The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving is just days away, and with that looms the infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. There’s been much debate this year as to whether we’ll see the shopper frenzy and wild mobs of Black Fridays past, or if shoppers are over the scuffle and shuffle, and plan to spread out their purchases or rely on online transactions.
No matter how it plays out, you need to be prepared to make the most of every visitor that lands on your site next weekend. Here are five tips to make sure you’re ready:
1. Create Consistent Messaging Across Channels
First and foremost, before assessing which specific channels to emphasize, make sure the messaging and experience you deploy across touchpoints is unified. You want to provide visitors with a personalized, relevant and consistent experience so they can seamlessly take their shopping from one channel to another.
For example, you may be using emails to acquire new customers or retarget current ones – make sure the recommendations and information presented are in sync with what your website, mobile site and mobile app say.
2. Expand the Wish List with Relevant Recommendations
Email, mobile and social are often key channels in driving visitors to your site. Use them to provide enticing recommendations to shoppers – not just highlighting products or content they’ve already seen, but also other items that might interest them, based on what they’ve seen or done. It doesn’t hurt to help them lengthen their holiday wish list, and once shoppers are on your website (or mobile site/app), continue to provide a helpful, tailored experience that builds on and complements their previous interactions with your brand.
Deepen the connection with your shoppers by sharing with them what’s resonating with like-minded individuals. That is, what are people like them reading about or shopping for right now? Don’t just present trends at the site-wide level – you can be most helpful and drive more interest, product discovery and sales by showing online visitors what other, similar people are consuming and buying.
3. Understand Your Shoppers
You can maximize the effectiveness of your digital channels by making sure they’re equipped to understand – and act on – who your individual visitors are. What content and products are visitors viewing? What have they looked at in the past? Suggest related items to provide value, demonstrate relevance and drive sales.
You should also tailor experiences across channels to better service both “active” and “dormant” shoppers. For example, remind active shoppers of what’s in their cart, and provide incentives to purchase. If someone hasn’t been on your site in three months, can you recommend to them – based on their previous browsing history – relevant products and content you’re releasing this holiday season to help reinvigorate their interest?
4. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
In an overcrowded holiday marketplace – where everyone has great sales, incentives, hot products, etc. – effective digital marketing tactics can be a powerful differentiator that closes deals online, and strengthens the in-store experience. You’ll need to be able to set yourself apart from the competition: capturing visitor attention in a very short period of time, and creating relevant, efficient experiences that encourage shopping and drive conversions.
Personalization is a proven way to do this, and one that’s gaining steam – 91% of marketers are either using or planning to use personalization in the next year. At a fundamental level, it makes sense: when you can understand where a visitor is coming from, how they’ve interacted with you previously, what their intent on your site is (and more) – and use that information to create a relevant, personalized experience in real time – you can make your brand stand out and boost sales.
5. Provide Shoppers with Guided Navigation
It’s extremely effective and helpful to give users easy access to what they’ve read or products they’ve previously viewed – organized, if possible, according to that person’s demonstrated level of interest or past purchases. Many sites make it difficult (or impossible) for visitors to access this history – though when it’s at shoppers’ fingertips, it can drive greater sales.
As the countdown to the holiday weekend continues, make sure you can check off the above items, and have your digital properties decked out to provide a relevant and positive experience at all times. Do this, and you can achieve holiday sales success.