No need to check your calendar, I know it’s not December yet.
But believe me – right now every digital marketer working for an eCommerce company is busy running campaigns while humming Jingle bells, jingle bells…
’Cause for them the holiday season has started October 1!
Holiday shopping season is the busiest time of the year for every company looking to increase its sales.
Competition is fierce in the world of eCommerce, but the savviest digital marketers reap the most benefits.
For the 2018 holiday season, stats have shown consumers spent a record $850 billion in online retail purchases.
Sales in stores are still going strong, but online sales are catching up due to increased convenience: no queuing, no running through the store to grab products, no fatigue from being on your feet all day long, just add to cart and your order arrives a few hours later or the next day.
Shopping online is just easier and less stressful. According to DigitalCommerce360, online sales are expected to jump 18% for the 2019 holiday shopping season.
We are coming up on the golden trio of the year in terms of sales events: Single’s Day (November 11), Black Friday (November 29) and Christmas (December 25).
Every eCommerce is dreaming to hit the jackpot and drive as many sales as possible on as many channels they can.
In this article I am going to put together a list of valuable recommendations from reputable sources to help you, the savvy digital marketer reading this article become the queen or king of conversions and sales this holiday sales season.
Let’s dive in!
First of all, you need to get prepared to include a new sales event: Single’s Day.
Single’s Day started in China in the 1990s and it is a way for men and women to celebrate being single by buying themselves a gift.
Single or not, treating yourself to something nice is good for the soul, even more so if it’s on sale.
In 2009, Alibaba saw the huge opportunity this celebration had for driving sales so the company decided to take over Single’s Day and turn it up a notch.
For the 2018 Single’s Day, Alibaba put on an entertainment extravaganza and cashed a record $45 billion in sales, 3x the online sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. In contrast, sales for Amazon’s Prime Day 2018 totalled $4 billion.
For the 2019 edition, Alibaba expects 500 million shoppers on its websites, from across the world, including China. Also, the Chinese giant expects more than 20.000 international brands to participate in this event.
Without a doubt, Single’s Day is going global!
- Be aware of cultural differences and create campaigns that are locally relevant (what works in Europe, doesn’t work in China);
- Translate your language, currency and discounts;
- Adjust your design and copy to Chinese audiences (pay attention to number and colour symbolism);
- Design for mobile.
Next on our sales event list is Black Friday, a Western tradition which has been adopted worldwide.
Looking at their stats for the 2018 Black Friday, Facebook shared the following global insights:
- 74% of all transactions visible to Facebook were on mobile with 75% in the UK, 69% in Europe, 67% in the US and 90% in the Asia Pacific;
- 35% of conversations were driven by people aged 35-54 and 47% by people aged 18-34;
- Women drove 64% of Black Friday conversations on Facebook;
- Top countries participating in Black Friday 2018 conversations: USA, Vietnam, South Africa, Italy and the UK;
- Search interest for “black Friday” in 2018 was the highest it’s been in the last five years;
- Mobile searches related to “best Black Friday” have grown over 80% in the past two years;
- Nearly 70% of the deal seekers who did most of their shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday said they decided to buy because the item was a good deal or on sale.
Here are 6 global trends that Facebook identified and you should be aware of:
1. Holiday shoppers are going bigger, earlier.
In 2018, 43% of shoppers started shopping for the holidays as early as October.
2. Shoppers won’t tolerate bad buying experiences.
Shoppers are engaging with brands across multiple channels before making purchases and are less willing to suffer any inconvenience, or friction when it comes to getting what they want.
70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.
3. Window shopping is shifting to Stories
69% of people find Stories on Facebook and Instagram to be a great way to discover and become familiar with new products or services.
62% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
4. People are purchasing in-store for the holiday ambience and to spend time with family
The top reason for shopping in-store during the holiday period was to see products in person, but brick-and-mortar stores also provide emotional benefits that are hard to reproduce online.
42% of US holiday shoppers said they shopped in-store for the holiday ambience, and 27% of US holiday shoppers said they shopped in-store to spend time with family.
5. Major shopping events have gone global
Single’s Day, which started in China and is now known as 11:11, grew by 25% in the same period. Brands risk missing out if they focus only on one or two holiday peaks.
6. Messaging is fueling loyalty
On Messenger each month, people and businesses exchange 20 billion messages.
Business messaging is now gaining a measurable edge over more traditional communication methods. The majority of users say being able to message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand.
11 Winning Tactics to Increase your Sales this Holiday Shopping Season
1. Countdown timer
In its case study, SaleCycle shows that Black Friday countdown timer ads can be more effective than usual.
2. Remarketing and bundling
Reason Agency makes a strong argument in favour of remarketing with great success. Anyone can do it. Here’s how:
Post consistently and promote your brand on Facebook and Instagram throughout the year which leads to increased website traffic.
Remarketing to these visitors using Facebook pixel.
Publish 5 days/week on Instagram and direct your followers to website. Then they create custom audiences to run ads to.
Also, write blogs and show each blog visitor an ad with a discount off their first purchase.
Focus 80% of your marketing efforts on your email list of current customers.
Try to get customers to spend more by giving them a little more for their money. Create offers that incentivise multi-product orders: give them discounts for bundling items.
3. Focus your budget and discount efforts on specific, strategic product lines, rather than an entire catalogue (via MarketingLand).
4. Use Facebook Advertising
Adespresso suggests using additional placements like Instagram Stories and targeting warm audiences.
5. Offer free two-day no-minimum-purchase shopping policy
This drove an average 146% uplift in online conversions for Best Buy, Target and Amazon.
6. Last-minute shipping
Retailers that ensured Christmas arrival for purchases made by December 20—Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Macy’s—saw much higher conversion rates in the last week before Christmas.
Click-and-collect means buying items online and picking them up in the store during the days leading up to Christmas.
Retailers that offered click-and-collect through Christmas Eve (Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Macy’s, and Kohl’s) saw additional online traffic and higher conversion rates (an average increase of 52%).
8. Drive-up service
Drive-up service is allowing customers to have their packages delivered to their cars.
Over the entire holiday season, Target grew its click-and-collect business by more than 60% over the previous year.
9. Begin running your holiday season campaigns in October
As Facebook points out, shoppers start their sales browsing early so you should match their actions.
10. Build momentum and your audience throughout the entire year
Don’t leave your sales campaigns creation and set up to the last minute. You should run brand awareness campaigns throughout the entire year in order to ask for sales during the holiday season.
11. Create unique experiences for your buyers in-store for the whole family
Holiday season is family season.
Create online experiences for your shoppers, but design equally relevant and engaging experiences in-store for the whole family. Make them feel like a family, help them create great memories together and you may start a family tradition.
12. Adopt Alibaba’s New Retail strategy
- Blend online and offline sales channels;
- Use omnichannel communication and sales strategies;
- Make shopping fun and interactive.