According to the most current data on holiday shopping trends, many customers are starting their seasonal gift-buying earlier than in years past. The ease of purchase combined with enticing savings offered online mean shoppers can begin crossing items off their lists before Labor Day, instead of waiting for Black Friday to roll around.
For brand manufacturers, this presents new opportunities to extend seasonal buying and boost online sales. With the right online tactics, there’s an unprecedented upside to evolving holiday-shopping trends.
Partner with your online retailers.
While modern consumers continue to research multiple sales channels before purchase, it’s never been more important for brands to implement an omni-channel approach. A successful online strategy should seamlessly connect both the brand and preferred retailer websites — providing a convenient and coordinated path to purchase for customers by showing them where they can buy your products online as well as at brick-and-mortar retailer options. Including strategic Where to Buy buttons on your brand’s website can help point customers in the right direction, offering them choices that best suit their purchasing preferences.
Also consider working with your retail partners to streamline advertising and promotional efforts. Especially when it comes to holiday shopping, brands need to leverage techniques like bundling and product pairing (e.g., a guitar paired with a guitar strap) to keep consumers from bouncing off your site and onto a competitor’s product page.
Finally, ensure your brand’s products are in stock and visible to consumers on every preferred retailer site. The more a brand and its retailers are aligned, the higher the opportunity for increased sales and improved brand loyalty across all channels.
Understand where and how your customers buy.
Data also plays a significant role in the brand and retailer relationship. When a customer’s decision can be tracked across multiple websites, a brand can better understand where and how its consumers like to purchase. Do they prefer a specific retailer? How many pages did they visit before they chose to buy? To dig even deeper, identify which retailer sells that product the most and analyze how that product is presented on the product page.
When it comes to building a seasonal sales strategy, evaluate the traffic to both your brand and retailer websites. Are there more visitors during a specific time of year? Are those visitors purchasing certain types of products? These are some of the questions you can ask to determine the best promotional strategy for your brand.
Optimize each product’s online representation.
A product’s reputation can often be influenced by its online representation. This includes product descriptions, product imagery or videos, prices, ratings and reviews, and more. Brands need to closely monitor and harmonize how each product is displayed across retail partner sites.
Why? Because vague or inaccurate product information may deter a shopper’s attention and ultimately cost your brand a sale. Even worse, erroneous descriptions can lead to faulty expectations. Faulty expectations lead to bad reviews — and in the world of online retail, this often means the difference between the life and death of a product.
So it’s important to ensure all content within a product description is accurate and clear, and that the most important information appears above the fold. Continue to monitor and optimize this content, pulling content from the display of top product purchase locations.
The same practice extends to product imagery. While most products sell better with three or more images, it is important to include a realistic, high-quality image of the product. With an accurate picture of the product, returns are less likely — benefitting both brands and retailers.
While monitoring the detailed performance of each product, look for areas of improvement and opportunities for further growth. Add timely, customized product descriptions and images for specific holiday-shopping surges and continue to monitor and adapt.
Interested in learning more about improving your holiday marketing online? Contact PriceSpider today.