Cyber Monday is fast approaching. It is one of the biggest days of the year for ecommerce, but it needs some advance planning, a rock solid multi-channel digital strategy and an experienced team. Below, I’ve outlined 12 tips that can help your brand better take advantage of one of the prime ecommerce sales events of the year.
1. It’s More Than Just Monday
- You can expect huge sales on the actual day, but now the sales event has expanded past just that one 24 hour period. Traditionally bricks and mortar killed it on Black Friday, but that’s not the whole picture anymore. Consumer behavior is evolving and the anticipated trend for 2017 is that there will be considerable ecommerce taking place on Friday through Tuesday.
- Last year we saw sales rising for our clients at the end of Cyber Monday and I think we probably could have generated a few more sales had Tuesday been part of our planned strategy.
- Prime the pump – let your consumers know what to expect before the sales event takes place.
2. Get Your Pricing Right
- Consumers are looking for deals. Don’t let them down! We are not fans of discounting beyond quantity deals, but consumers, as most will tell you, despise paying for shipping, especially on products, such as wine that they’ve traditionally picked up in retail environments.
3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Don’t ignore Adwords. The search volume for gifting in the United States begins accelerating at the beginning of October. And it ends way before Christmas. In the UK, it’s already started to increase.
4. Customers Are Overwhelmed With Ads
- Personalization is key to break through the clutter. Mine your CRM for data that will help you serve up the right ads to the right people. If you see that customers purchased your Cabernet 3 months ago, serve ads up to them for that product. If they click on a particular product on your website, but don’t purchase, retarget them with that specific product (and potentially a value add incentive). It will help them and you.
5. PPC Costs
- Expect to pay a bit more for cost per click. There is a ton of competition, not just from brands in your vertical, but also from just about any savvy brand with a product to sell.
6. Landing Pages
- Create specific landing pages to help move your consumer through the sales funnels. You should have landing pages for every offer through out the rest of the year, but I realize it may not be feasible for smaller organizations. Landing pages are intended to funnel your customer to the action you want them to take without distractions, provide reassurance and facilitate the sales process.
7. Walk Through Your Check Out Process
- Have your grandmother (no offense to digitally savvy grandmoms) or someone who is unfamiliar with ordering from your website purchase from both desktop and mobile. Record them. Find and fix the spots along the path to purchase that are problematic. And time the process.
- Better yet, put code on your site to see how people use your site. Fix this before you spend any money on advertising. If it can’t be fixed in time or your ecommerce platform isn’t flexible enough, create a work around. You can spend and send all the consumers you want to your site, but if the process is problematic, you’ve just lost a bunch of money and effort.
- Start working on proper sales attributions now. If you don’t have your analytics set up correctly on your website, you will have an impossible time optimizing your holiday ad campaign in real time. Digital advertising isn’t fire and forget, it needs aggressive optimization to deliver the best results. If you can only see how many people clicked on your ad and not how many actually purchased, you are totally blind. If you don’t know which ads are performing best based on sales, you will end up spending more money.
9. Create Your Intercept & Influence™ Strategy Now
- Walk through your consumers path to purchase to help you create your multi-channel holiday ad strategy. Consider all of the steps in the sales funnel and how will your ad strategy will Intercept & Influence™ your buyer along that path. A couple of hints:
- We’ve found that video is great for awareness on Instagram. Especially a teaser. But video isn’t necessary, any cool awareness-generating content will do.
- Most consumers don’t purchase when they first land on your site. So retarget them.
- Multi channels (email, search, digital & social ads) programs are far more effective than just relying on one means of communication.
10. Prepare Your Shipping Department
- This probably goes without saying, but I have to write it anyway. Get these orders out asap and you are most likely going to need to staff up.
- Pre-pack the gift packs, the trios, whatever, so you can make this as easy as possible on your organization.
- Your return on advertising investment (ROAS) projections will help you inform your operations department so they can better plan.
11. Prepare for Long, Long Hours. Get Up Early and Stay Up All Night
- Be prepared to modify your campaign creative, targeting and budget throughout the effort.
- Buy pizza, get some good tunes going and rock on!
- We saw wine consumers buy right after midnight, literally at 12:01 a.m. and right up to the end of the 24 hour period.
12. Answer Your Phones
- Have someone prepared to answer the phone at the winery when your campaign is running. Because more people are using their mobile device, they want an easy way to order. The click to call functionality needs to be baked in to both your ads and your landing pages.
Many other wineries are putting the pedal to the medal this holiday season and if you’re not there fighting for your customers another winery is going to steal your market share. If you’re not working with specialists who have experience managing the fast pace of Cyber Monday, your winery is going to lose out to those who are.