The 2016 Retail Holiday Readiness Report
The sizes of the opportunities available to brands during the holidays are mirrored by the amount of competition around them. As more and more retailers compete digitally, the brands that will successfully cut through the noise in their customers’ inboxes and social feeds will need to take the time to invest in an approach that is as personal as it is dynamic. This holiday season, digital marketers are looking to roll out email campaigns that are targeted, personal, and most importantly, meaningful.
Key topics include:
- When to begin holiday campaigns
- Popular strategies to improve conversions
- Benefits of triggered emails
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The sizes of the opportunities available to brands during the holidays are mirrored by the amount of competition around them. As more and more retailers compete digitally, the brands that will successfully cut through the noise in their customers’ inboxes and social feeds will need to take the time to invest in an approach that is as personal as it is dynamic. Without creating a genuine connection with the customer, retailers will miss out on maximizing the boost in engagement that the holidays bring, instead getting lost in the holiday shuffle. With new technology, the timeline for building a contextual email or social campaign has shortened. Despite these advances, now is the time to start planning your strategy to get your message out when consumers begin researching for their holiday gift lists. The battle for holiday engagement is being fought long before the weather turns frightful.
This holiday season, digital marketers are looking to roll out email campaigns that are targeted, personal, and most importantly, meaningful.
Email remains the single most effective channel retailers use for both customer acquisition and retention, and in the months leading up to the holidays, brands should be testing, fine tuning, and ultimately confirming that they have the insights they need to understand their customers. With a flurry of emails set to hit their inboxes, only messaging that seems like it’s really meant for the customer will make a real impact. For marketers, this means taking the time to get to know them and refine both targeting and messaging well before the holidays begin.
Beyond setting up an email campaign to reach the right prospects, marketers are looking to incorporate content that stands out from the crowd and highlights why consumers should engage with their brand. Supporting an expertly crafted email campaign with User Generated Content (UGC) doubles down on engagement by showing a customer how others are relating to a product, all the while feeling more genuine than a traditional ad. However, in order to have the UGC assets to build a campaign around, even more advanced planning needs to be worked into the marketing schedule. The largest share of retailers are set to begin their holiday marketing in October. In order to deploy a personalized campaign that shows off real engagement and incorporates UCG, these retailers are beginning to run campaigns that will generate the content they will use in their holiday marketing months in advance, all with the understanding that when it comes to winning engagement and conversions during peak holiday season, it pays to be unique, and uniquely prepared.
Retail brands are constantly refining their commercial capabilities and marketing capabilities. 2016 has been no different, as retailers are shifting their marketing budgets and technology investments to build better strategies to connect with consumers across their increasingly non-linear paths to purchase. The goal is simple: to create a seamless, enjoyable shopping experience across the spectrum of digital and offline commercial channels.
Brands are pulling in revenue from more commercial channels than ever before, but there are still great opportunities to reinforce the connecting fibers between those channels. It is no longer sufficient to simply have a presence in these various channels. Rather, every channel must feel like an extension of the others, and critical capabilities like attribution analytics and cross-promotions must cover that entire spectrum.
Retail marketing is evolving right alongside omnichannel commerce; audience reach is expanding as the number of commercial channels grows, and campaigns are becoming more effective at engaging and converting. The digital age has brought consumers and brands closer than ever before, a fact that brands are embracing through campaigns that encourage direct interaction. Consumers are no longer an audience to be advertised to; they are participants to build relationships with. Today’s best campaigns are content-centered, highly personalized, and deeply measurable.
eTail’s sixth annual e-commerce outlook will assess some of the trends and technologies driving retail innovation. This paper evaluates the marketing tactics retailers are leveraging, and takes a look at how those tactics have impacted core KPIs. It will also take a close look at innovative initiatives like referral marketing and user-generated content. Finally, it will gauge how well retailers are keeping up with omnichannel commerce.