Recently, we held a presentation called Go Out with a Bang! End of Year Strategies to Maximize Revenue. We covered exclusive stats from our network as well as strategies and tactics to help you make the most of your fourth quarter selling season.
In this blog post, we'll recap 6 tips and strategies from the presentation to help you drive more revenue this holiday.
(Would you like to check out the full presentation, including the on-demand webinar and the slides? Access it here.)
Let's get started:
1. Socially engaged users spend 8.2% more on average.
We covered a lot of insightful data on the webinar, but one of the highlights is this: shoppers that engage with a social network during their shopping experience (this includes things like arriving from a social network, sharing a page or product, or using a social login tool) spend $126.12 on average, vs. $116.55 for shoppers that don’t engage socially.
(Want more Social ROI stats? Check out our network stats that break down over $100 million in social revenue, segmented by industry and time range.)
The key takeaway here is that social media can be a valuable driver of revenue, especially during the holidays. Some of the subsequent tips and tactics in this recap will address ways to leverage social channels to drive more awareness and sales, so stay tuned.
2. Pinterest is a dominant product search engine.
Pinterest is much more than just a social network. It’s become the starting point for many consumers in their search for a product -- especially gift purchases. 47% of holiday shoppers say that Pinterest has inspired a gift purchase, according to a recent survey.
We recommend encouraging Pinterest sharing (here's another interesting stat: Pinterest now receives more sharing activity than Facebook!) from your website visitors in order to “seed” Pinterest with your products. That way, they are ready to be discovered when shoppers start their search. Interactive promotional tools like Social Contests (think Pin to Win) are a fantastic way to scale this process up while also delighting your audience and capturing new leads.
3. Be smart about your discounting.
The first thing to understand is that most customers want percentage off discounts vs any other type of offer. So keep that in mind when designing your holiday promotions!
But, the bigger issue is how you handle your discounting. The holidays are an interesting time -- customers are ready to spend money more than any other time of year, but at the same time retailers also tend to offer bigger and more frequent discounts.
Why not be smarter about the discounts you offer, which shoppers you offer them to, and when you offer them? Instead of “open couponing”, where you’re giving discounts to everyone, you can segment your audience and offer discounts accordingly.
Some tactics you can employ here include:
- Offering a discount on first purchases only.
- Offering discounts only to customers that have a cart and/or requiring a customer to complete a social share first to receive the coupon code.
- Using a Refer-a-Friend program to offer discounts to customers that refer new customers.
- Waiting to trigger a coupon offer until shoppers are abandoning the shopping experience using Behavioral Targeting.
4. Have a rock solid strategy for free shipping.
Data from a recent study shows that 38% of shoppers plan to abandon eCommerce brands that don’t offer free shipping during the holidays. Obviously free shipping is an important issue for shoppers, but it also tends to be a painful one for merchants.
Here are the tactics that we recommend using to optimize your free shipping promos:
- Advertise your shipping deadlines and use them as urgency to drive sales. We have seen good results going as far as putting a bar at the very top of the eCommerce store with a countdown timer towards each shipping deadline. For example, “Standard shipping guaranteed by Christmas - only 3 hours, 20 minutes left!”
- Keep your free shipping offers hidden until shoppers are indicating that they are about to abandon their purchases (see #3 above)
- Require an action that helps grow your brand and word of mouth traffic in return for a free shipping coupon -- this would be something like “Share for Free Shipping” (again, see above)
5. Tie your shopping holidays together.
When you think about it, the fourth quarter is really a string of shopping holidays that occur every few days or weeks. Looking at this from a marketing perspective, the customers that participate in your first shopping holiday (let’s use Black Friday for example) represent your best prospects for the next shopping holiday (Cyber Monday). The idea here is to create momentum from one sale to the next and even beyond the holiday season.
Our recommended strategy here is to allow customers that participate in each holiday sale to share out a page or product from your site (that you choose) in order to receive a special offer on the next shopping holiday. The offer could be a discount or it could be something non-monetary like early access to the next sale. For example, “Share out our Black Friday sale with your friends to get early VIP access to our Cyber Monday sale!” Or, if you prefer coupon offers, "Share out our Black Friday sale with your friends to get an extra 10% off the Cyber Monday sale!"
6. Use personalization in your messaging to drive higher conversions.
One of the biggest areas of development in eCommerce marketing right now is advanced personalization of the shopping experience. (Watch this space...we have something very exciting coming for this very soon!) However, some of the things you can do now include using Behavioral Targeting to deliver customized messaging to different segments of your audience, thus raising response rates.
One practical example would be to include gender data in your Behavioral Targeting segments. Females tend to start shopping earlier, and males tend to wait until the last minute to get their shopping done (yes, this is actually proven by data), so why not use that knowledge to our advantage?
Using Behavioral Targeting, we can. With a standard entrance modal popup, if we are able to determine the gender of the visitor, we can display a different message accordingly. For example, for women we could say “Shop our Early Black Friday sale!” and for men we could emphasize “Last day for free standard shipping!”.
Now, we want to hear from you!
What are you doing this year to make the most of the holidays? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share your favorite tips to your social network!
Again, if you’d like to check out the full presentation including even more stats and tactics, you can access it here (it's free!).