The ecommerce landscape is more prosperous than ever, and competition during the holiday season has never been more fierce.
Mitchell Chapman, from MTC Marketing, sat down with Saltbox Members on September 29 to go over ecommerce news and winning strategies to make the most of the holidays.
Some brands, like REI, forsake Black Friday totally and give their employees the day off. Others, like Apple, remain ambivalent. However, for most brands to make their mark during winter, they need to compete in the fierce marketing and advertising environment of the holidays, and do so via valuable deals. To help make sense of what may seem like impending chaos, Chapman has concisely shared the three aspects one must consider to crush the holiday rush.
Types of Offers
From the start, one must think about what type of offer will best serve their customers and be competitive among similar brands.
The first type of offer that people consider is usually a price discount in the form of dollars off or a percentage off the regular price. Don’t worry too much about giving your audience the highest discount on your best products. Chapman explains, “The highest percent off does not always equate to the highest conversions.” It’s usually marginal.
Other types of offers include: free shipping, BOGO, cash back & rewards, gift with purchase, and bundling.
Since ecommerce has come on the scene as both a competitor and collaborator to brick-and-mortar shops, gone are the days of a singular Black Friday rush. Even Cyber Monday isn’t just celebrated on Monday. Many deals and promotions actually begin on November 1 and are expected to go throughout the entire month. So, when will your brand open up its promotions?
One approach is to consider an early sale release. The benefits of an early release is the early revenue, and the ability to stand out from other brands. Many consumers have a limited budget during the season, and this is one way to ensure people see your deals first. The cons include potential burnout -- people may feel tired of hearing about your promotions throughout the month and seek new ones during the end, which leads to overall lower Cyber Weekend sales.
On the other hand, there is the tiered sale release, which involves releasing and rotating promotions on a weekly basis, saving the best “sticker shock” items for Black Friday/Cyber Weekend. There’s a certain element of hype that this strategy brings to the table. Leaving your best deals for the end is also a risk, because consumers could have already spent most of their budget on earlier deals.
Email & SMS
There are a ton of different ways to allocate your marketing budget and push your promotions, but according to Chapman, email and SMS are the two most important channels to use to break through the noise this time of year.
In order to form a successful email strategy for the holidays, one must focus on deliverability, segmentation, and cadence.You can ask your VIP audience to help “whitelist” your emails by dragging your emails from the promotions tab to the main inbox tab. Invite them to email you back and ask questions or discuss products. Include a CTA for improved click rates.
And if you don’t have an SMS marketing channel in place yet, now is the time to start.
Why? Because SMS has a 96% open rate, doesn’t get lost in the inbox, and invites immediate traffic. Chapman offers a winning strategy to boost your audience list this season: “Encourage SMS opt-ins by announcing early access to your promotion for any subscribers not currently opted-in to receive SMS.”
Bonus: Tips & Tricks
Here is a shortlist of actionable goals to take on this holiday season:
- Align on-site offers across all platforms to ensure clarity and brand consistency, All pop-ups and email opt-ins should be fresh.
- Encourage sign-ups for early access and use campaigns to identify engaged segments
- Most importantly, test your offers and messaging. Don’t just assume. Listen to your customers.
To learn more tips and tricks and go in depth into the importance of email segmentation and cadence, as well as the different pricing offers, you’ll have to watch the online event.
Although this online event centered around Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing and promotions, the lessons learned could be applied to any season or major marketing event!
Mitchell Chapman is available for private consultations via his firm, MTC Marketing. Feel free to reach out if you are looking for specific advice geared towards your business set up and needs!