Marketing Tips to Spread the Holiday Cheer (and Profits)
A recent webinar from the e-commerce site search, navigation and merchandising solution provider Mercado, led by the company’s director of worldwide merchandising consulting, Michael Klein, provided several tips to help multichannel merchants prepare for their busiest time of the year, the holidays. Here are some takeaway pointers Klein doled out.
* Identify your top 20. This includes your top 20 products and keywords and the top 20 percent of your customers, Klein said. Then develop a promotional campaign around that top 20, with targeted e-mails and landing pages.
* Test and analyze keywords and null results. For null results, Klein advised offering product alternatives based on search keywords. For example, he suggested someone searching “orange Nike sneakers.” While you may not offer those type of sneakers — orange or possibly even Nike — if you sell sneakers, this person searching could be a potential customer.
* Determine a baseline strategy for the 80 of the “80/20” rule of marketing.
* Fine-tune product discovery with business rules.
* Place product offerings and the most important selling information above the fold to avoid scrolling.
* Use a “freshness factor.” Display only the newest products.
* Use search result-based triggers to push a particular product or brand, Klein said.
* Develop a product campaign that aligns your key products with a repeatable marketing event. Klein provided the example of a 12-day e-mail program focused on the “12 deals of Christmas.” Provide customers with a special offer on a product via e-mail for 12 straight days. Leverage the event with vendor partners to increase product margin or marketing support, Klein added.
* Use merchandising techniques such as results-based triggers to guarantee product or banner placement.
* Drive business on inventory levels, especially at the end of the holiday season, so you’re not forced to liquidate products after Dec. 25, Klein said.
* Use domain dictionaries for the search boxes on your Web site. This is helpful to pick up linguistics, synonyms and spelling corrections, Klein noted.
* Examine your Web analytics for the prior and current year, including your top 100 keywords.
* Use cross-sells to increase average order value. Prime examples Klein cited included iPod accessories, game-with-the-purchase-of-a-game console, extended service plans and warranties, and a scarf to match gloves.
* Include coupons within your e-mail campaigns. Take advantage of offers that target repeat purchases, such as a percentage off your next purchase, a percentage off for a friend or family purchase, among others, Klein said.
* Use your Web metrics to create auto-ranking formulas for product navigation trees and search terms.