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'Tis the Season: Why Retailers Should Prepare for the Holiday Season Now
Alex is a Brand and Marketing Programs Manager specializing in design and content development.
Last year presented many challenges and unexpected changes. One of those changes was that in the land of eCommerce, many retailers experienced a digital holiday season that surpassed targets set at the beginning of the year (even with a global pandemic turning the world upside down). Now retailers face the challenge of exceeding even those metrics.
Even with the economic uncertainty ahead, the outlook for the 2021 holiday season is bright. According to eMarketer and Insider Intelligence, 2021 eCommerce sales will rise 11.3% due to post-pandemic opportunities.
A few factors are playing a part in the 2021 holiday season for eCommerce. The world is slowly opening back up again, so friends and families globally should be able to spend the holiday season together again. Psychologically this may mean an extra splurge in gift buying to celebrate. A substantial amount of people who previously shopped predominantly in stores pre-pandemic opted to shop online last year. After experiencing this easier and stress-free approach to shopping, many are expected to shop online again in 2021. Also, Prime Day has already taken place in June, so online retailers won't be competing with such a goliath event.
It's Time To Prepare For The Holiday Season
Preparing for the holiday season is more than launching a single campaign in November/December. First, retailers need to prime their customers. After all, you can't expect to drop a holiday campaign and assume people will know about it. Instead, start building brand awareness and getting customers excited about your products. Digital Commerce 360 describes how building on your SEO now, both organic and paid, will enable people to find you. It sounds obvious, but SEO it's something you can't turn on overnight, search rankings are built up over time, and if you aren't already prioritizing it, it's time to start. Learn more here.
Images (both product and lifestyle) have a strong influencing factor for over 90% of consumer purchase decisions. Invest in branded product photography and making sure that alt text and descriptions are accurate will make a difference. Don't just have flat text embedded into an image. All text should be live on your site, crawlable for search engines, and be ADA compatible. If your website doesn't allow you to easily and quickly accomplish this, maybe it's time you looked into innovative software that empowers you to make this happen, such as Creator.
Brands need their voices heard, and it can be hard to differentiate in a saturated marketplace. Use consistent messaging across all digital channels, from social, email, and website, to create a robust and reliable brand image. Progressive and successful retailers lean towards telling a story and building engaging experiences instead of the conventional 'sell sell sell' approach. Ensure that your digital content makes a strong presence and following so that your target audience is primed and ready to spend when you launch your holiday campaign.
Holiday Data That Can't Be Ignored
As digital experience experts with thousands of brands' eCommerce data at our fingertips, we wanted to share with you some of our findings. These are customers utilizing Creator to enhance shoppailty and transform their customer's experience.
The types of experiences most used for last years holiday season:
Some interesting metrics:
The results show the increase in site traffic on the day their holiday campaign launched:
We also saw a dramatic increase in revenue on experiences built in Creator. For example, Foster Grant had a 47% increase in revenue on their holiday Creator experiences. Of course, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for most retailers, so it's expected that site visits and conversions are higher. However, with the fierce competition and continuing growth in eCommerce across the globe, it's critical to stand out from the crowd.
Examples Of Different Types Of Successful Holiday Campaigns
Our customers love seeing what other retailers are building with Creator. It's often helpful in getting the creative juices flowing and motivation to start planning their holiday strategies. Planning such an important campaign is a long and complex process. Creative assets need to be gathered, planned, and executed. Copy needs to be written. UX design and promotional logistics need to be arranged. It's a time-consuming endeavor, not to mention the pressure to meet KPIs. This is why starting now is so critical to a successful and polished holiday campaign. Check out what other brands have done before:
Are you wondering how you can build interactive, shoppable, and engaging website content? Want to elevate your branding and inspire your customers across your site? From your homepage, product detail pages (PDPs), category pages, personalized interactive experiences, and gift guides, all with live text that is crawlable and ADA compatible. For lean teams, all of this can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Creator by Zmags could be the answer to your eCommerce challenges. Not just for the upcoming holiday season but every single digital marketing goal. Not only is the platform designed for marketing designers to create easily without limits or coding, but we also have expert Creator Pros who can be an extension of your team and help you realize your potential and achieve your goals. Schedule a demo and free trial to see for yourself.
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