The account management team at ChannelAdvisor works with brands and retailers every day to optimize their e-commerce operations and grow sales across hundreds of online channels. With the holidays fast approaching, we decided to sit down with experts from several top categories to get their last-minute advice for the upcoming season.
First up: the fast-growing consumer electronics market. According to eMarketer, 39% of consumer electronics purchases will be made online in 2019, far surpassing the rate of e-commerce itself. We asked Brittney Procopio, one of our executive account managers, which strategies and tips should be top of mind for consumer electronics sellers.
Q: It’s now late October, what are the 2-3 most important things consumer electronics brands and retailers should be doing RIGHT NOW to prepare for the holidays?
To start with, finish planning your promotional calendar and be ready to start pushing promotions on November 1. Look for merchandising and promotion opportunities on marketplaces, specifically those with a strong focus on consumer electronics, like Newegg.
Next, review your content. Are your product descriptions and titles optimized and accurate? If your products are not what the consumer expects, you may have a higher return rate. A good tip here is to look at your frequently asked questions or feedback from customers and add those details to your listing or ad. For consumer electronics sellers, model numbers, dimensions, generation, etc. are all important details to have in a title. Returns are unavoidable, but strong content helps to lessen the blow.
As we like to say, “free shipping is table stakes” in e-commerce these days. And that’s true whether you sell on Google Shopping or other marketplaces. According to eMarketer, 75% of consumers say free shipping is the second most appealing promotional offer, following price discounts at 95%. I know how I shop, and I tend to click on the free shipping offers or spend a little more to get that free shipping minimum. Make sure you have free shipping as part of your strategy, whether it is creating a minimum on your site or baking the shipping cost into your price on your marketplace listings.
Bundles are a great strategy to increase your basket size and to stand out from your competition! Create unique bundles of two or three SKUs, pairing products commonly bought together and add a competitive price that incentivizes buyers to purchase the bundle rather than individual items. Think of this strategy like placing gum in the checkout aisle, you didn’t know you needed it, but it ends up in your basket!
Q: Which marketplaces should these sellers be focusing on?
eBay is one of our top marketplaces for consumer electronics sellers, specifically in the refurbished space. The eBay shopper is looking for the best deal possible, so again, deals and promotions are a key piece of strategy. Utilizing Deal Planner and Promoted Listings features in the ChannelAdvisor platform enables you to effectively implement your promotion strategy.
Newegg is a no brainer as they focus heavily on consumer electronics. The challenge is competition — whether you are a reseller competing against the brand or the other way around. The best way to combat this challenge is to have competitive pricing, strong promotions and free shipping.
A third option is Rakuten. It seems like Rakuten is everywhere — from TV commercials to world-renowned sports teams. These promotional efforts by Rakuten don’t cost you a thing! Why not take advantage of the traffic and growth Rakuten is experiencing by making your products available? Rakuten also has a lot of merchandising opportunities to help your products get noticed. Work with your ChannelAdvisor account manager to find out how you can take advantage of these opportunities.
Q: What specific digital marketing strategies should they keep in mind over the next couple of months?
Increase your ad spend budget for the months of November and December and make sure to allocate additional budget for an increase in traffic over Cyber 5 — and even the days surrounding the traditional Cyber 5. Last year we saw a spike in sales the day before Thanksgiving, proving consumers aren’t waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday for a good deal.
Also, make sure your mobile site is optimized. During the 2018 holiday season, eMarketer found that smartphones accounted for 51% of site visits and 31% of revenues.
When it comes to setting specific digital marketing goals for the season, evaluate what is most important to your business, understand that growth comes at a cost, and adjust your goals accordingly. Digital ad spend for consumer electronics is anticipated to grow 22.1% in 2019, according to an eMarketer study.
Q: What holiday tips would you suggest to a seller who just joined Google Shopping Actions this year?
Consumers are looking for frictionless transactions and Google Shopping Actions is just that! My advice here is to adopt early because there is a huge benefit to having your GSA listing next to your PLA. I believe Shopping Actions will be a huge game-changer in the months and years to come for mobile conversions. Not all consumers complete a transaction on a mobile site, especially if they have to put in all their information at checkout. The ease of completing the transaction on GSA might help you win a conversion you might otherwise have lost.
If you’re hearing pushback internally around GSA listings cannibalizing your Google Shopping ad space, just know: If you’re not there, your competition will be. Can you afford not to be there?
Q: Do you have any final thoughts or takeaways?
- Promote and promote early! With the shorter holiday season, consumers will be looking for good deals starting Nov 1.
- Optimize your content on all channels! Whether it’s on marketplaces, Google Shopping or Facebook, make sure your content has images, details and titles to capture the conversion.
- Free Shipping is a MUST!
- Increase and budget your ad spend accordingly.
- Adopt GSA and start listing your products to try and beat your competition!
Want more online strategies for the upcoming holiday season? Download this eBook, Your Roadmap to Holiday 2019 E-Commerce Success, for more insider knowledge on leveraging industry trends, setting your ad budget for the entire season, maximizing digital marketing campaigns, optimizing listings and more.