Are You Too Late for Q4?
What to know about ecommerce marketing this holiday season and what you can still do to compete
It’s likely your competition has already executed their marketing plans for Q4 holidays and beyond. Have you? If you’re reading this, you’re late to the party. As many businesses start to wind down, retailers and merchants are starting to ramp it up. It makes sense since it’s the busiest time of the year for ecommerce, but this year the stakes are higher as holiday growth will be the largest in the last 20 years.
The data below illustrates that holiday online retail revenue typically has increased year-over-year and the trend will continue to soar to new heights.
This view of continued ecommerce growth aligns with what Connexity sees year-over-year in our campaign partnerships with some of the largest retailers in the world. And this is data only collected up to this October. Be sure to check back after the holidays for more Connexity insights and how our partners performed in 2021.
Although we are heading towards a time that resembles our lives pre-pandemic, some consumers still have uneasy feelings about returning to in-person shopping. This can push additional reliance on online retail, which can lead to another 2020 like boom where sales exceeded many retailers’ expectations. An interesting trend this year is that consumers are starting to shop even earlier than expected. This could be consumers anticipating supply chain delays and making sure they get what they need early, or just seeking an early jump for convenience purposes.
So, what are the major ecommerce shopping themes occurring this season and how can you still act to take advantage of the remaining opportunities? Read more below.
Consumers Started Early
Holiday shopping has already started for many consumers and your competitors have likely had their campaigns in place since August. That’s right, since late-summer! That’s how far ahead some retailers plan their holiday season strategies. According to a study from Advanis and Sitescore, 70% of US consumers plan to be done holiday shopping by November and 34% began holiday shopping before the end of summer. Learning from last year’s shopping friction and likely anticipation of low stock and shipping delays has spurred this early shopping urgency. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is consumers are shopping earlier and earlier.
What You Can Do
There’s still time. While some consumers began shopping in late summer, most will still make gift purchases between November’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday events, the busiest of all months for holiday shopping. Connexity expects to see significant spikes in campaign activity for these events and data from our campaigns last year shows that even during the turmoil of COVID, special retail offers around these classical shopping dates were still huge draws for shoppers.
So, integrate a cohesive marketing plan now! Consciously design offers with urgency in mind to prime customers for the key upcoming holiday events. Ensure your product offers are as complete as possible to smooth out any friction consumers experience when shopping (read “3 Tips for Q4 Holiday Marketing Performance” for more on this). Then work with a performance marketing provider that can quickly scale your campaign and that can win you competitive placements in distinct consumer traffic channels. It takes commitment to a CPC (cost-per-click) marketing budget to win placements through active bidding and to incentivize content providers to promote your products.
Connexity has relationships with tens of thousands of retail-oriented content publishers and creators across a variety of channels that offer differentiated opportunity to influence consumers. We optimize performance by applying automated bidding and pricing technology to rapidly scale new customer and sales growth. Our campaigns generate over $3B annually in incremental gross sales for retail partners from CPC budget models.
Shoppers Are Looking for Deals
Most savvy shoppers are looking for deals and coupons. Unless you’re generating significant loyalty within your customer base, shoppers are always receptive to other offers with a discount attached or offers at a better price. Further, research from Sitecore and Advanis reveals that nearly 70% of US and UK consumers are prioritizing early discounts and deals when shopping online this holiday season. This figure is almost as strong among French and German shoppers at 54% and 62%, respectively.
What You Can Do
With a significant portion of holiday shopper focus on deals, getting your offers placed prominently with high traffic coupon promotion channels can be a winning strategy for quickly scaling impressions among active shoppers. You can quickly create special deals, coupon offers and product codes around holiday events to give shoppers enough incentive to make a purchase.
Working with a performance marketing provider, like Connexity, will give you access to many coupon and deal sites at once. Like many other marketing channels, coupon sites offer premium placements on homepages where offers are showcased in top coupon callouts. Winning these higher-value placements requires active bidding with a CPC budget.
Connexity’s coupon and deals channels provides retailers with access to dozens of the top coupon sites frequented by active shoppers.
Mobile Purchasing Will be a Big Factor
Each year more consumers are making purchases through their mobile devices through social media, web, or apps. With more consumers glued to their mobile devices during the pandemic, and some consumers reluctant to return to in-store shopping, mobile devices present a huge opportunity for driving revenue.
What You Can Do
Consider using influence marketing to help drive sales on mobile platforms. Although influence marketing can be an intimidating vertical to enter, note that it produced over $9.7 billion in revenue in 2020 alone; plenty incentive even if you capture just a small piece of the pie.
Connexity offers influence marketing opportunities where 6,000 social media creators generate and promote product links in their social content reaching millions of engaged followers looking for inspiration. Connecting nearly 150 of the world’s most recognized brands to consumers and returning over $100M in incremental sales annually to retail partners, Connexity influence marketing can contribute meaningful growth to a retailer’s performance strategy.
The Bottom Line
With consumers shopping early, with reluctance to shop in-person and with additional time left before the biggest holiday events, it’s clear the time to act is now. And while it’s already the end of October, all is not lost. You still have time to run effective holiday campaigns even if you haven’t started your planning yet. Find a performance marketing provider with the ability to help you quickly scale campaigns and to compete for holiday market share. Talk to a Connexity team member now to learn how you can start today.
For more information about these and other opportunities to improve your ecommerce performance marketing register today and a Connexity team member will work with you!