When you think of Christmas, what comes to mind? Turkey, crackers and presents probably all feature. But how often do you think about what lies behind them? For ecommerce marketers it should be a common thought, as with any good Christmas present comes a path to purchase, either in-store or online, with each one representing a significant opportunity.
The final quarter of the retail calendar is well-underway, with key dates including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas fast-approaching. While the majority of holiday season strategies will have been finalized months in advance, as we reach this critical period in the annual shopping calendar brands cannot afford to become complacent and must be constantly optimizing their campaigns if they want to capitalize on these opportunities.
Product recommendations come in all shapes and sizes, using different algorithms and technology, and with varying levels of success. Brands that use a product recommendation engine on their website do so in the hope that they will improve conversion rates, but not all product recommendations will hit the mark with customers. To do so, they need to be intelligent, personal and most of all, relevant.
Context. One of the defining factors behind a visit to a website, yet one that so many brands fail to consider when targeting their customers online. As while many brands attempt personalisation based on who customers are, very few build online experiences that place a focus on relevancy.
Online marketplaces are changing the way consumers search and shop for products online. With websites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy continuing to grow in both size and popularity, ecommerce competition is more complex than ever before. Not only are brands competing directly with other brands, they are now battling marketplaces that are populated by thousands of competitive sellers. This has opened up the question; should brands consider joining the marketplace masses?
Consumer expectations of brands, whether they sell a product or service and do so online or offline, are higher than ever before. As a result, retailers are faced with the need to improve the customer experience to continue to engage and convert customers.
For many SMBs, the Black Friday Weekend is a difficult sales holiday, not least because of the challenge of competing against the larger eCommerce players. Realistically, most SMBs cannot afford to match their price cuts and deals, nor gain the same levels of increased traffic over the weekend.
UK Black Friday sales reached £1.23 billion in 2016, a 12.2% increase on the £1.1 billion spent on the same day in 2015. Despite this success, however, the Black Friday Weekend harbours a plethora of challenges for retailers to tackle, from traffic spikes to high return costs.
If you have a website and use it to sell goods or services, then you'll be aware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest eCommerce holidays in the marketing calendar.