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Holiday 2012 ebook


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Holiday survival guide for ecommerce brands

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Holiday 2012 ebook

  1. 1. TM TM Tick. Tock. Sale. Conversions On Demand 2012 Winter Holiday Survival Guide
  2. 2. TM INTRODUCTION It’s that time of year again. Everyone is getting out their boots, hats, scarves and preparing for the cold. Well, not everyone. Here at Exclusive Concepts we’re preparing for a great holiday season. So, we’ve put together a primer for the 2012 holiday shopping season. We’ve collected some interesting predictions from analysts, some shopper behavior data, and of course, our advice on what you can do to prepare your online store for the deluge we’re all expecting! We hope you find the contents of this ebook helpful. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if theres anything we can help you with. Holiday Survival Guide “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but these deals are so delightful Since we don’t want to go to the mall, shop online! shop online! shop online!” CONTENTS Introduction Winter 2012 Predictions Shopper Demographics Dressing Up Your Website Stoking the Fire with PPC Targeting Email Marketing Get Seen with SEO
  3. 3. TM PREDICTIONS With the first official day of Fall just a few days away, it’s time to sweep the back-to-school specials off your plate and focus on the rapidly approaching holiday season. By all accounts it is going to be another competitive season for ecommerce and online retail. On the bright side, most analysts are expecting a strong online shopping season, especially for electronics. Analysts, including Goldman Small Cap Research, National Retail Federation, ShopperTrak, Forrester and BizRate, among others, sees a broad range of possibilities; from a 3.3 to a 20% increase in revenue. Whatever you think of the range of the predictions, one thing is for sure, we’re in for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Jolly New Year shopping season! Holiday Survival Guide “Consumer shopping patterns have diverged to the extremes; luxury retail is back for the higher end consumer and discount retail is flourishing.” -Chainlink Retail Advisors
  4. 4. TM Holiday Survival Guide “Seventy percent of holiday shoppers in 2011 said they made purchases online rather than in stores because online retailers offered better deals.” -Forrester Research SHOPPER DEMOGRAPHICS In order to properly sell to consumer online it’s important to understand who they are and how they shop. Here is some of the data we’ve uncovered that we thought might be helpful. 90% o 78-89 50-74 30-49 15-29 1-4% 7%14% 16% 26% 23% 14% 7% 14% 16% 26% 23% 14% NA $100k+ $75-100k $50-75k -$50k 55+ 45-54 35-44 25-34 18-24 0 10 20 19% 5% 35% 21% 20% 29% 5% 25% 22% 19% 90% o 78-89 50-74 30-49 15-29 1-4% 7%14% 16% 26% 23% 14% 7% 14% 16% 26% 23% 14% NA $100k+ $75-100k $50-75k -$50k 55+ 45-54 35-44 25-34 18-24 0 10 20 30 40 68% 71% 72% 19% 5% 35% 21% 20% 29% 5% 25% 22% 19% SHOPPERS Are 52/48%Female/Male Typically spend $500or more online every year Shopped online 4 or more timesin the past year ONLINE SHOPPER INCOME ONLINE SHOPPER AGE 90% or more 78-89% 50-74% 30-49% 15-29% 1-4% 7%14% 16% 26% 23% 14% 7% 14% 16% 26% 23% 14% NA $100k+ $75-100k $50-75k -$50k 55+ 45-54 35-44 25-34 18-24 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 68% 71% 72% 19% 5% 35% 21% 20% 29% 5% 25% 22% 19% TIME SPENT ON RESEARCH 0 20 40 60 80 100 Friends/FamilyStrangersExpertsAdvertisersCelebrity 8% 27% 14% 70% 90% Who Has The Greatest InfluenceOver Online Shoppers?
  5. 5. TM Holiday Survival Guide “By 2012, global mobile commerce will reach $171.5 billion, reaching $352.7 billion by 2014. US mCommerce in 2012 is expected to reach $11.6 billion.” -Gartner Research M-SHOPPER BEHAVIOR As computers are getting smaller, becoming mobile devices, mobile shopping is growing. In 2011 68%of all mobile purchases were made using an iPad MOBILE SHOPPERS... ...are 43/52% Female/Male 2011 saw 88%making a purchase with- in 24 hours of doing research for it ...made an online purchase 4+ timesin the past year 90% or more 78-89% 50-74% 30-49% 15-29% 1-4% $60-100,000/yr $18-42,000/yr A 100k+ 75-100k 50-75k 50k 5+ 5-54 5-44 5-34 8-24 0 20 40 60 80 100 Friends/FamilyStrangersExpertsAdvertisersCelebrity 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 OutsourceFull time 8% 27% 14% 70% 90% 0 20000 40000 60000 80000 10000 Outsourced Annual Full-Time Annual 0 50 100 150 200 $158 $104 $105 iPad iPhone Other Mobile Devices Desktop $153 StateCart OF THE 7% 14% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 68%71%72% StateCart OF THE 7% 14% 16% 14% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 68%71%72% 41% of smartphone own- ers have purchased online 85% of tablet owners have purchased online
  6. 6. TM Holiday Survival Guide “Compared to 2011, 50% more consumers use the Internet to find & share promotions, like coupons & sales, offered through social media.” -IBM DRESSING UP YOUR WEBSITE There are a few things you can make sure your site has that will improve engagement among your choppers. Here are a few helpful suggestions: Product Reviews - A recent survey of online shoppers show that 79% of online customers rely on product reviews to make their buying decisions. Robust Product Descriptions - Make sure there is no confusion for your customers. Provide well thought out, detailed descriptions and technical information so your customers don’t hesitate to purchase, or worse yet, leave your site to find more information. Shipping Deadlines - Holiday shoppers have holiday deadlines, travel deadlines, vacation deadlines, which means they have shipping deadlines. Be sure to make your shipping deadlines, and costs easy to find. Tablet Shopping - the use of tablet computers for shopping is increasing rapidly. While you shouldn’t have to worry about the design of your site, since most tablets render a website the same way a laptop or desktop does, most tablet shopping is done in the evening. If you’re targeting electronics junkies, early adopters, wealthier or younger customers, plan promotions around this key shopping time. Site Speed - online retail websites are notoriously graphics- and content-heavy. But many people are shopping wirelessly from their couch or sneaking in purchases while at work. Speed is important. Make sure your website is optimized for fast download times. If you need help speeding up your site, contact Exclusive Concepts. EC offers Site Speed Optimization which will dramatically reduce your site’s load time. Themed Pages - whether you’re targeting the holidays or a specific type of buyer, now is the time to get your themed pages in order. While it isn’t the best time to edit your content (see our SEO tips), tweaking your graphic is a great idea. Social Networks - Do you have a Facebook or Google Plus page, Twitter account, Pinterest board? Offer flash sales, daily deals and special promotions to your Fans and Followers. Not only will they keep following you, they’ll share those deals, further stretching awareness of your store. Leverage Plugins - Most ecommerce platforms like Yahoo Stores, Magento, Big Commerce, etc. have their own conversion- enhancing proprietary and third- party plugins like Conversions On Demand. Take advantage of any deals they’re offering for the holidays. Up-Sell - Use your checkout page to up-sell commodity or related items. Everyone needs stocking-stuffers right?
  7. 7. TM Holiday Survival Guide “Nearly 1 in 3 respondents (32%) say they are done with their holiday shopping by the end of Cyber Monday.” PPC Pay Per Click advertising has seen some major changes in the last year including changes to Google Shopping. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your PPC efforts. Google Shopping – Come October, all shopping listings will utilize a pay-per-click model and be controlled through Google AdWords.  Now more than ever, it is imperative that shopping feeds contain the most up to date and accurate information.  Titles and descriptions should be well optimized and all products should be placed in correct categories.  AdWords utilizes these categories in order to show the most relevant products.  Additionally, highly specific product listing campaigns can be created where each category has the most appropriate bid and messaging.   Remarketing – Shoppers are extremely savvy and will go to many sites before making a purchase.  Through remarketing, advertisers can make sure their ads stay in front of these consumers by targeting those who abandon the shopping cart or viewers of specific pages.  These ads should contain special offers for those who return and purchase.  With the recent update to remarketing, only one code is needed.  New remarketing audiences can now be URL based, making setting up and running remarketing campaigns that much more efficient.    Great Ad Copy – From Black Friday to Cyber Monday to New Year’s promotions, companies run many sales and offer great deals. Make sure ad copy reflects these promotions and add a sense of urgency by using messaging such as “limited time offer” or “sale ends soon.” Advertisers should also utilize ad extensions to take up more search real estate and promote even more sales. Profitable PPC - Exclusive Concepts prides itself not only in its knowledge of the PPC industry but its expertise in profitable pay per click strategies. If you want to change your PPC strategy from one that is merely competing to one that is excelling and profitable don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our site to learn more about our Profitable PPC service.
  8. 8. TM Holiday Survival Guide “Desktop email viewing has dropped by 6% while mobile email is up by 33%. 80.8% of users check their email on their mobile device.” -comScore Email The average person receives 154 emails every day. 294 billion emails are sent out to 1.9 billion email users every day. That number increases dramatically during the peak holiday retail season. So, what do you do to stand out? Here are some suggestions. Campaign Calendar - Prepare a holiday campaign calendar that starts in mid- October. Most retailers begin holiday promotions in mid- October, so don’t miss your chance to capture holiday sales. Mobile Ready - Mobile email is up and desktop email is down. Make sure your emails are formatted for both desktop viewing and mobile. Most major email distribution platforms will do this for you, but double check. One Campaign, One Promotion - Offering multiple discounts or incentives in a singular email campaign may confuse your readers. One of the few exceptions is offering a certain percentage discount on one price level, and offering a larger percentage discount on a higher price level (ex. 10% off a purchase of $50 and 40% off a purchase of $100 or more). But this needs to be explained clearly. Highlight Products - Feature products in your email campaigns that are currently in inventory. Featuring a product that is out-of-stock erodes customer confidence and hurts your brand. Share The Joy - make sure your emails have built in social media sharing features. You want to encourage recipients to share your great products and deals with all of their family, their friends and their “Friends”. If you need help coming up with the right look and feel, the right deals and message, or the right platform for sending emails, be sure to reach out to Exclusive Concepts. We provide not only access to the best email platforms out there, but strategy, creative, and execution as part of our Optimized Email Marketing package.
  9. 9. TM Holiday Survival Guide “31% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online this year.” SEO The holiday season is NOT the time to start messing with your SEO. That’s a task better left for Spring and Summer. Freeze Mister - The best thing for you to do during the holidays is FREEZE THE SITE. Now, we’re not talking about adding new content, but don’t mess around with old content. Don’t make any big changes that could backfire and take you out of the most important season. But don’t change reporting platforms or web servers or (heaven forbid!) relaunch the site. Even if a new site is running great and looks wonderful, if the transition hasn’t been handled correctly, you could lose big on authority metrics that tank your search visibility.   Analyze This - The other thing that you should do is make sure that your tracking and analytics are up to snuff. Do you have data segments? Can you filter content data by category or product type? What do you need to set up now in order to analyze your results effectively, post- holiday, and prepare for the following year? Old And New - We’ve already said that now is not the time to mess with your SEO by making changes to your existing content. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be optimizing the heck out of your new content. As you’re loading new products consider using them as templates for your old content. Once the holiday season is over, you can always go back and adjust the old content to get it up to spec. If you need assistance with SEO strategy and execution we have a staff of advanced SEO experts that can help.
  10. 10. CONTACT US Today Telephone: 888.540.7698 Fax: 781.222.1021 30 Corporate Drive Suite 350 Burlington, MA 01803