Here we are, once again! September just started and we know the last few months of the 2016 will run very fast. The holiday season is just around the corner: how can we make sure not to get caught unprepared?
Some data to get ready for the Holiday Season
The next quarter will be crucial for retailers all over the world, because it’s the best time for them to boost their sales and increase their revenue. But how can they get ready to face the challenge? The answer is simple: by focusing on mobile sales, especially through smartphone devices. Let’s have a look at some data supporting this statement.
A recent IMRG/Capgemini report, A Multichannel Growth Disparity, highlighted that “during H1 2016 (January to June), the online-only retailers have recorded growth at almost 3x the rate of the multichannel retailers (retailers with both a physical store and online-presence)”. Moreover, the report indicates that “the share of m-retail (tablet + smartphones) sales completed on smartphones reached a record high in June, with 42% of sales completed on these devices – this compares with 27% penetration in the same month last year and reveals that smartphones have taken an additional 15% share of m-retail sales over the past year”.
User data from Netmera portfolio confirms these trends: “For online-only retailers, mobile (web and app on both smartphone and tablet) accounts for between 45-61% of revenue. The app portion of this total revenue is also high, between 30-40%. Comparing this with the multichannel retailers, the data shows that mobile accounts for between 20-40% of revenue, with just 6-24% of total online revenue coming through apps.”
There are two important conclusions we can take away from the above data: online-only retailers are outperforming multichannel retailers and mobile sales on smartphone devices (web and app) are performing much better than desktop and tablet sales. A possible explanation of this results is that people feel more and more comfortable finalising purchases on their smartphones and that the focus on providing a great user experience on smartphones, like online-only retailers are more likely doing, is the key for retailers to boost mobile sales and increase their revenue during the next Holiday Season.
The percentage of m-retail sales via smartphones increased over the last two years, with a peak around Christmas time. This trend is far more pronounced for the online-only retailers (Source: IMRG/Capgemini report, A Multichannel Growth Disparity)
What about multichannel, though?
Is multichannel going to fail? Not at all! The mentioned findings simply point out that a great multichannel experience is not easy to achieve. It requires from retailers to focus on many channels at a time and use different approaches to make sure they reach the customers at any touch point. As explained in a recent eMarketer report (Making Multichannel Marketing Work: four tactics required for omnichannel success), “in order to make multichannel work, take an audience-centric approach, not a channel-specific one. Doing so allows the customer to dictate the ideal communication channels, not individual channel managers.”
The top rules retailers should follow to make the best of the forthcoming Holiday Season are:
- If you are an online-only retailer, focus on providing a great user experience to your customers on smartphones, since data show these devices recently became customers preferred choice to make their purchases.
- If you are a multichannel retailer, start from optimising the buying journey on smartphones but focus on deeply understanding your customers and personalise every communication with them as much as you can, at every touch point.
How can you make sure to follow these rules? Here are a few practical strategies.
Top strategies to boost your mobile sales during the next Holiday Season
Analyse your customers’ past behaviour within your mobile app/mobile website. There is no better way than focusing on what your users bought during last Holiday Season to understand what they might like to buy now and target them with mobile campaigns tailored to their needs.
Segment your users according to criteria like favourite item categories or most active times on mobile. Then build personalised messages to reach your users at different times with different information about products, special offers and discounts. Your customers will feel you took the time to get to know them and will value the information you provided to them.
Build location based marketing campaigns. Make sure your customers will receive the right information (special offers, new products,..) at the right time, that is when users are nearby a physical store. Geofencing and iBeacons based campaigns are the future of mobile marketing. Learn about this topic in detail through our Location Based Marketing Guide
Enrich your marketing campaigns. Don’t limit your message to a few words. Use rich media (images, videos) to show special features of your products or even just to make your users smile at engaging content. Let your customers remember you even if they are not ready to buy…yet. Enriching your messages can be very simple, as explained here
Focus on every feedback. The constant monitoring of customers behaviour in response to your campaigns is the secret for the success of your marketing endeavours. The way your mobile users react to your messages is the best source of information for you to improve future mobile campaigns. This is especially true during the Holiday Season, when the competition is much stronger and grabbing users attention is a matter of optimising the way you deliver your message: make your communications personal, tailored on your customers feedback and beneficial rather than intrusive.
We wish you all a great Holiday Season!