What Your Business Should
Know About the 2013
Changing Holiday Season
Landscape and 10 Tips for
Profiting From Those Changes.
Jean L. Serio, CPC
Social Media Marketing
U.S. Retail Ecommerce Sales To Grow
15%+ During the 2013 Holiday Season.
National Retail Federation
Says In-Store Sales Up 3-5%.
Trend monitoring firm eMarketer revised its holiday sales projections
upwards. Reporting it now expects "2013 U.S. retail ecommerce holiday
season sales to grow about 15.1 percent to $61.8 billion, up from $53.7
billion in 2012".
Ecommerce platform provider Volusion predicts global retail ecommerce
sales, for small and mid-sized businesses, will grow about 20%.
Shop.org, National Retail Federation’s digital division, expects online sales
to grow between 9-12%.
Adobe Digital Index stats show: "Thanksgiving is the fastest-growing
shopping day, and that's the biggest news this year.
Companies aren't prepared for the new ways in which shoppers will be
5 Changes to Expect
This Holiday Season
1. 16% of U.S. Online Sales Will Come From Mobile Devices Multi (Omni) Channel Shopping
Mobile sales will reach $9.8 billion from Nov to Dec. 2013. A
share of the ecommerce market, says eMarketer.
Tablet sales totaling $26 billion –
predicted. 62.5% of all mobile-based
ecommerce sales – topping 87%.
Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council 4/13 figures show how
consumers are using mobile devices to shop:
* Shoppers who use mobile to shop buy more.
* 44% of SmartPhone shoppers use their phone to find
promos, discounts and offers.
* 84% of SmartPhone shoppers use their phone to shop instore.
2. Don't wait for Black Friday to
market - Consumers intend to
spend less on the BF and the
Cyber Monday weekend.
Customer Satisfaction group CfI, in a new 2013 Holiday Retail
Spending Report found "fewer than 25% of consumers plan to
spend more than 1/2 of their total holiday budgets during the
Black Friday/Cyber Monday period”.
61% saying they'll finish shopping by early December.
Three-quarters of Canadians, recently polled by Deloitte Canada
& Ernst and Young Canada, say "they plan to start their holiday
shopping early this year, and will use the internet to check and
compare prices before buying gifts".
Says Sheri Petras, CEO of CFI Group, "since behavior is shifting,
beyond traditional Black Friday spending, those who focus solely
on BF centric campaigns will miss significant sales opportunities".
Deloitte and Ernst & Young Canada, found shoppers expect to
modestly increase holiday spending 2% to 3.5%.
3. Amazon and Walmart started
Cyber Deals Week
* Deals.com says many large retailers,
including Target and Toys R Us,
intend to go along with the Cyber Deals
Week also called National Deals Week.
Adding new deals daily or several times
* While this should be good for retailers,
unless commerce companies plan ahead,
sales can be lost.
* With 6 less selling days this holiday
season, marketers are preparing higher
impact marketing on available days.
* As of 2010, Cyber Monday is celebrated
globally with ecommerce sites, the world
over, offering deals.
4. Price Will Matter
This Holiday Season
From all reports, the 2013 season will generally be
positive. But eMarketer, Deal News and others show
consumers planning to purchase based upon price.
A July 2013 Google Consumer Survey found
consumers aren't loyal to brands when it comes to
shopping for gifts. 40% surveyed said they
(specifically) looked for the 'best price'.
Finding the best price is far easier. Making
competition stiff. Consumers can check price
comparison sites like Amazon, Google Shopper,
Newegg and PriceGrabber, for instance.
Google Insights says: “As our data shows, price is
the main reason for shopping somewhere new,
followed by better selection.
Says market researcher, Marshal Cohn, "Frugality is
still a big part of the consumer's lifestyle."
5. Consumers Expect
Google Insights Info: "The term “free shipping”
surged last year as a search query, peaking on
Cyber Monday. On mobile devices, it peaked on
Black Friday, as in-store customers looked around
for comparable deals online. One in five say free
shipping will be the deciding factor on purchases this year, so use it to your
advantage on the big in-store shopping days".
Shop.org: A recent poll of retailers says "35% offer free shipping all year,
the majority do not. Of retailers not offering free shipping year-round, 16.3%
said they would begin the last week in October".
MarketLive.com study: found 91% of online shoppers said they'd take
advantage of free shipping offers. "Online shoppers have become quite
savvy" says Ken Burke chairman of MarketLive. "They have come to expect
free shipping.” Importantly, 31% said free shipping is an incentive that
would prompt paying full price for an order.
MarketLive discovered 88% of online shoppers have abandoned a shopping
cart in 2013, primarily because of shipping costs. 54% abandoned carts after
shipping costs made their total order more than anticipated.
Are You Targeting Different
People at Different Times –
Loyal, Steady, Flash Customers?
First - it’s essential to know your audience. When you do, the holiday season becomes
one of the best times to develop new, loyal customers. That said, according to a recent
"Customers acquired the week before Thanksgiving and Christmas consistently yielded
high return, both short-term & long-term, while those who shopped right around the
holidays tended to be last-minute rush shoppers If you are seeking a bigger fish, set an
enticing bait and wait; alternatively, if you see high volumes of smaller fish as your
target, set lots of small bait but be prepared to act quickly.
Loyal customers: These customers performed consistently well even after six
months and responded to ads placed in mid-November.
Steady shoppers – these customers brought in higher revenue after one month of
viewing the ad and responded to ads placed in late October and early November.
3. Flash shoppers – these customers reacted quickly to an ad and made purchases
within one month but barely came back again or were easily distracted by other
campaigns within a half-year period. They responded to ads displayed in late
November and early December.”
Note: Info from 2012 Q4 nanigans.com ecommerce report
10 Tips for Profiting This
1. Add holiday décor to your Website, Blog, Facebook and Fan Page. While
most retailers put up holiday décor in October, ecommerce sites don’t.
Adding seasonal and holiday graphics to your website, blog & social sites
gives an extra boost in holiday spirit and can stimulate sales. Adding holiday
themed graphics can have multiple benefits:
Letting fans/followers know your site is active and updated regularly
Reminding your audience the holiday is near and it's time to think about gift
Making the association your site is the go-to place for holiday gifts
Gets customers into the holiday spirit
2. Leverage Social Media –
Omni Channel Marketing
3. Organize Emails
Cut through the noise by regularly engaging on social sites. Use a variety of social sites
to do what’s called Omni Channel Marketing. Post about the holidays, respond to fan
comments, add colorful photos/graphics to your comments. Send fans/followers to
articles and resources on your site and blog. Post infographics. Share on Facebook,
Twitter, Printerest, etc. Add a Facebook Fan page, add holiday graphics and offers.
Relationships matter – even more so during the holiday season. Do regular holiday
email marketing. Make sure your email marketing is well synchronized with your
social holiday marketing.
* Create headlines which encourage email opens
* Social Sites:
Use a holiday header.
* Have a good offering – make it clear – present product/service benefits.
* Offer discounts, free shipping.
* Use a social media widget (icon) to send them to your social networks.
* Be sure your offerings match on your social sites.
* Have a Call-To-Action – “Order today and…”
* Never send holiday emails on Friday (unless immediately before a holiday or day
4. Offer Free Shipping
5. Allow consumers to make
Aside from good pricing, consumers are looking for Free Shipping. A
MarketLive.com study found 91% of online shoppers said they'd take
advantage of free shipping offers. "Online shoppers have become quite
savvy" says Ken Burke chairman of MarketLive. "They have come to
expect free shipping.” Importantly, 31 percent said free shipping is an
incentive that would prompt them to pay full price for an order.
Big Box retailers primarily use a lay-away (lay-by) system during the
holidays. It’s one of the top ways they create additional sales. However if
you are selling products which consist of services, ebooks and consulting
products, consider offering to divide payments into two or three smaller
amounts. And watch sales rise.
6. Present UpSells
7. Offer Bonuses for
Purchase or a Free Gift
Presenting an additional related product, or one which coordinates with the original
product purchased, can quickly help add cash to your till.
Statistics show once people are in the purchase mode, it’s much easier to upsell
them to an additional product while in the process of purchasing an original item.
Easier than at a later date.
Offering a bonuses, or series of bonuses which relate
to the product or add to the value of the product, is
also a great way to increase sales.
Free Gift with Purchase: Free Gifts with purchase are a great way to stimulate sales.
Something 90% of consumers will take you up on.
8. Optimize your Website
for Holiday Shoppers
– Add a ‘Gifts’ Section
9. Offer a ‘Buy 1 Get 1’
Consider placing a ‘Gifts’ section:
on your website and/or blog. This allows shoppers to find what they want fast. Add a
holiday graphic at the top of the list/s to bring attention to the area. Place a link on the
‘Home’ page of your site to the page. Or create a small box with holiday graphics and a
link to the proper page on your site.
Sort products by type, price, offering a bestsellers list, be sure to list Bonuses included.
Don’t forget to add a link on your Facebook page to the ‘Gifts’ section.
Buy 1 Get 1:
This is a strategy used by a wide variety of companies
from entrepreneurial to large. Not only does it
encourage a customer to purchase, stats show they
will purchase much more than first planned.
And will often purchase products they hadn’t
10. Encourage ‘Self Gifting’ – Have a
‘Didn’t Get What You Wanted’ Promotion
Many are in the market for things they don’t usually buy. Have a ‘Didn’t
Get What You Wanted?’ Promotion after Christmas through New Years.
Many people receive money for Christmas. And usually want to spend it
quickly. Re-state your earlier offer, add a new bonus or freebie.
Fifty percent of consumers did at least some “self-gifting” over the 2012
holidays — and the gifts were good. Self-gifters spent an average of
$139.92 according to ExactTarget’s Email Marketing Holiday Calendar
infographic. Create a new or modied offer. Add a new resource, bonus or
free gift. Offer free shipping. And a price guarantee.
A Few Last Tips….
Not to alarm last-minute marketers, but the holiday promotions party
has already started. The National Retail Federation says 40 percent of
shoppers began picking gifts out before Halloween.
Regarding Email Marketing – Listrak's recent report shows the average
online retailer mailed 5.3 emails between Thanksgiving and Cyber
Monday. Don’t wait a minute more, organize your emails now so they’re
ready to go out on the Thanksgiving weekend.
"They're all racing to get an existing piece of the pie," says Patricia
Norins, an adviser to American Express' "Small Business Saturday," a
holiday shopping event. "There's only so much of the pie that is going to
be served," so retailers want to "get out of the gate as soon as possible
and get in front of consumers and capture their piece of the pie."
Remember Omni Channel - cross channel marketing: Use mobile and
tablet marketing along with social media marketing and usual channels.
Get Your Complete Holiday Business and Step-by-Step
Marketing Guide for Making the 2013 Season
Festive, Fun and Easy for Customers to Buy and your
Best Business Season Ever
To reap great rewards, from this season, you must Start Now preparing for it.
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