Preparing for Peak Part 2: Unwrapping Marketing Strategy

22 October, 2018

Did you know that we’re about to enter the longest Q4 shopping holiday season the e-commerce industry has seen in years? There are 31 days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve in 2018, and you can count on consumers to be looking online for deals and discounts that entire time (especially over the weekend 3 days before Christmas!).

Advertising and digital marketing strategies play a critical role in peak success. Understanding your customers’ journey is especially important, are they browsing or ready to purchase? 37% of retailers say they intend to up their digital marketing spend to attract more shoppers and 33% intend to offer more promotions this year. 

However it might not be that simple.

According to one study, last year, despite higher traffic rates, the average conversion rate for retailers was at its lowest over Cyber Week at 5%. Instead, conversions spiked two weeks before Christmas. 30% of retailers we spoke to reported their peak day was 2 weeks before Christmas too. This could mean Cyber Weekend was attracting browsers but many shoppers only decided on their purchases in the final weeks. It’s crucial to be present in all the browsing moments that matter if you want to secure the sale.

Nail the Basics Before Adding Bells and Whistles

If you’re selling on Amazon, take time to ensure you’ve got a strong listing strategy before sinking all of your investment into promotions and acquisition. Many peak purchases are gifts and customers may require further reassurance than normal such as more details pictures, product descriptions and plenty of reviews!

Make sure your pictures are clear, ideally taken on a white background, and fill more than 85% of the image space. Measurement wise, 1000 x 1000 is best to enable zoom function. You can also add up to 8 additional photos, consider the angles and styling of your products. When it comes to your product description, use your allocated 2000 characters wisely by focusing the product’s unique selling points.. Be sure to include your target keywords in the bullet points – you’re allowed to use five search terms – and use all 50 characters for each. These can be the same keywords or phrases you used in the title.

And finally think carefully whether you are in the right category. Consumers are more likely at Christmas to browse by category as they browse multiple products before making a decision, make sure you’re visible in the moments that matter to increase your chance of securing the sale.

For more information on optimising your listing, head over to this post How Does Your Amazon Listing Rank?

Optimise for Mobile Traffic and Conversions

In previous years, consumers tended to research products and brands on smartphones before ultimately making purchases on laptops or desktops. This is no longer the case. In the UK mobile ordering rose to 49.7% of all online retail spending, compared to 42.3% the previous year – and it’s very likely this number will be surpassed this year.

From browsing to buying, Christmas shoppers will be doing it all on the go this season. With larger smartphone screens, helpful voice assistants and advanced shopping apps, relying on mobile devices is easier than ever. 

In other words …

The time to start planning advertising budgets for mobile is now, before you risk falling behind.

Check out The Evolving E-Commerce Consumer Journey for more on reaching your customers at key touchpoints.

Invest in Amazon Advertising

With competition steep, more than ever, success on Amazon is going to require sellers to invest in advertising. In years past, our marketplace specialists tended to mention digital marketing as one small component of a much bigger strategy — one that focused heavily on strong product images, excellent customer service, great fulfilment and the like.

In 2018, advertising will be at the heart of peak sales success.

Whether you’re selling wholesale to Amazon or as a third-party seller, be sure you’ll have enough budget to maximise your visibility on the marketplace all season long. One of the biggest mistakes sellers can make this season is to sail through a successful November and early December, only to find the entire Amazon Sponsored Ad budget has been spent come the 15th December. Remember shoppers are also hunting for bargains in the Boxing Day and January sales, peak season doesn’t come to an end on Christmas Day

Our advice? Treat Amazon just as you would Google AdWords: Measure, analyse and adjust as needed all season long. And keep some budget in the tank for post-Christmas fever.

For more tips on securing the buy button, check out our eBook Owning the Amazon Search Results Page

We hope this has helped you strengthen your peak strategy, preparation is key. Join us next time for the third instalment of our preparing for peak series where we will uncover top tips for fulfilment success.

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