5 Digital Activations to Drive Holiday E-Commerce Efforts
Consumer shopping behavior has changed, and the holidays will look different this year. Since in-store shopping has declined, brands are looking for ways to drive their e-commerce business and move the needle before the end of the year. However, the online space has become cluttered and confusing.
Stand out by running chance-to-win promotions that are designed to motivate specific behavior and develop emotional connections with consumers. You'll be able to drive more consideration for your brand in the crowded sea of messaging by using engagement and rewards campaigns. This is a crucial time to remind consumers why they should choose your brand. Here are five digital activations that marketers should use to supplement their holiday strategy:
Digital Activation No. 1: Build a Database for Remarketing Purposes
Since existing customers spend 31 percent more than new customers, it’s important to identify your customers, add them to your CRM system, and motivate them to opt into future messages from your brand. A great tactic to do this is by running a Days of Giving Sweepstakes. In this Advent calendar-inspired solution, a new prize is given away each day of the campaign. Upon daily visits, consumers are registered for the daily prize as well as the grand prize. Many beauty brands, including Lush, Rituals, and ASOS, sell physical Advent calendars filled with gifts during the holiday season; however, they can activate this “new product each day” strategy even further online to capture daily customer data and drive engagement and excitement with the brand.
The lure of this daily mystery prize will bring new consumers to your brand, building your database in the process and keeping your brand top of mind throughout your most critical revenue-driving period. Over 40 percent of chance-to-win registrants opt in for future engagement, allowing you to remarket to them and get to know them better each time they interact with your brand.
Digital Activation No. 2: Engage Consumers Online to Drive Time Spent and Education
Promotional activations are powerful tools that can be used to motivate consumer behavior, spark emotion, and fuel identity each time a consumer interacts with your brand. Therefore, provide ample opportunities for this to happen with an interactive wish list tool. Companies like Amazon.com, Nordstrom, and ModCloth allow consumers to build a personalized wish list online and send it to others. Adding the chance for some participants to win everything on their list would drive even more participation, excitement and loyalty with the brand.
The personalized and aspirational aspect of this solution increases the time spent with your brand as consumers dig into your site to build their perfect wish list. It's also a great opportunity to educate them on your products and it can help drive incremental sales when participants share their wish list with family and friends.
Digital Activation No. 3: Decrease Financial Liability Within Your Loyalty Program
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen loyalty programs extend point expiration dates and tier eligibility. While this strategy may keep members satisfied and mitigate churn, it also translates to large point liabilities on your financial books. So how can you motivate consumers to burn their points before the end of the year?
For the holidays, add a promotional overlay with a chance-to-win reward to your program’s point redemption options. Forty-one percent of consumers say they like chances to win as part of a loyalty program rewards mix, so encourage members to spend their accrued loyalty points on entries for a chance to win this reward. Adding the chance to win an aspirational reward to your existing loyalty program gives members a compelling reason to re-engage with your brand, as well as a quick and easy way to redeem points, leading to a reduction of the points liability on your books.
Digital Activation No. 4: Learn About Consumers for Annual Planning Initiatives
Promotion and loyalty solutions fuel identity and engage consumers in the moment, allowing brands to capture consumer data. Using the knowledge gleaned from this data to market to individuals in a personalized manner leads to a consumer-brand relationship that's more emotional and less transactional. In order to build an emotional relationship with consumers, it’s imperative you get to know them. You can use an engagement hub to do this.
This solution is an interactive digital space where consumers engage with your brand by participating in various activities for ongoing chances to win. Examples of hub activities include personality quizzes, trivia, polls, user-generated content, and receipt upload, and different pieces of consumer data can be collected with each visit to the engagement hub. This consumer data will allow you to personalize messaging and customize things like rewards, product suggestions and offers.
Seventy-six percent of consumers think it’s important for loyalty programs to recognize them, and 72 percent of them want personalized rewards. Therefore, providing relevant experiences and content when consumers are in critical need states along the consumer journey with your brand results in an emotional connection, higher engagement with your brand, and increased sales.
Digital Activation No. 5: Add Value Without Discounting
Due to the change in consumer spending behaviors because of the pandemic, 73 percent of top online retailers are running sales earlier than normal this year. Don’t want to join their race to the bottom? Build your brand equity through a strong mutual value proposition to become less reliant on discounting or coupon offers, such as rebates or gifts with purchase.
Thirty-five percent of consumers are in “save and stockpile” mode and will be looking for everyday savings due to financial strain and/or pessimism about the future. Rebates and gifts with purchase that offer value to these types of consumers are also beneficial to your brand as they're lower risk to margin and better than discount offers at maintaining product perceptions of quality. A simple “do, get” rebate offer or gift with purchase drives increased purchase intent and conversion for your brand. It also allows you to market to consumers without offering deep discounts or coupons.
To learn more about how promotions can solve e-commerce challenges, download Merkle’s e-book, 5 Fundamentals for the 2020 Holidays today.
Amy Burnside is senior director of content strategy for Merkle Promotion & Loyalty Solutions.