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Christmas-Shopping tips for retailers from a Marketing Perspective

December 19, 2017

  Differentiate from other competitors and stand out using strategic marketing techniques this holiday season which is predicted to be a record breaking one.

 

Being a marketer especially in the upcoming holidays and being able to practice traditional and digital marketing is a privilege. Especially in the Digital marketing as this year Adobe predicted that revenues of e-commerce during holidays will reach a record – breaking revenues of more than $100 billions by the end of the year.

 

It’s a necessity to be a part of the action and to practice every sales technique and gain from it.

 

Is your target audience clear and why is this important?

 

It has to be taken into consideration that during the holiday season your target audience is processing the shopping experience and value differently. In order to draw their attention we have to remove every step that will possibly be a negative factor and at the end affect the buying process.

 

Customers browse online simultaneously as they shop in-store

 

Recent studies revealed that most of our in-store customers are browsing online and compare online pricing to in-store prices, in order to get the best price possible. This is defined by the internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) as “in-store mobile price comparison activity.”

 

This is in fact very accurate as nowadays we live in a more digitalized world and everybody knows how to use a smartphone, even the elderly people. A lot of times I found myself browsing online and comparing prices of the same object while I am in the actual store.

 

This suits most of people in the discount/sales period. Let’s take Black Friday as an example. Everyone loves discounts and reduced prices but what everyone hates is long lines. So people find it convenient to search online for the same product and if the price matches the store price then they place an online order. It might be from the exact same store or if they have time they might do a bit more research and find the same product in a different store in a similar price which again, they are going to order it because it is convenient.

 

But it’s not always 100% about the price. Value has a big part to play in the decision making process and how customers perceive it. Perception of value is achieved through discount tactics, availability, ease of purchase and brand among others.

 

This movement towards the e-commerce world also makes reviews more important because reviews are very easily obtainable online than in-store. Having positive reviews on your website or social media platforms might also prevent a possible customer to leave your website and will make him more comfortable to place an order.

 

 

Why is this important?

 

Making the online experience as uninterrupted as possible is a key tactic so that when people browse online they would not lose interest and the chances to purchase are increased. This also helps not to lose them to a competitor and makes much friendlier in-store and online experience.

 

Is discount strategy good for your business?

 

Most of the companies worldwide and especially in Holidays use discount tactics in order to increase their sales. But is that a good thing? There are some brands that never offer discount or reduce their product prices. As mentioned before value is more important than price most of the times and that’s where you have to bid and choose as a business if you would offer a discount price or not.

 

People like to feel that the product quality and value matches the price whether that means they got a cheap product and it’s a great bargain for them or they bought an expensive item but think that the value is worth the money.

 

Some of the discount strategies that you might consider are:

 

  • Event-based: Temporary discount based on an event. (Christmas holidays, Black Friday, Opening event.)

 

  • Loyalty event: Discount based event on loyalty actions. (Email subscriptions, past purchases, valuable customers.)

 

  • Invitation only: This is a mixture of loyalty and event based discount, which gives the opportunity to your loyal customers to access a private sales event. It only lasts for a few days and loyal customers feel that you provide a sense of exclusivity.

 

These are few of the discount tactics that can be used but we have to take into consideration which one is more convenient. For example, most of the people don’t like to carry around discount coupons and sometimes they lose them as well. It would be more preferable if it is app based coupons or in a digital form so that customers can save them on their smartphone devises which makes the experience better. Even if you are waiting in a cue.

 

 

Be the one that stands out in the crowd!

 

Due to the loud noise and competition of the Holidays, you have to do something to differ from the others. And this is not very easily achieved!

If you research your competitors you can see what tactics they use and you can ask yourself how can you bring more customers into your business environment and what will they receive if they choose you for their shopping?

 

A very good tactic that we see in many stores lately is the one that encourages you to spend an X amount and receive an X amount later on or receive points that you will be able in the future to redeem them. Everyone loves to get things for free!

 

If we consider On-line shopping, you have to be more careful with barriers that might influence negatively a customers that already wants to click the “BUY NOW” button. A major factor is the Shipping & Delivery services. The risk here is huge because customers don’t actually see or get their hands on the product up-close so paying 8-10 Dollars, Pounds or Euros for logistics might change their minds, especially if it’s a gift.

 

Furthermore, there is a risk of a late delivery because of the Holiday season and the biggest risk is when you receive the product and it doesn’t fit and you have to send it back (most of the times you pay for the item delivery returning cost) which is something that most of the people don’t like because of their heavy schedules. Take Amazon for example,  they offer a free return if the item does not fit and that is the main reason that made them dominate Black Friday.

 

What are the key takeaways?

 

In the Holidays you have to stand out in the crowd with the different discount tactics but it’s not always about the price. Added value is most important and this might be the reason that consumers will choose to purchase from your store.

 

Online experience matters so simplify the sopping process and the purchase decision will be simplified as well.

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