It is a truth universally acknowledged, that planning and executing a successful holiday marketing plan can turn an e-commerce marketer’s hair prematurely gray. Nailing down the promo calendar, aligning with seasonal inventory, ensuring that the holiday message is consistent across different platforms — all of this can cause major headaches.
But if you do it right, it’s also a huge opportunity to connect with your customers in a meaningful way, and to drive big wins for your business. Here are some data-driven tips from our most innovative customers from the retail world for planning a grand slam holiday marketing campaign.
1) Don’t look for new best friends. The same promotions that drive hordes of new shoppers to your business around holiday time also tend to make these customers much less valuable than those acquired during other seasons. Typically, shoppers acquired during the holidays spend less — and make fewer repeat purchases — than others. These customers, on average, are worth between 15% to 50% less than customers acquired during other seasons (tweet this stat). And, in addition to being more price-sensitive, they tend to have a lower level of brand engagement.
For example, one of Custora’s customers discovered that shoppers acquired during the holiday 2012 season were almost 15 times more likely to have come in through keyword misspellings of the retailer’s name than customers acquired in other months. The takeaway? Be prepared for lots of “one-and-done” shoppers with a lower level of attachment to your store. Make sure that your brand message is clear and consistent – and be prepared with a follow-up strategy to educate newly-acquired customers, encourage repeat purchases, and nurture a deeper brand relationship.
2) Get mobile. With so much else to think about, it can be hard to dedicate resources to things like optimizing the mobile site or sprucing up the app. But holiday shoppers tend to be from 50% to more than 150% more likely to make purchases on mobile devices or tablets than others (tweet this stat). Plan accordingly.
3) Think young. Much like families hauling out old Christmas ornaments every year, it can be tempting to stick to a classic, tried-and-true holiday concept. But new customers acquired during holiday shopping time tend to skew young: they’re more than 40% more likely to be in the 18-34 age range than shoppers acquired at other times during the year. Now is the time to go for a bold, fresh new look that might appeal to a younger audience.
4) Pay for it. Holiday shoppers are disproportionately likely to be acquired through paid channels – paid search, display advertising, and Facebook advertising, for example; competition is fierce during this time of the year with many brands increasing their marketing spend to compete for a higher share of the gift-buying wallet. Make sure you’re positioned to capture some of the click-through spirit of the holiday season with targeted ad buys and strong content across all your paid channels.
** These findings are derived from data spanning 24 million customers, for the time frame of November – December 2012.
>> If you found this post helpful, check out Custora U: The best place* for marketing teams to learn about e-commerce analytics.
(* getting there…)