inspirational, beautiful, and fun.”
“Like2Buy enhances the experience even more for customers who want to take the next step and learn more about the great fashion we’re featuring or even make a purchase,” he added.
TIP 4: Go viral with email marketing: Stay in touch with loyal customers and tie-in your online campaigns with targeted emails.
Make sure that whatever promotional campaign you are promoting for the season are linked to your email marketing campaigns. The email campaigns that are sent out to your loyal customers will serve as an exclusive sneak peek to the exclusive deals and discounts of your store. And don’t forget to redirect your customers to your website’s landing page in your emails!
Vintage clothing store ModCloth did a great job in targeting the right customers for their Cyber Monday campaign last year.
ModCloth created a fun and quirky email campaign aesthetic that their retro style consumers will surely love. They also made sure to instantly capture the attention of their loyal customers with the subject line: “What’s on sale? Anything & everything.”
ModCloth made a compelling Cyber Monday campaign with no frills, just a straight to the point message. Their approach worked really well since the subject line, images, and content are all focused to keep the reader’s attention and highlight their sitewide Cyber Monday Sale.
TIP 5: Make those clicks count: Conversion is your priority so think of several CTAs that would speed up a consumer’s intent to purchase your products.
Consumers are always looking for deals. That’s why you have to come up with campaigns that will make it easier for them to learn more about your offer and keep them interested enough to make a purchase.
Highlight your sales promotions by including a prominent call to action (CTA) on your website. You can speed up a consumer’s shopping routing by using a creative approach to display the deals and discounts on your website.
Wayfair did this really well by highlighting the holiday aesthetic of their website with room inspiration ideas and deals on a single click.
Wayfair has already established itself as the go-to website to shop for housewares during the holiday season. This 2018, their website had sale items up to 70% off with early doorbuster deals for Black Friday, including everything from living room furniture to kitchenware.
What’s great about the Wayfair website is that they have a dedicated landing page for holiday deals and discounts. Customers can take a look at Wayfair’s Room Ideas and immediately buy decorations that they see from the lookbook at a discounted price.
This convenient CTA works really well for moms who love decorating their homes for the holidays. Wayfair’s Room Ideas already gives them both an inspiration and an incentive to buy the discounted items on the lookbook.
TIP 6: Create refreshing must-read content: Encourage your content marketing team to get creative with their ad copies.
When it comes to sales promotions, always make sure that you leave a lasting impression to your consumers. One way of doing that is by investing in creative ad copies and fresh content for your website. Optimize your website content by deleting redundant pages that don’t add value or drive conversions on your site.
You can also revamp your site by using creative multimedia tools like Shakr for your ad copies. Shakr has a variety of video templates for the holiday season that will add pizzazz to your website’s aesthetic!
Card game company Cards Against Humanity pushed the boundaries of advocacy campaign execution with last year’s viral holiday campaign that captured the attention of the American people.
The government is being run by a toilet. We have no choice… we are going to save America and attempt to keep our brand relevant in 2017
Join in and for $15 we’ll send you six America-saving surprises this December: https://t.co/o1BFmokO9W
— CardsAgainstHumanity (@CAH) November 14, 2017
Cards Against Humanity’s cheeky and witty advocacy to “Save America” is their holiday marketing campaign that asked people to donate $15 to help buy a portion of land along the US-Mexico border. By supporting their efforts to stop President Trump from building its notorious border wall, donors will personally own a portion of the land themselves.
Supporters of the campaign also received a map of the land and a certificate with a pledge that Cards Against Humanity will continue fighting against the wall. They also got new game cards and “six America-saving surprises” with details presented on the Cards Against Humanity Saves America website.
By injecting witty humor and creativity to the campaign, Cards Against Humanity created a successful advocacy to fight against President Trump’s border wall. One question on the campaign’s FAQ page accurately summed up the company’s stance on the wall: “Is Cards Against Humanity being politically correct now?” The answer: “We’re just being regular correct.”
TIP 7: Get your house in order: Make sure that all of your website’s infrastructures are set in place and ready to go.
Be prepared for a barrage of shoppers on your website during the holiday season by ensuring that your website’s servers can handle the load. Check with your service provider before the announcement of your promotions and do the necessary “server house cleaning” before your holiday announcements.
You should also head over to Google Analytics to review the online behavior of your web visitors and monitor web traffic of specific pages on your website. Understanding consumer behavior on your website will help you be more prepared in crafting digital strategies for your online promotions.
Walmart made sure that their servers were fully equipped to handle the influx of consumers on last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale.
GTmetrix monitored 54 online retailers over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend in 2017. Findings showed that Walmart most likely increased their server capacity a week before the Thanksgiving holiday to ensure that their web visitors’ connections were at optimum capacity. Walmart’s proactive feat on server readiness is an excellent preventive measure that made a huge difference in their website’s performance during last year’s holiday shopping season. Are you ready to ramp up your online sales promotions?
Don’t be afraid to embrace the e-commerce era and go digital! Make sure that you know the needs of your customers and be ready to anticipate what they want from your online store. Be guided with these tips and create the right strategy that works for your business. Now, let’s go get started on creating your first Cyber Monday ad on Shakr!