Maybe it’s the case for each and every year, but everybody from the marketing world is thinking the same for this holiday season: It will be the toughest holiday selling season yet for all sizes retailers from all around the world. This year, retailers are not dealing with downsides like low consumer confidence due to the lack of money in the pockets of shoppers – like in the previous years – but instead, this year’s challenge is to maximise the ROI by maximising the conversion rates for the upcoming online traffic bumps.
Here, the biggest challenge ahead is for the retailers who have not successfully implemented a proper omni-channel strategy yet. Because, all studies suggest that with the rapid adoption of all sorts of retail channels thanks to the diffusion of technology into retail, now consumers have too many options/channels to shop from. This causes a massive potential distraction for your shoppers, and unless handled carefully, it may cause low conversion rates for you. It’s well proven that consumers’ shopping related attention span is getting lower and lower due to the rise of this many options.
Honestly, the word omni-channel has been more of a marketing buzzword in the retailosphere lately, however in such cases like holiday shopping and many others, it can really yield a meaningful return when handled holistically.
This idea of fragmentation at the consumer end is also supported by many research. For example, an Adlucent study found that almost 50% of shoppers prioritise a product search on Google or Bing, and this majority is followed by searchers on Amazon, and the rest is browsers mingling around physical stores.
These figures might be the driving force behind Amazon and many other only-online retailers’ move towards brick-and-mortar. Retailers following this strategy include likes of ModCloth, Warby Parker, Birchbox and more. To prove that, Neil Blumenthal, the CEO of Warby Parker stated in a recent article that his company is actually a medium agnostic company. – Let’s say, omnichannel at its best. 🙂
As omni-channel pushes retailers to cover all touch-points, it’s fair to expect a similar move from once offline-only retailers. For example, luxury retail space is seeing more and more brands starting their e-commerce presence, like Chanel or Dior. Therefore, we see that companies decided to strengthen their discoverability for the sake of losing a bit of their exclusivity.
1 – Pop-up shops as a test
Here, you do not really need that much of a starting budget for renting out a particular place or paying dollars for a special in-store design etc. Check out Storefront, sort of, Airbnb for shop-floor. You can just rent out a space to retail your products temporarily. With very small budgets, actually you can A/B test your physical retail performance.
2- Laser focus on your search engine performance
SEO, right? Yes, but not SEO as a one-time thing. SEO is constantly upgrading, thanks to the Google’s efforts in making things searched smarted for its users. People are eager to browse the web for the product ideas in their minds, and you should be doing your very best to get most out of this interest. This goes beyond tagging your product pages properly, but also creating compelling content around your products, overall brand positioning. With all these, you will earn a continuously improving ranking in all search engines.
There is also tech side of search engine performance, of which, mobile-friendliness carries a huge part. SSL protections available around your whole site would also help your rankings in search engines.
3- Start loving marketplaces, unless you already do
This may sound a little controversial considering that many retailers have actually started up in those marketplaces, and then for the sake of ownership and more flexibility at the strategic level, moved on towards an independent operation out of those marketplaces. That sounds totally fair.
Still, let’s admit that Amazon product listings still have the highest trust and credibility for all shoppers, and in regards with the search volumes mentioned above, Amazon is a channel, which is too big to miss. Simply, unless you use Amazon for your product listings, you are neglecting the retail search volume of nearly 30%.
Note: I am Burc Tanir, co-founder of Prisync.com, the competitor price tracking software for e-commerce companies of all sizes from all around the world. As an e-commerce enthusiast, I eat and breathe e-commerce and will always love to connect with e-commerce enthusiasts on anything about e-commerce. Feel free to drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.