This blog post is part of our 2017 Holiday Planning series. Be sure to check back often or, better yet, subscribe to the blog to stay updated with this year’s latest holiday trends, tips, best practices, reports and more!
It isn’t quite Q4 yet, but for many shoppers, the holiday season has already begun. September marks the beginning of the research phase for many consumers. As a brand, this time is critical for educating, establishing interest, and developing a sense of trust and loyalty with your buyer.
Early in their shopping journey, consumers are looking for education. They are seeking product information and comparing features across manufacturers. Consumers often start on the brand website as the most reliable source of information about a product they’re interested in. So before the holiday rush, take a moment to navigate your own site. Look for quick-fix opportunities to provide content that will help consumers make informed decisions when considering your product.
- Make sure product landing pages feature easy-to-understand product details, clear high-quality images and video, if possible.
- Think about adding an FAQ section to answer basic product questions. These steps can inform buyers and eliminate friction in their path to purchase.
- User-generated content is a valuable and easily acquired asset. Reviews and photo uploads appeal to every online shopper and help consumers understand how your product meets their needs. Bonus: not only does a robust experience help consumers, but it also supports your retailers by providing rich content to supplement their e-commerce sites.
- In addition to a consumer-friendly site, make sure it’s designed to be responsive on any mobile device. A consumer may be researching your product on a phone or tablet as they stand in front of it in a store, so be sure your site is optimized for mobile.
- If your site includes an e-commerce platform, review the transaction process and minimize obstacles that might deter a consumer from completing a purchase, such as required registration, unnecessary forms, and slow load times.
Brands drive traffic to their sites through dozens of different channels. Consider which channels drive your most valuable traffic during this research phase. Evaluate metrics such as customer lifetime value, new customer acquisition cost, and conversion rate by channel. Display advertising may drive large amounts of traffic, but perhaps consumers targeted through social media campaigns are more valuable to your business.
Your strategic partnerships are essential to growing your brand during this busy time of year. Using ChannelAdvisor’s Where to Buy solution, you can reinforce your retailer relationships by directing site visitors to authorized retail partners who sell your products. In turn, you empower consumers to find everything from that last-minute gift to the starred item on their wish list.
So before the holidays arrive — and while you still have time — evaluate your market strategy with the buyer’s journey in mind. Implement a mix of content, advertising, and on-site consumer tools to make holiday shopping simple. You’ll be taking steps to grow your brand and convert browsers into buyers, and your retailers will thank you for it.