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We have our fingers on the pulse of global retail


16 August 2016

It may only be August, but brands are already showcasing their Christmas promotions in preparation to hit the ground running during the most lucrative retail period of the year.

Peak ecommerce sales are projected to grow by as much as 13.3% this year, making the 2016 festive season the biggest period of spending the internet has ever seen! To help you reach record-breaking numbers this peak season, we have provided five top tips to boost your online sales and we explore a few success stories from leading online retailers to help you put them into practice.

Tip #1. Capture the spirit of major holidays and shopping events

Capture the spirit of major holidays, such as Christmas and New Years, and the culture of big shopping events, such as Black Friday and Singles’ Day, in all aspects of your sales strategy – from product offers and special promotions, to your store design and brand messaging.

Let your customers know that you are in the festive mood and your online business is more than ready to meet their shopping needs!

Tip #2. Be unique

You have probably already selected which products will be included in your Black Friday or Christmas deals, but now is the time to start thinking about how you are going to promote those deals!

Keep an eye on the competition, pick a few unique offers that will make you stand out from the crowd and price them competitively. People looking for deals online are going to be bombarded with loads of information, so make sure your offers don’t look like everyone else’s.

Tip #3. Attract customers early

Make sure your customers know about your upcoming sales campaigns at least a month in advance, since online buyers tend to start searching for product information and doing their holiday shopping as early as September.

Announce your deals and promotions in your newsletters, email campaigns and all marketing materials you send out to your customers; create a feeling of scarcity and encourage them to order as early as possible.

Tip #4. Promote! Promote! Promote!

Promote your deals and sales campaigns actively! Create thematic visuals, such as promotional banners, teasers or short videos to highlight the special offers you will make available for Christmas or Black Friday. Incorporate visually appealing countdowns to your storefront and selected products to create a sense of immediacy among your customers.

A store design or a product page that looks the same all year-round will not add much to the success of your online holiday campaigns.

Tip #5. Mobile-friendly is a must!

As mobile sales continue to rise, providing a smooth mobile shopping experience for your customers is an essential factor in the success of your 2016 holiday campaigns!

Mobile currently accounts for over 30% of all ecommerce sales globally, while 56% of all online retail searches take place on mobile devices. So, delivering a fully responsive storefront and easy to use check out experience will help you make the most of this year’s peak shopping period.

Getting it right

  • Singles’ Day | 11th November

Last year, the Alibaba Group generated a massive $14.3 billion in gross sales during China’s principle shopping event of the year, Singles’ Day, making it the biggest 24-hour online shopping phenomenon on the planet. This year, it is expected to be even bigger!

Counted as one of the key dates in their ecommerce trading calendar, The Hut Group’s beauty division prepared for Singles’ Day 2015 by making sure they had the technical ability to handle huge volumes of traffic throughout the day and were able to maintain their high-quality customer support service at all times. They also combined local market knowledge with advanced data analytics to create specific offers Chinese customers would enjoy, enabling the company to more than double their online sales compared to the year before.

  • Black Friday | 25th November

Online shoppers spent a staggering $2.74 billion on Black Friday last year, an increase of 14.3% over 2014, making Black Friday 2016 one of the most highly anticipated online shopping events across the globe. Last year, mobile sales were estimated at 36% of all online sales, while email marketing was the primary channel for driving online sales, accounting for 25% of all transactions.

It comes as no surprise that in 2015 Amazon was one of the retailers who saw the highest year-over-year sales increase on day, at 21%. By combining its competitively priced offers, with its effective email marketing campaigns and a smooth mobile shopping experience, the ecommerce giant is an excellent example of how retailers and marketplaces can capitalise on Black Friday 2016.

  • Christmas | 25th December

Christmas is one of the biggest shopping opportunities of the year for any retailer, and with more than 45% of shoppers expected to primarily complete their Christmas shopping online this year, it is important to create a range of smart campaigns to captivate serial surfers.

One retailer who certainly managed to make the most of last year’s Christmas season, was John Lewis. For the six weeks leading up to the 2nd January 2016, the retail giant saw their online sales grow by as much as 21.4%, representing an impressive 40% of the department store’s total sales over the Christmas period.

John Lewis is a fantastic example of how retailers should be gearing up for this year’s peak season, showcased by their mobile first approach, that provided their customers with an excellent smartphone and tablet experience, and by recognising that convenience is now imperative to the busy online shopper, through the introduction of one-hour slot deliveries and by expanding their click-and-collect network over Christmas.

Ten Top Tips for International eTail


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