Last month we took part in the ETCafe with ExactTarget, where we discussed this upcoming holiday season and what retailers need to watch out for. During the allotted hour, there were three main themes that jumped out at us:
1. BLACK FRIDAY IS NO LONGER:
As customers plan ahead and start looking to get their holiday shopping earlier in the year, Black Friday has turned into Black November. In 2013, 1/4 of shoppers had started shopping by mid October while nearly 3/4 planned to finish by the end of November1. Customers have become savvy shoppers, they are masters at comparison shopping, searching for discounts, and have no problem buying from the retailer with the best incentives. Retailers can't afford to sit back and rely on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to be another record breaker. If there's one thing that came across it was that being pro-active is key to winning this holiday season.
2. WHEN IT COMES TO CREATIVE COPY - KEEP IT SIMPLE & LIGHT HEARTED
There are two objectives when you send an email: 1. You want your customers to open the email 2. You want your customers to READ the email and then act on it. If your call to action is bogged down in a hard to read design or buried in a text heavy email, chances are your customer will say forget this and will move on to an email from someone else. Make sure your main call to action is above the fold, and remember say it loud and say it proud! This bring up an important point: subject lines. While we all love a good pun, make sure your subject lines still make sense. Not every subject line has to be witty, sometimes a simple "70% off ends tonight" is all you need to re-engage your customers.
3. MOBILE OPTIMIZATION IS KEY:
Everyone has a cell phone, even 8 year olds have cellphones. So why are we sending emails and offers that aren't optimized for viewing on these devices that customers take everywhere? At the very least, emails need to be optimized for cell phones, iPads, and tablets. If you want to go a step further, make sure your checkout and product pages are mobile optimized as well. Just think of the possibilities if your customers could purchase that adorable new sweater directly from their phone with the touch of a few buttons.
1 2013 US Holiday Shopping Survey Results. Copyright 2013 Accenture All Rights Reserved.