10/25/12

The procrastinator's guide to holiday marketing

A new report offers quick tricks to help not-quite-ready e-retailers maximize holiday sales.

Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research

The holiday sales season is approaching. Fast.  E-retailers who feel they could still benefit from a few more strategies to beef up their seasonal sales can implement several quick tricks even now, with just a couple of weeks until online holiday sales get into full swing, according to a new report from e-commerce platform provider MarketLive Inc.

MarketLive based its report on an online survey in September that asked 1,136 shoppers about their online shopping plans and preferences for the holidays. All participants had shopped online at least four times over the past year, spending at least $250 in total on those purchases. The survey finds the main reasons shoppers say they buy online are to save money cited by 82% of consumers), access a broader selection of products (80%) and save time (78%), says MarketLive.

Many merchants will highlight how they will save shoppers money, so to stand out MarketLive suggests emphasizing how an e-retailer can save consumers time. That requires finding a creative message the sticks in shoppers’ minds, because harried shoppers will be seeing a slew of marketing messages over the holidays.
The report points to one such creative message in an ad from last year’s holiday season in which sports and outdoor apparel and gear retailer Moosejaw aimed to help the “Lazy Shopper” buy gifts.

“Spell out the choices to save those Lazy Shoppers time as Moosejaw did in one of our favorite holiday e-mails,” the report notes. The e-mail displays shopping categories as tabs at the top of the e-mail message to show shoppers what it sells, and also offers gifts at various price points such as under $10, under $25, all the way up to under $200. The e-mail also noted that Moosejaw.com, No. 276 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, offers free two-day shipping on orders over $75.

It isn’t enough just to offer free shipping and other incentives, retailers have to point them out to consumers, says the report.  It points to baby gear retailer Giggle, whose promotions last year highlighted its free gift wrapping.

MarketLive also recommends retailers craft a dynamic area of their sites focused on gifts. For instance, retailers like the Container Store, No. 299 in the Top 500 Guide, publicize their employees’ top picks, while others like gift retailer Harry and David, No. 108, point out top-rated gifts from consumers who live close to the shopper.

Other tips include:

Topics:

American Eagle Outfitters, Container Store, e-commerce, e-retail, Giggle, industry statistics, MarketLive inc., merchandising and design, Moosejaw, Online shopping, online survey, Things Remembered

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