How Ecommerce Staffing Can Get Better Holiday Results
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This is typically a frantic time of year for digital marketing operations of all kinds. Though the majority of planning and preparation for holiday marketing has usually been long completed by now, digital marketing executives across the country and in businesses of all kinds are making last minute adjustments and fine-tuning their recently-launched campaigns.

After months designing festive display ads, testing holiday-themed email subject lines and planning eye-grabbing promotions, ecommerce staffing and their leaders might mistakenly think they’ve done everything possible to maximize holiday marketing revenue.

Now that site freezes have gone into effect and the busiest shopping season of the year is in full-swing, traditional marketing wisdom puts focus on making sure everything rolls out smoothly.

While it’s true that 2015’s Q4 campaign creation work is long done, it’s now time for digital marketing executives to balance execution with optimization. For many organizations, this is a make-or-break time of the year and every conversion matters.

Holiday Spending Expected to Grow 4% This Year, Pushed By Online Shopping

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With just a few weeks left before Christmas, there’s still time for data-driven digital marketers to make a number of small adjustments to wring a little more results from their ecommerce efforts. Collectively these efforts can have a significant impact on your bottom lines.

Here are five optimization tips to help your holiday marketing initiatives drive as many sales as possible:

Draw More Sales from Your Best Deals

No matter how much market research your data scientist consultants may have done to create the “perfect” promotion, early holiday responses give you the best sense of which special deals are and aren’t actually performing to expectations.

Analyze early holiday season campaign data as it comes in to identify the promotions and discounts generating higher-than-expected results. Consider doubling down on them if the margins make sense, either extending them or advertising them more heavily.

In situations where product promotions are not performing well, identify strategies for making the promotion more attractive. Particularly when you need to offload holiday products or surplus inventory before the end of the year, you may even want to sweeten the deal and feature the products prominently on your ecommerce landing page and online ads.

Display Ad Optimization

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With all the pre-planning many organizations do with the media buys and creative production, they often fail to update their online ad campaigns beyond the original plans once the holidays are in full swing. Have your digital media staffing evaluate all the ads you have been running so far this holiday season, and see how you can get the most out of your advertising budget.

Your marketing analytics staffing should be able to analyze campaign data to optimize display ads and retargeting campaigns based on consumer behavior and audience targeting. What device, browser, time of conversion, keywords, and search terms are being used most this holiday marketing season? The answers now are very likely different from when you were planning months ago.

Also, consider increasing your holiday advertising spend as you see what ads are working, which products are selling, and how consumers are responding. Sometimes consumer buying trends can suddenly shift in the middle of a season, and it’s wise to adjust your strategy to take advantage of them. If you can drive potential and returning customers to your site and keep them around with compelling holiday deals, you have made an LTV investment for a stronger Q1 and a loyal customer for the new year.

Reunite Abandoned Shopping Carts with Their Owners

If your ecommerce staffing has installed onsite engagement features built into your site (and if they haven’t they probably should), early abandonment data will show which promotions are most effective.

By setting up criteria filters based on different purchase behaviors such as cart content, basket value, geolocation and device type, clever digital marketing staffing can trigger personalized, relevant discount offers to re-engage holiday shoppers and incentivize them to complete their purchase.

Even highly successful online retailers face high levels of shopping cart abandonment, ranging from 62%-76%. Each e-tailer invests significant time and resources to plan emails designed to re-engage those customers that were just on the cusp of buying but backed out for some reason. By looking at A/B test results conducted early in the season, ecommerce staffing can identify at what point customers are ditching your site.

Then it’s a matter of reconnecting the leavers. Email is usually the go-to channel for this kind of activity, though mobile advertising and app engagement are quickly becoming reliable alternatives.

If you’re seeing unremarkable results from your remarketing email campaigns, email staffing can try tweaking the subject lines, changing the timing of emails, or cascading the emails at different  intervals. Engaging with three staggered messages on a schedule tailored to persona data can keep your brand top of mind and prompt her to return and finish her purchase.

Don’t stop engaging shoppers even as the holiday season winds down. For first-time customers, consider sending a thank you with a discount off their next purchase before end of year, or a reward for signing-up for your loyalty program. For frequent shoppers, send exclusive holiday deals, or a preview of year-end specials.

Catering to the Last-Minute Shopper

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Particularly as the holiday season comes to a close, shoppers become increasingly wary of purchasing online, fearful that their items will not arrive on time. But these customers are often of great potential value, desperate for a last-minute gift or scrambling for ideas.

If you’re seeing increased shopping cart abandonment two weeks into December, that’s a good time to remind your customers of key shipping dates and shipping services for guaranteed Christmas delivery. If your business is participating in National Free Shipping Day on December 18, promote widely and remind your customers to take part.

For procrastinating shoppers, provide deals the week of the holiday, and create a sense of urgency with a distinct call to action. Copy and art specially tailored to that sense of urgency and reaching out a helping hand at a time of need can be especially effective. If you offer any kind of gift card or pre-purchased services that can be redeemed in the future, these are items that often see a spike in last-minute purchases due to their short shipping times and ability to simply be printed out or downloaded.

2015’s ecommerce competition will be some of the fiercest we’ve ever seen, putting even more pressure on digital marketing executives and their ecommerce marketing staffing to help businesses gain a competitive edge. With the an analytical mind and access to the right data and tools, you can help make a meaningful difference in the productivity of your holiday marketing.

Article Source: Chief Marketer

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