6 tips for nailing your holiday retail strategy that align PR, marketing and sales

by | Dec 20, 2019 | Public Relations

With the holidays here, retailers must perfect their sales strategy if they want to meet 2019 revenue goals in the final days of the year.

Since holiday shoppers are more accustomed to quick shipping and steep discounts, however, it’s become more challenging for marketers to cut through to customers during the busy holiday shopping season. Retailers must deliver a simplified buying journey, faster website, powerful email marketing, and time-based messaging to nail their holiday sales season based on data from a new holiday report.

Number 1: Deliver quality gifts over quantity

Forty-six percent of shoppers have failed to complete a purchase online because there were too many options to choose from.

Ensure your category landing and search results pages don’t have too many product options, a three-column view or detailed list view is recommended. Providing filtering, pagination and intuitive product categorization can reduce overchoice, a type of cognitive dissonance people experience when overwhelmed with too many good options.

Number 2: Don’t forget the last-minute holiday shoppers

Most consumers are last-minute shoppers with 21 percent saying they don’t start their holiday shopping December 1-15 versus any other two-week period.

Use time-based scarcity messaging in emails, website banners and social media to encourage early shopping and inform consumers of the last day to purchase for products to arrive by Christmas.

Number 3: Mix up your in-store and online offerings this season

Some customers still prefer a mixed approach to shopping between in-store and online – making click-and-collect expectations the norm with a third (31 percent) of online shoppers expecting click-and-collect functionality. 

This can give retailers an edge over online-only retailers who will live or die on the postal service, UPS and FedEx logistics to deliver their orders before Christmas. Retailers with physical stores can offer pick-up points to maximize the holiday selling season. As Christmas gets closer, encourage consumers to pick-up in store instead of betting on shipping carriers who may be overwhelmed by online shopping.

Number 4: Personalize your holidays email campaigns

The number one channel online shoppers wish retailers would communicate with them more frequently on is email (17 percent) followed by social media (14 percent) and a brand/retailer’s mobile app (13 percent).

Email is the workhorse of online shopping during the holidays. Consumers are prepared for email fatigue and will sift through emails from dozens of retailers to find the best gift at the best price. Don’t be afraid to deliver more emails this holiday season, even daily or twice per day. Personalizing these emails with individual recommendations can make all the difference. If consumers feel like they’re receiving generic batch-and-blast emails every day during the Holidays, they may be more inclined to ignore or unsubscribe. If you personalize emails with product recommendations and personalized messaging such as First Name, along with some warm copy to balance out product promotions, email can be a winner for you this holiday season.

Number 5: Prepare for spikes in mobile traffic

According to Episerver customer data, mobile traffic spikes during the holiday season (52 percent in November, 55 percent in December, compared with 49 percent in February).

Last-minute mobile optimization including reducing page load times are crucial. Retailers and brands spend millions of dollars bringing consumers to their sites only for them to bounce because an image was too large, or the retailer had too many third-party applications embedded in front-end code. Work with your development team to ensure you’ve gotten your page load speed as low as possible before Black Friday.

Number 6: Bring consumers back using email

Fifty percent of all e-commerce transactions come from multi-device journeys

Use ‘sign-up for newsletters’ at the beginning of a consumer journey to build a bridge to multi-device purchases. Tom Taylor provides a 15 percent voucher offer on the footer of every page, encouraging first-time visitors to provide their email in exchange for a coupon code. This can bring a user back on their preferred device to complete a purchase, using email as the bridge.

6 tips for nailing your holiday retail strategy that align PR, marketing and sales

6 tips for nailing your holiday retail strategy that align PR, marketing and sales

The same cross-device tactic applies further down the funnel. Abandon cart emails can be sent once a user has begun a checkout process by providing their email address but does not complete. Retailers using Episerver’s email recommendations have seen a 6.4 percent click-through-rate on abandoned cart emails and a 22.6 percent click-to-purchase. These emails can also contain other recommended products based on the products that were abandoned.

6 tips for nailing your holiday retail strategy that align PR, marketing and sales

6 tips for nailing your holiday retail strategy that align PR, marketing and sales

With more shoppers completing their lists later in the year, retailers have more time than they think to prepare their sites and marketing for the shopping rush.

Ed Kennedy
Ed Kennedy is Senior Director of Commerce at Episerver.


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