Can you beat Amazon this holiday season? An omnichannel approach to making it happen
By Andrew Fegley, president, Remarketable
While we're gearing up for one of the biggest seasons in retail, a few data points might be dropping coal in retailer's stockings for revenue in 2017. Here are a few that jumped out to me:
NetElixer predicts a 10 percent increase in ecommerce sales this season — but that's down 1 percent from the 11 percent increase in 2016.
The biggest reason: An increase in spending with Amazon, which will jump from 30 percent in 2016 to 34 percent in 2017.
55 percent of shoppers are already in research mode before October, according to the NRF 2017 Retail Playbook.
So how can your business react to consumer behaviors and try to beat Amazon? Here are a few new innovative ways to keep driving revenue this holiday retail season through next-generation remarketing.
Watch your onsite data and uncover surprising trends
We're frequently focused on data points like add to-cart and time-on-site. But the challenge around data is that it's only as smart as the questions you ask it. If you have the right vendor in place, you'll be able to ask bigger questions about the entire prospect and customer journey. Answering those questions now — instead of in the midst of holiday season — will help you determine your best prospects to hone in on so you can drive conversions.
Make your messaging holiday focused
One of my favorite insights from NRF: While many retailers leverage words like "holiday" in their email campaigns during the months of November and December, few test that language during prime shopping months of September and October. In fact, NRF found only 31 percent of retailers were sending holiday related emails in October, even though 41 percent of consumers said they were already researching their purchases for the season. For marketers fast enough to pivot, that offers a ripe chance to respond ahead of the competition and try to snag the sale before Amazon does.
Respond to your best new prospects to drive ROI
Your web traffic is probably soaring during the holidays, thanks to your paid search efforts. But the big question: Are you making the most of it? New cutting-edge technologies can help your company turn anonymous website visitors into prospects through identity-resolution — allowing you to reach out with personalized marketing that responds to the specific product and category those visitors were interested in. The result: Those prospects are more likely to convert. This is a prime season to test that technology at scale and see what types of new revenue you can drive.
Focus on loyalty ASAP
This year, one way to maximize performance is to target your existing customers with personalized messaging and offers that encourage them to act now. Hold a Loyal Customers Only Holiday Flash sale via direct mail or email now to get ahead of the holiday rush, with a personalized code that makes those customers feel like insiders. A one-day only pre-holiday sale for your most loyal customers can keep your brand top of mind — and give you an early boost on holiday sales. And Amazon might be able to deliver faster, but you have the ability to personalize and time your messages in a way that gets the sale first.
Send your direct mail and make sure it's driving to the right place
Direct mail requires smart online data — and the ability to reach out to your best prospects and customers quickly and easily with personalized messaging. During the holidays, that's no different — but with one caveat. There's an opportunity here to test where you send your prospects through your direct mail efforts. Rather than landing them on the homepage, why not send a piece of direct mail that responds to the category they've already been browsing on your website? Thanks to incredible advances in data and identity resolution, that intelligence is at your fingertips.
Every holiday season comes with its own challenges and opportunities and 2017 is no different. But these four keys are really opportunities to stand out from the crowd and make sure Amazon isn't eating too much of your holiday lunch.