The 2020 holiday season is upon us, and if you have an eCommerce business there are steps that you can take right now to get the most out of your Q4 marketing budget. While we tend to focus on points such as creative storytelling and targeting the correct audiences with ads, there’s so much more to it. There are things that marketing teams sometimes overlook that can actually make all the difference when providing the optimum customer experience, which in turn builds brand loyalty and leads to an increase in revenue.
Lamark’s Chief Strategy Officer Faheem Siddiqi shares his insights for the top five things that every eCommerce business should be doing right now to maximize their holiday sales profits.
1. Optimize Your Mobile Site Speed
That’s right, the first item on the to-do list doesn’t have to do with advertising, targeting, or creative at all. Instead, you should ensure that your website’s speed is up to par, particularly on mobile devices before you move forward with any other marketing strategies. Brand discovery most often starts on mobile platforms, usually on social media. This means that a potential customer’s first ever interaction with your company will happen right in the palm of their hand, and site speed is important.
Websites with a load time of less than 5 seconds see 70% longer average use sessions, and just a 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by as much as 7%*.
When optimizing your mobile site speed, look for these four things:
- Load time
- Coding errors
- Broken links
- Broken image files
2. Diversify Your Mix of Ad Channels
Integrating various shopping methods into one greater experience is referred to as omnichannel marketing. In other words, don’t place all your eggs in one basket when it comes to picking advertising streams. The more channels you have running the greater visibility your brand will have. When you do this, you meet customers where they are on their journey instead of asking them to come to you. It makes for a more convenient, natural conversion experience.
Look at what channels have performed well over the past few months and lean into those. Reactivate channels that have shown positive results in the past and lean into your core channels even further.
Advertising channels to consider include:
- E-mail marketing
3. Incentivize Customers with Promotions and Offers
When looking at holiday purchase trends, incentivizing customers can be an excellent way to tip the scale in your favor and really move people to buy. Provide customers with something more than their single purchase and you may see great results. Offers can make or break your holidays sales.
Holiday promotions for eCommerce brands include:
- Buy One Get One (BOGO) Sales
- Product Bundles
- The More You Spend, The More You Save Deals
It’s important to recognize your brand essence when creating a holiday promotion or offer. For example, some brands should not “cheapen” the experience with a BOGO sale (think high-end designer brands). A gift-with-purchase offer may be extremely effective in these cases.
4. Assess Your Brand’s Creative
During the 2020 holiday season, consider leveraging Evergreen ads and assets with timely sales copy. You can easily repurpose existing content and make slight tweaks to optimize creative assets for the holidays. Additionally, include copy that focuses on offers, sales, and direct-response advertisements.
Now is also the ideal time to invest in retargeting creative. Prosecting cold customers can be a challenge during the holidays, when countless brands are competing in the digital space with aggressive budgets. Instead, invest in retargeting those potential customers who have interacted with your brand in the past. Maybe they haven’t purchased from you just yet but reactivate a dialogue with them now to stay top-of-mind throughout the holiday season.
5. Look at Your Customer Experience
Customer experience is an element that often gets overlooked, yet is crucial to developing brand reputation, customer loyalty, and retention. When people purchase a product, it’s likely that they will have questions either before or after they buy. Have chat services enabled on your website and social media platforms and make customer service representatives easily accessible to customers.
Understand that customer returns are a part of the sales process and that making it easy for those who wish to make a return to do so is crucial. This customer interaction can heavily influence how people view your brand and consumers are more likely to recommend a company that they had a positive experience with to their friends and family.
Maximizing Profits in eCommerce This 2020 Holiday Season
By taking these five steps to analyze your brand’s web presence, advertising targets and channels, creative assets, and customer experience, you can drive revenue this holiday season. Many brands saw a sharp uptick in online sales earlier in the year as COVID-19 kept people at home, leading to an increase in online shopping. Finishing out Q4 strong is essential to keep that momentum going into the New Year. There has never been a better time than now to evaluate your digital strategy, capitalize on methods that are working, and expand into new areas.
Faheem Siddiqi, CSO: Faheem is the Chief Strategy Officer at Lamark Media and the founder of SocialWithin, which joined the Lamark family in 2019. He oversees Lamark’s consumer portfolio and Decision Sciences team. Formerly, Faheem worked at Facebook and has vast knowledge in the field of social media advertising and digital strategy.