4 Omnichannel Tactics to Boost Conversions This Holiday Season
In an ideal world, consumers would tell you exactly what they're going to buy and how they intend to make the purchase. You'd know where to allocate your resources, and there would be no guesswork whatsoever.
With the holidays upon us, it's important to remember that all channels are fair game for your customers. Shoppers don't have a channel strategy. They have a shopping strategy, and their behaviors don't fit into neat little boxes the way marketers sometimes wish they did.
The future of commerce is here, and it's omnichannel retail. Cyber Monday was the single biggest online shopping day ever. Mobile led the way, with a 27.6 percent increase in sales from last year. However, while mobile sales are on the rise, shoppers are still spending the bulk of their holiday budgets in physical retail stores.
If you concentrate on one channel alone, you're going to lose out on potential customers. The best thing you can do is to take advantage of mobile, e-commerce, and brick-and-mortar retail this year. Here are four tactics for using an omnichannel approach to increase conversions among holiday shoppers:
1. Use second-screen advertising. Consumers spend a significant portion of their free time tethered to their smartphones and tablets — an unbelievable 194 minutes a day. Forty-seven percent of that time is spent watching TV simultaneously, which is good news for any brand hoping to take advantage of the second screen.
When Allstate used Collective's TV Accelerator for online and television advertising, it saw a significant increase in campaign reach when compared to TV alone. It also saw a 28 percent increase in online engagement.
This holiday season, take advantage of second-screen advertising to complement your TV efforts and accelerate the shopper's buying journey.
2. Match online prices. In 2011, 35 percent of people who used their phones for comparison shopping still ended up at the cash register. The following year, that number grew to 46 percent. One of the reasons for the increase was major retailers were matching online prices.
Target and Best Buy were among the retailers that instituted a price-matching policy. Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said that once shoppers entered the store, they were the company's to lose. The best way to minimize the chance of holiday shoppers leaving without making a purchase is to match your online prices in-store.
3. Localize national campaigns. No matter how broad your brand's reach is, make sure it's showing up in local search results this holiday season. According to a report by G/O Digital, 35 percent of holiday shoppers believe that online and mobile search results have the power to influence gifts purchased in brick-and-mortar stores.
If you don't already have mobile-optimized local landing pages for your retail locations, your agency or ad partner should be able to get them up and running quickly.
4. Personalize content. Customers love feeling like brands are talking directly to them, so use the data and technology at your disposal to drive engagement and conversions through personalized advertisements and offers.
Macy's recently partnered with shopkick to place more than 4,000 beacons in its U.S. stores. The app provides rewards to shoppers who use it in-store, which turns each trip into a personalized shopping experience.
Lowe's has begun using big data to personalize the ads it shows its customers. The home improvement retailer collects data across channels and uses contextual analysis to provide more product recommendations and drive sales. For example, a customer who buys kitchen appliances may get a follow-up ad for other products from that brand or remodeling ideas.
When implementing this tactic, proceed with caution. Both beacons and big data require transparency and opt-in from customers to ensure your brand doesn't come off as creepy or invasive.
Holiday sales are predicted to grow by approximately 4 percent this year and account for nearly a fifth of retailers’ annual sales. Consumers may not have a channel strategy, but giving them what they want online, on mobile and in physical stores is the best way to steer them away from your competitors and ensure your brand makes it under the tree this holiday season.
Anthony Nicalo is the VP Platform at Mobify, a mobile customer-engagement platform that facilitates all of a retailer’s real-time interactions with its mobile customers in one place. Nicalo guides and grows the platform capabilities for serving mobile marketing and extends the platform ecosystem through partnerships. Nicalo is a thought leader in digital marketing, an expert in omnichannel commerce, and a frequent presenter on the future of commerce, mobile retailing, and shopper marketing, including at Shopper Marketing Expo, iMedia Summits and Kantar Retail.