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Christmas, it comes round every year like clockwork, yet in the world of ecommerce it sometimes feels like it’s a surprise when it happens! Consumers leaving it (or maybe saving it) to the last minute to buy presents; complaining about delayed delivery (even though they knew weeks in advance that they needed to buy things); stock levels not being able to cope with demand; and advertisers being ill-prepared for surges in interest in their products and site traffic levels.
At Adido we like to ensure our clients & their campaigns are well prepared for the festive season, and in the world of ecommerce this is where planning, monitoring and analysing can get intense.
First things first, here are some key dates to be ready for:
24th November – “Black Friday” – this is the fastest growing retail search day and often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It’s the day after Thanksgiving Day in the US, and usually the day that Apple has one of its only two sales days of the year. Many other retailers also offer Black Friday deals, some even offer a week of promotions, like Amazon.
27th November – “Cyber Monday” – a term coined by the marketing industry to encourage people to shop online, it is the first Monday after Thanksgiving and it has become renowned for being the busiest retail search day of the year. Again many retailers offer promotions during this time to improve conversion rates, but generally sales are high during this period regardless.
11th December – “Green Monday” – another online retail industry term similar to Cyber Monday. However this term was first used by eBay to describe its best sales day in December and it’s usually the busiest online shopping day before Christmas.
Christmas Day – biggest mobile search day – don’t neglect your mobile users on this day, as consumers interrupt (or accompany) their festivities by buying what they really want for Christmas on their mobiles!
Boxing Day – busiest retail day on & offline – synonymous with the “Boxing Day sales” both on & offline sales promotions coax people into grabbing a bargain.
The holiday shopping frenzy will start earlier this year – key shopping days stretch across November & December.
Mobile usage continues to grow – starting from 2015 mobile has been confirming and strengthening its position as a primary shopping channel, providing users an unprecedented level of convenience. Christmas 2015 saw a 12% YoY increase in online sales, but this growth, as well as general online sales growth in 2015 has been driven by the rise of mobile: m-commerce grew by 42% during the year 2015 and 45% of sales were made via a mobile device in the third quarter of the year (IMRG Capgemini, 2016).
Always connected consumers are open to being influenced by retailers - 57% of holiday shoppers don’t have a product or brand in mind when they begin their holiday shopping (Google, 2014). Now is the time to get in front of them and persuade.
Marketing campaigns will harness the power of social to sell – we’ve already seen John Lewis & M&S battle it out for the best Christmas TV ad, but their marketing goes far beyond the ad and now reaches out to the emotive social audience with the use of integrated campaigns like #Followthefairies or #ManOnTheMoon.
Christmas returns policy – combat purchasing worries by offering longer return periods. Make sure the message is clear and prominent on your website.
Quick delivery – last minute shoppers definitely need fast delivery, so perhaps look at extra delivery options to ensure that the purchase arrives before Christmas! Likewise, review which products are likely to be popular and ensure you have enough of them in-stock.
Contingency plan – you never know what could happen this year. Postal strike / a big freeze etc… you could turn a threat into an opportunity and since social goodwill spreads like wildfire now, this could be a great opportunity for you.
Hopefully you’ll have read this blog with enough time to spare this Christmas period to implement some of these suggestions. It’s going to be a busy one so we hope that it’s a successful one too!
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