Fall is here, and you know what that means… The Thanksgiving shopping season is close! We’ve got some key facts and figures for marketers to ponder this year.
Black Friday may be widely known as the busiest shopping day of the year, but Cyber Monday has more than caught up. More importantly, both of these events are now completely and totally omnichannel. It’s not about just one campaign or one single day. It’s not even just online or offline. Businesses will need to deliver the complete package if they want to stay competitive this year.
To succeed, you’ll need to step back and optimize everything you’ve got to drive more traffic and higher conversions. This includes your product data. We’ll get to that point soon enough, but first, let's start with the basics.____
Define your target channels
You don’t want to be just another seller in the cloud of sales and retailers. Focus on channels popular amongst your audience while also balancing channels where you can really grab attention. Once you’ve defined your channel strategy, you can put in the legwork to ensure you succeed. This will include upping your bidding (possibly a lot), so you should be absolutely certain about your targets.
Be sure you:
- Know exactly where your audience will be this shopping weekend
- Know which channels will allow you to achieve maximum visibility and reach
- Determine which channels you need to add to your portfolio for the holiday
If you need to get on any new export channels before the holidays, start now. If you’re using a product data management tool, this can be done with relative ease. That means you can expand your horizon and really focus in on the channels that will work best for you and your products.
Of course, no matter where you go this shopping season, you will need to get on Amazon. This brings us to the next step…
Get your Amazon Strategy in order
Amazon took nearly ⅓ of all Cyber Monday sales in 2017. They reportedly sold millions of Echo Dot devices over the holiday weekend in 2017, ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses alone, and saw a 50%+ increase in their app usage around the world.
Your audience is on Amazon. You should be too. Be prepared to rock it and stand out from the crowd this season.
- Supercharge the chances of your products being clicked by leveraging Amazon’s different discount-related opportunities (price discounts, Best Deals, Lightning Deals, or promo codes).
- Consider Sponsored Product ads to boost visibility. These PPC-based search ads can get very competitive. However, if you’re able to leverage them, you can supercharge the promotion of your listed products.
Perfect the user experience on your site
It costs precious ad dollars to bring users to your site. If users land on your page and don’t find all the information they need quickly and easily, they might just navigate to another store. Even return customers deserve a pleasant shopping experience, so be sure to give it to them.
On top of great products, give users a great experience.
- When possible, link users to the exact product they were viewing. That means, if they want a size XS in purple, that should be the product they’re sent to.
- Make your checkout process simple and clear. Users are accustomed to one-click purchasing and pre-filled shipping information. Black Friday shoppers want to be able to check out without creating an account or spending any extra time. If this step is complicated, a user might just say goodbye before converting.
- Make pages Black Friday Cyber Monday relevant. This is a unique shopping experience and users will be much more inspired to convert if they’re feeling festive.
- Be sure your site is ready for the traffic. Test your speed with Google Speed Test, also on mobile, to see the user experience first hand.
- Test for bugs and glitches. With all the changes, promos, and discounts, there can be issues on your site. Don’t be victim to a botched Black Friday Cyber Monday sites (like many major retailers in the past).
Deliver on your promises
Customers have high expectations online. That’s why advertising and campaigns are such fine-tuned marketing skills. Of course, the story isn’t over just because the customer converted. Get your stocks and delivery ready well ahead of time. There will be (with any luck) much higher demand.
- Review historical data and also increase predictions for popular product categories and best sellers.
- Be sure your stocks are ready, your shipping plans in order, and that you’re ready to stay on top of fluctuating inventories to adjust campaigns if necessary.
Optimize and prepare your product data for all channels
Whether you’re selling through a niche online shop or a major online marketplace, your product information needs to be clean and clickable. This will ensure a good customer experience, greatly increasing the chances of making the sale.
Your product data should always be:
If a shopper clicks a product because the title lists a certain color, feature, or price, they’ll want to see that same information on the product landing page.
Keep information consistent across:
- Marketing channels
- Sales channels
- Your website
- Titles, descriptions, and other attributes
Don’t let your usual branding, style, and formatting get undermined by the chaos of the shopping season. Give users a consistent experience by always being on brand.
Be sure to use your:
- Brand colors, logos, and illustration style
- Brand terminologies and writing styles
Even if you have the perfect product for the ideal shopper, you’ll still need to inspire action. Modern shoppers expect thorough, impeccable product descriptions.
Be sure to:
- Make images unique and personable
- Create titles and descriptions that reflect the user's needs
It’s easy to make errors when you have thousands of SKUs in your inventory. Don’t forget the basics of a good feed:
- Keep titles within the defined character limit for chosen channels
- Remove unnecessary capitalization from titles and descriptions
- Use accurate product categories that are correct and granular
- Remove broken URLs or HTML encoding
In short: follow the 5 golden rules of a clean feed, always optimize required attribute data and utilize optional attributes.