So far in 2015, brands have taken unique approaches to spur impulse shopping surrounding pseudo-holidays, such as this AddShoppers favorite: National Hot Dog Day!
It could be a tough time convincing your team that August 27: National Just Because Day, makes for a worthwhile marketing campaign with only anecdotal evidence that it could drive significant revenue for your brand. So where do you start to prove otherwise? Google “weird holidays” and you have over sixty million hits. That’s a big pool. Merchants can jumpstart their holiday brand exposure & sales by taking a peek at China’s top grossing shopping day: Singles’ Day.
Let’s Look at the Evidence:
Singles’ Day (or Guaunggun Jie) was initially celebrated at Nanjing University November 11, 1993. Singles’ Day 2011 marks the holiday’s true viral exposure in part due to the ironic date pattern (11/11/11), providing an excuse for bigger celebration and even bigger marketing opportunities for merchants. The day became popular among fashionable Chinese youth who celebrate by organizing shopping trips, parties & karaoke to either meet their match or celebrate singledom together. So here’s what we know:
- Self-gifting naturally slipped into the traditions of Singles’ Day.
- Singles’ Day conveniently falls at a time that makes sense to knock out holiday shopping for family.
- It wound up becoming the biggest online shopping day of the year.
- Retailers started offering sales and Singles day turned into a major shopping event.
In 2013 Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce company, broke its one-day sales record by more than 80%. Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba's two main platforms, topped 35 billion yuan ($5.75 billion) in the 24-hour period, compared to a meager $1.46 Billion Cyber Monday in the US. 2014 was the year that China's online purchasing surpassed that of the United States more than doubling the gross merchandise volume of US online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Market researchers at Bain & Co. see China's online shopping increasing at an annual rate of 32 percent through the end of 2015. So there you have it folks. Evidence!
Let’s Look at a Marketer’s Perspective:
Market researchers at Bain & Co. see China's online shopping increasing at an annual rate of 32 percent through the end of 2015. Imagine if that kind of virality happened in the US market right before the holiday season? According to a poll from Gallop of an American demographic, the few weeks prior to Thanksgiving are when Americans, but more specifically single Americans, consider themselves the happiest. So it would seem natural that spending increases and a feeling of satisfaction comes from beating the holiday rush to buy their favorite or most well thought out gifts for friends & family. But in all honesty, what singles are really wanting is to treat themselves in preparation for stomaching Aunt Bethany’s Cat Food Jello Salad at Thanksgiving with a possible repeat event at Christmas.
I’ve worked with fashion and lIfestyle brands for most of my eCommerce career, am on the outskirts of the classified millennial generation & am perhaps guilty of falling victim to selfish singledom shopping. Being in a unique position to give feedback on a somewhat hard to peg demographic, I’m often asked:
“Is influencer social & on-site behavioral data really going to help us get the early holiday revenue boost we need to set us up for a successful 2016?”
The truth is, it absolutely will! Before you dig your fork into that amazingly crunchy jello salad, let’s take a look:
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. If you can’t improve it, you can’t manage it and you definitely can’t repeat it. We have to continuously evaluate the data to make sure consumer behaviors are evidently pointing to the next big thing: the conversion, and the second most important secret marketing weapon: the influencer referral. If the behaviors do not point toward either of these two things, it’s time to be real.
Make Social Sharing Easy & Beneficial
Be mindful of the explosive power of “everyday” customers, some of whom are self-declared brand ambassadors. These consumers are kind of like the wildly viral Micro-Living trend, while they may not have as many Facebook fans or Twitter followers as some of the more successful influencers, they still have a lot of friends across their social network landscape who respect their opinion and follow their suggestions. Those are the ones who can make or break a brand.
Here are a few quick ways to create a more effective on-site social sharing experience:
- Add sharing buttons to product pages, content blogs, lookbooks, contest landing pages.
- Attach a small Dynamic Social Reward to incentivize them to share out and instantly save just a few bucks (also a millennial favorite).
- 30% of social sharing happens after a purchase is made so consider building in some sort of fun exit modal that encourages the customer to spread the Singles’ Day Love and save on a gift for their mother dearest.
Guide Further Actions with Behavioral Targeting
Don’t be afraid to entertain the idea of a customer facing “choose your own adventure” model. Find the best way to improve & guide the consumer on-line shopping experience by building out behavioral modals, banner flyouts, and dynamic top bars that flow with the consumers social engagement and behavioral data. This creates a more informed, thoughtful and forward-thinking brand than your competition, especially when it comes to customer service.
When creating Behavioral content, keep in mind what Singles’ consider “digital turnoffs”:
Retarget Browsing Customers on Facebook & Twitter
Consumers start researching gift purchases months in advance. To remain top of mind and bring these users back to your site when they are ready to buy, you should run Web & Facebook retargeting campaigns, spending your ad budget more heavily on those who engage onsite and socially refer and influence others to place orders too. Why not give it a go? In September, try a few banner or newsfeed ads with a unique targeted call to action like “Buying single and Seeing double”.
Time for Singles to help your brand turn their $ingles into a Seven Figure Singles Day!
So, if you are going to commit to a Pseudo-Holiday marketing strategy, then Singles’ Day is teed up perfectly to microtarget millennial influencers who will expose trends to the next consumer generation.
If you’re going to find a way to power boost your holiday campaigns, start measuring the data now with social commerce analytics and on-site behavioral ROI tracking so you can create a targeting on-site campaign strategy that will create a more engaging, more social experience for millennials to fawn over.
Meredith Fulton is an Enterprise Accounts & Product Consultant at AddShoppers. Her expertise lies in the Fashion, Health, Beauty, & Travel Industries. Click here to connect with her on LinkedIn & Twitter.