Competing on the web for visitors and ultimately customers, is a challenging task at any time of year. This of course becomes even more imperative during the holiday season. So what can merchants do to distinguish themselves from the competition? There’s no sure fire blue print, but here are some ideas worth exploring.
Get creative with your marketing content. It’s no secret that direct email marketing can be very powerful. But when your promotions fail to stand out in your customers’ crowded inboxes, they’re not reaching their full potential. Solution: Add images and video. We know that a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, so how many words is a video worth? We discussed the benefit of video at the product level HERE, but a 2011 Forrester report states that emails containing video have a click through rate of nearly 2-3 times that of traditional content.
A sincere holiday greeting in video format from your company’s manager, CEO, or even owner, to your loyal customers can be an extremely personalized and powerful way to interact with your returning consumer base, but also a timely and effective method of conveying the promotion at hand. Don’t just email your customers; captivate them.
Be mindful of the gift-giving process, especially by offering gift certificates. Sure the holidays are the optimal time of year to sell merchandise, but don’t forget that a gift certificate sold, can be just as good as an order, or arguably better. Instead of making just one impression on a sole buyer, you’ll now be connecting with a second consumer when the recipient redeems the gift certificate and ideally spends more than the certificate amount was for. One order: two customers and you’ve extended your holiday season into January or later. Also, consider offering a ‘Gifts’ category in your online store or right on your homepage with potential subcategories. For more holiday conversion pointers, click HERE.
Timing is everything. The holiday shopping season is generally perceived to start in late November after Thanksgiving: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But why wait? With the commonly celebrated Free Shipping Day coming in mid December, beat your competition to the punch by getting an early jump on holiday promotions in mid or even early November. And don’t forget The Superbowl, President’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day after the traditional holiday season!