One of the important dates of the year in the e-commerce calendar, Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion for retailers to improve online sales and attract new customers. Consumers are now facing so much choice online for the big day that it has become vital for e-tailers to spend time on a dedicated strategy for February 14. Here are 6 tips to boost e-commerce sales in the run up to Valentine’s Day.
- Make the Most of Marketplaces
Because of its huge retail potential, Valentine’s Day is a great time to diversify your marketplaces. Indeed the first step in boosting your sales is ensuring your products are on all the relevant marketplaces for your audiences. On top of Amazon and eBay, ChannelAdvisor supports over 50 marketplaces (and counting) around the globe, including Otto, Tesco, Walmart, Newegg and Trade Me.
Consumers are increasingly converging to these marketplaces for products and deals, with users looking for gift ideas, specific items or promotions. Make sure your products are listed locally and globally in order to be seen by millions. The more marketplaces you’re listing on, the better the chances you have of capturing an audience.
- Practice Multichannel Marketing
Don’t waste opportunities this Valentine’s Day by focusing only on one channel. This year is all about multichannel marketing and making your business visible to all. Make sure your e-commerce strategy includes all digital channels — PLAs, PPC, content, social media and email marketing. No matter where your customers are, multichannel marketing gives them easy access to your products and facilitates payments.
The beauty of Valentine’s Day shopping is that it involves various types of consumers with different buying habits: some might prefer finding information online before heading to a brick-and-mortar store with others might want to quickly buy online. Either way, a multichannel marketing strategy allows you to help and engage with customers more efficiently.
- Adapt Your Product Listings
Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift often requires a few stops on Google along the way. Indeed, the customer journey is now made of micro-moments, with users searching for product information, reviews or nearby stores while physically moving from one point to the next, with some inevitable interruptions. On top of SEO, greet your potential customers on SERPs with the product or solution they are looking for through image-based Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
To make your PLAs stand out to Valentine’s shoppers, think about SEO when drafting your titles and descriptions. Use the brand terms and other words people are searching for and be sure to put the most important information in the first 25 characters of your titles. As PLAs are so focused on imagery, use only high-resolution images and experiment with dynamic or alternative angles to stand out from competitors.
Don’t forget you can use Merchant Promotions (the “special offer” tags at the bottom of a PLA) if you’re running any special Valentine’s Day promotions. These allow you to include more detailed information about your offers, including applicable dates, a promo code, a button to shop on your website and more. Also, they’re free.
- Use Keywords Wisely
It may be difficult for retailers to keep up with ever-changing Google updates, but understanding algorithms can have a significant impact on your business and increase revenue. Use Valentine’s Day-related keywords wisely and effectively on marketplaces this year for better visibility everywhere your customer might search for your products.
Each marketplace has its own specific best practices, so make sure you know your way around them to maximize conversions. For example, eBay search results respond best to long-tail keywords rather than broad search terms. When it comes to marketplace SEO, start with listing phrases or words people would use to look for your brand or product. Your customers might be looking for a very specific gift: Facilitate the process for them by using precise, detailed descriptions and titles. Pack your title with information including brand name, color, style, size and occasion, and avoid vague titles such as ‘Silver Ladies Bracelet’ to gain better visibility among thousands of Valentine’s Day products. Consumers might be looking for exactly that product or something similar, and long-tail keywords are usually less expensive than the short-tail ones.
- Monitor Your Inventory
Managing your inventory effectively can have a consequential impact on your Valentine’s Day revenue. Indeed out-of-stock items play a big role in cart abandonment and can damage the customer’s journey significantly. List your products strategically across your multiple channels this year to not only secure sales but also to boost your brand through a specific Valentine’s Day campaign. A well-managed inventory can salvage your reputation in the long run, with a positive effect on revenue.
ChannelAdvisor’s Inventory Juggler monitors item quantities across marketplaces and your online store and automatically pulls down product listings when items go out of stock. Tools such as Fulfillment by Amazon also ensure that your products are delivered quickly and accurately to your customer, boosting customer satisfaction (and giving you access to Amazon’s loyal Prime consumers).
- Optimize for Mobile Shopping
Adapt your campaigns to changing consumer needs this Valentine’s Day by catering to both early planners and last-minute impulse buyers, and the channels they use. Make sure your campaigns evolve around the various digital touch points within your customer’s buying journey, starting with mobile.
Make sure your website is responsive, quick-to-load and has good quality content. You might recall that Google is splitting its index from one overall search engine index into two separate indexes: mobile and desktop. Take action to make sure you’re not losing out on mobile visitors during this Valentine’s shopping period.
From new items to sale sections and clearance stock, promoting your products across multiple channels and devices for Valentine’s Day is a great way to stay in front of your audience at every step of the customer journey. At the end of your campaign, take some time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Want to chat about more ways to boost your Valentine’s sales — why not get in touch with one of our e-commerce experts?