Jingle All the Way to the Bank: Holiday Predictions and Tips for Ecommerce Success


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Join ecommerce expert, Matt Winn, as he shares his top tips to prepare your store for the holiday selling season!

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Jingle All the Way to the Bank: Holiday Predictions and Tips for Ecommerce Success

  1. 1. Confidential and Proprietary Information Jingle All the Way to the Bank: Holiday Predictions and Tips for Ecommerce Success
  2. 2. Confidential and Proprietary Information Your Host Matt Winn Senior Marketing Communications Manager 1 Certified ecommerce geek 2 Marketer by trade, home cook by hobby 3 Created 500+ articles/videos on ecommerce 4 Here to help you this holiday season
  3. 3. Confidential and Proprietary Information Today’s Agenda  2014 Recap: Top Stories and Key Trends  Overview: Top 6 Ecommerce Predictions for the Holiday Season  Tackling Mobile Commerce  Tips to Take Down the Amazon Empire  How to Make the Most of a Shortened Selling Season  Using Data, Analytics and Audience Segmentation to Maximize Sales  A Quick Look at Addressing Customer Security Concerns  Q&A
  4. 4. 2014 Recap: Top Stories and Key Trends Confidential and Proprietary Information  Continued growth for ecommerce industry  Q2 2014: Census reports +4.9% growth over Q1, +15.7% quarterly growth compared to 2013  Ecommerce accounted for 6.4% of total retail sales last quarter, compared with 5.8% in the same quarter last year (US Census).  Increased consumer confidence shows healthy signs across retail  CCI reaches 90.9 in July 2014, highest number since October 2007 (95.2)  Overall retail sales rose 4.8% in Q2 2014 compared to same period in 2013 (US Census)  Consumers more comfortable with mobile than ever before  Volusion merchants experienced a 23% increase in mobile sales in Q2 2014  Mobile usage leads to convoluted, unpredictable purchasing paths across devices and channels  Consistency between sites and devices becomes more important than ever  Desktop still accounts for over 80% of online SMB sales, despite mobile growth  Amazon continues to stake its dominant claim  July “same-store” sales rose 40.4% year over year  Multiple product releases, including mobile payments feature  Ultimate question of profitability: Is Amazon’s business model sustainable?
  5. 5. 2014 Holiday Forecast Confidential and Proprietary Information + Tips to Maximize Sales
  6. 6. Holiday Overview Volusion projects 9% holiday growth for online SMB retailers 1. Mobile continues to rise in importance 2. Smaller retailers face challenges from big brands 3. Shortened selling season leads to frantic shoppers 4. Black Friday and Cyber Monday heavily extended 5. Data analysis is the secret to increased sales 6. Wary shoppers have heightened security concerns Confidential and Proprietary Information
  7. 7. Prediction #1: Mobile Continues to Rise in Importance Confidential and Proprietary Information Mobile traffic and sales will rise  Mobile site traffic reached 38.2% of all traffic in March 2014 (IBM)  Mobile will account for approximately 20% of site sales in November 2014 Mobile shopping behavior heavily depends on device, complicates retailer experience  Smartphones used primarily for browsing/research (23.8% of site visits come from smartphones)  Tablets used primarily for research/purchases (13.6% of site visits come from tablets)  Desktops continue to be most dominant, accounting for over 80% of all sales Consistency across devices becomes paramount  Consumers are blind to the idea of channels  Shoppers can enter your site from any page on any device  Shoppers will likely visit your site multiple times from multiple devices
  8. 8. Confidential and Proprietary Information Mobile by the Numbers Source: Seventh Annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report (IBM, 2014) • Mobile traffic in Q1 2014 exceeded record-breaking levels during 2013 holidays • Mobile as a percentage of sales rising, but still less than 20% (Don’t forget your desktop site!)
  9. 9. Confidential and Proprietary Information Tackling Mobile Commerce Today  Ensure your site is mobile-optimized  Focus on products, categories and checkout  Think about mobile shopping behavior  Smartphones more for browsing/research  Tablets more for research/purchase  Identify traffic patterns through Google Analytics  Create consistency between sites  Start with design and branding  Ensure promotions are consistent between sites  Shift your mindset on a “mobile site”  Try product-specific email campaigns  Checking email is the most popular mobile activity  Segment audiences for product-specific discounts  Tactic works for new products and entire categories
  10. 10. Prediction #2: Large Challenges Imposed by Big-box Retailers Confidential and Proprietary Information  Majority of holiday growth goes to largest retailers  NRF predicts 9-12% online growth for 2014 holidays  eMarketer predicts 15.5% grow for same period  Amazon serves as the most dominant player, again  Q2 Amazon sales rose 23% year over year (YoY)  Amazon “same-store” sales rose 40.4% YoY in July 2014, 34.4% in June  “Revenue gap” continues to widen during holiday season  In 2013, IR Top 100 retailers saw 17.4% growth  IR Top 200-500 retailers, saw only 12.3% growth  Comparison shopping and brand awareness primary drivers for divide
  11. 11. Playing David to “Big Retail’s" Goliath Confidential and Proprietary Information  Tap into your existing customer base early  Need to retain 70% of existing customers to succeed in holiday season (America’s Research Group)  Leverage email and loyalty programs now  Incentivize existing customers to recruit new ones  Work to increase AOV and items per order  Leverage personalized product recommendations  Offer free shipping at a certain dollar amount  Upsell and cross-sell products on your website  Bundle products and offer product accessories  Encourage, but don’t enforce, account registration  Allows you to market in the future by:  Recovering abandoned carts  Identifying purchase patterns and product tastes  Delivering personalized emails and discounts  You don’t have to beat ‘em if you can join ‘em  Consider listing your products on Amazon Marketplace and other comparison shopping engines  But beware of your profit margins:  53% of retailers cite “maintaining competitive pricing” as a top challenge for selling on marketplaces (Channel Advisor)
  12. 12. Prediction #3: Shorter Selling Season Leads to Frantic Shoppers Confidential and Proprietary Information  Only 26 selling days in 2014 holiday shopping season  25 selling days last year, 31 days in 2012  In 2013, 32% of North America’s top 25 retailers couldn’t deliver online orders on time  Nerd Fact: FDR moved Thanksgiving to 3rd week of Nov. from 1939-41 to increase holiday revenue  Rushed shoppers have higher expectations for exceptional customer service  55% of customers state that they would pay more to receive better customer experience (Defaqto)  83% of consumers require some level of customer support while making an online purchase (eConsultancy)  Online shoppers are increasingly looking for immediate, real-time customer service interactions  The good news? Shortened selling period lends itself to convenience of online shopping  On Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the percentage of online shoppers is nearly equal to those in-store  28% of all shoppers prefer to shop online for the holiday solely to avoid crowds (Accenture)
  13. 13. Delivering Exceptional Customer Experience Confidential and Proprietary Information  Plan out shipping deadlines  Offer expedited shipping, including overnight and 2-day  Clearly communicate shipping deadlines on-site and via email  Prepare for increased customer service inquiries  Extend real-time customer support hours  Clearly communicate hours and response times on your website  Ensure adequate staffing is available for major selling days  Proactively offer customer support information in the form of FAQs
  14. 14. Prediction #4: Black Friday/Cyber Monday Break Records, “Holiday Creep” Becomes Bigger Story  Black Friday and Cyber Monday will hit historic volumes for online sales  Cyber Monday 2013 was biggest selling day in ecommerce history, growing 18% to reach $1.74B  Black Friday was third biggest day on record, with $1.2B generated and 15% growth Confidential and Proprietary Information  Day after Cyber Monday was second, reaching $1.41B (comScore)  As retailers and consumers both look to these holidays, large-scale growth will continue in 2014  Holiday Creep will become more visible this year, extending major selling days  “Holiday Creep” is the phenomenon of extending traditional selling periods, namely Thanksgiving week  Online sales on Thanksgiving Day increased 21%, retail stores opened shop to keep pace  Sales during last week before Christmas slowed considerably, retailers now aware  None of the Top 10 selling days took place during the week leading up to Christmas Day (comScore)  Retailers became wary of providing deep discounts, consumers generally finished shopping early  Last-minute shoppers will still be an important audience, retailers will look to capitalize
  15. 15. Blowing Out and Extending Major Selling Days Confidential and Proprietary Information  Make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday  Email your lists early and often  Focus heavily on existing customers  Offer flash sales to encourage impulse buys  Start planning for visual assets NOW  Offer additional value adds to prevent competing solely on price  Join the Holiday Creep movement  Start your Black Friday deals early, focusing on Thanksgiving Day and entire week  Allocate heaviest marketing spend leading up to this week to attract as many shoppers as possible  Offer exclusive deals and “sneak previews” to existing customers to keep them from competitors  Build a plan for final week of holiday season  Send timely emails to appeal to last-minute shoppers  Promote expedited shipping options  Heavily promote digital gift cards
  16. 16. Prediction #5: Increased Sales for SMBs Comes from Data Analysis and Audience Segmentation  Competing with large retailers will come down to one thing: personalization  Small retailers can’t afford to blast broad-based messaging to attract market share  To keep existing customers from flocking to Amazon, must appeal to known purchasing behavior Confidential and Proprietary Information  Consumers now welcome, expect usage of data to offer tailored deals  55% of consumers expect retailers to use purchasing and behavioral data to offer relevant promotions  40% of consumers say they purchase more from retailers that deliver a personalized experience (IBM)  Achieving similar growth as previous years will be more difficult in 2014  Sheer sales volume makes reaching similar growth rates mathematically more challenging  Competition is at an all-time high, so must be savvy and prepared
  17. 17. Leveraging Data, Your New Best Friend Confidential and Proprietary Information  Identify most effective sales & marketing channels  What paid search campaigns are top performers? Which are least effective?  Spend more to get more, cut where you can  What landing pages have the highest engagement rates? Highest bounce rates?  What webpages have the best conversion rates?  How do you better feature these pages?  Segment customers based on purchase behavior  Slice and dice in several ways:  Purchase frequency  Products purchased (common themes)  Demographics (age, location, gender)  Prioritize your segments  What is the size of each segment?  What is the potential value of each segment?  Tailor your messages accordingly
  18. 18. Prediction #6: Security becomes a heightened point of concern for wary online shoppers Confidential and Proprietary Information Security concerns won’t stop online shoppers, but will be a more prevalent issue  Security breaches big news item this year: think Target, Heartbleed, others  2013 experienced a 91% increase in targeted attack campaigns, 62% increase in breaches (Symantec) Overcome this concern by reassuring shoppers that your site is safe  Display security seals throughout your site, including the checkout page  Prominently offer contact information, particularly live chat and phone support  Create a clean, professional site design to boost credibility  68% of online shoppers will distrust a site with an unprofessional visual appearance
  19. 19. Key Takeaways 1. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly 2. Focus on current customers and implement savvy marketing to compete with the big boys 3. Create a strategy for stellar customer service 4. Join the “Holiday Creep” movement 5. Increase sales and conversions with segmentation 6. Reassure shoppers of site security THE TIME TO START IS NOW Confidential and Proprietary Information
  20. 20. Confidential and Proprietary Information Questions?