The holiday season is the time when the online shopping
charts start breaking all records. Last year saw a total of US$ 43 billion in fourth quarter sales! Here are ways and means to ensure that you get your rightful share of this booming market frenzy for holiday shopping. If trends and analysis are anything to go by, you are assured of an ongoing, booming market. Forrester reports that the total money spent in US alone for online shopping should touch 278.9 billion by 2015!
Important dates for online shopping spikes
The trend is on. People who are facing higher gas bills increasingly prefer to shop with clicks rather than reach the mall. As we near the 2011 holiday season, we are going to see if the increase in the 2010 sales of 12% as compared to 2009 will be sustained or bested.
In keeping with the last year’s peak sales performance days, these are the top holiday buying days.
The ten top holiday spending sales in 2010 for (non travel related goods) excluding large corporate purchases and auctions – Source – comScore.Inc.
Days in 2010 Spending in Millions ($)
Monday November 29 (Cyber Monday) $1028
Monday December 13 (Green Monday) $954
Monday December 6 $942
Friday December 17(Free Shipping Day) $942
Thursday December 16 $930
Tuesday December 14 $913
Tuesday November 30 $911
Wednesday December 8 $901
Tuesday November 30 $911
Wednesday December 8 $901
Thursday December 9 $898
Tuesday December 7 $880
Mark your calendar with the 2011 Important Online sales days
November 24 Thanksgiving
November 25 Black Friday
November 28 Cyber Monday
December 5 Peak Week
December 12 Free Shipping Cutoff
December 21 Chanukah
December 25 Christmas
January 1 New Year’s Day
Top Tips for ensuring record sales in Festive season 2011
Analyze 2010 holiday season sales
While you are in the pre festive season period, check out your last year’s performance and derive the lessons – what worked, what didn’t and then plan the direction ahead for this year’s campaign. Evaluate your total revenue, cost and conversion rates, and identify the channel that brought you maximum conversions at the lowest spend. Also check out star selling products and exclude the lemons from this year’s inventory.
Use Calculus Reports and keep a tab on performance
Use ChannelSale’s powerful analytical engine to give you online real-time information of which channels performed and how right up to the SKU level. This will help you amend your marketing spends and efforts on the fly and focus on channels that deliver sales.
Be an early bird in making your promotion plans for holiday seasons 2011
Starting your promotions early and being ready is the right thing to do. You can then synch your data feed to multiple channels in time with their special offers and holiday discounts.
Avoid higher holiday click rates by monitoring performance
Ensure that your product data feed includes all the holiday season products and eliminate or remove the non holiday season products to save your click costs. Also do a review of all your product feeds to ensure that all the essential product attributes are listed and highlighted as required, and they are placed in the best category for each channel.
Checklist of holiday sales strategies for season 2011
Enlarge your reach by including more channels
November-December is a good time to expand your reach by adding more performing channels to your marketing plan. This will enhance your visibility and help you get the much sought after sales traction during the holiday season.
Review your status across channels you use
Ensure that your product feeds are live, relevant and error free across channels.
Keep your feeds live and avoid stock outs at all costs
During the holiday season, it is a good idea to ensure that fresh feeds are sent out daily and you are never in a situation of a mark out.
Employ Unique Identifiers such as UPC, MPN, or ISBN
Many channels are now insisting on the use of unique identifiers. These give you the benefit of enhancing your search rankings, increasing visibility and making your products easier to identify and reach for shoppers.
Entice potential buyers with free shipping, coupons and special promotions
Promotions, free shipping offers and discount coupons are an ideal way to promote sales, increase your total revenue and keep ahead of the season average.
Include Holiday content
By the end of October, make sure your product feed is holiday ready by adding relevant holiday season messaging. Check out last year’s top performing key words and use them to ramp up sales.
Be Black Friday and Cyber Monday ready
Ensure that your promotions and plans are ready for the “peak peak “rush during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember that Cyber Monday clocked the season’s highest daily sale last year totaling to a stupendous $1028 million – a full 16% higher than the sale the year before.
Top Tips and tricks to ensure booming holiday season sales
Expect increases in the pay per click rates
Many shopping channels and comparison shopping sites such as shopping.com, shopzilla, Nextag and PriceGrabber increase their card rates by up to 20% during the holiday seasons starting mid November – so anticipate this rate hike and ensure that your budget can accommodate it.
Launch Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions and specials
When the shopping reaches the frenzy level, make sure you are visible, available and ready to take on the enhanced rush for buying. Make sure that your feeds are perfect and ensure that your promotional links point to the right Black Friday and Cyber Monday landing pages. Plan your feed launches well in advance because some channels take as much as 72 hours to update their feeds.
Keep a close track on your feeds
Keep an eye on your sales performance by using Calculus reports and ensure that the feeds are being processed properly and your accounts are well funded.
Manage merchants ratings
Keep your merchant ratings as high as possible because many online shoppers will take the cue from where to buy depending on the merchant ratings of the store. Make sure you are proactive in your sales process to ensure customer delight and react instantly to any negative customer reviews.
Remove slow moving or non performing items
Check your product feeds to identify products that are costing you by way of clicks but are not giving you sales revenues. Remove such items and any other non holiday based items to ensure that you get the maximum bang for your buck.
Extend your reach this season
This is the ideal time to expand your reach and extend your digital presence. Include popular channels such as Nextag, Amazon Product Ads, Become or Pronto as well as popular market places like Sears.
Take advantage of all the free listing opportunities on offer and keep a watch on which channels are on boarding new online merchants.
If you are seeking ways to improve your online performance, ChannelSale’s Managed service is the right choice for you. All you do is to share your product data feed and our expert team does the rest.
In order to keep your Order Defect Rate and Seller performance in good standing, it is very important that you ensure that you submit only the most fresh, up to date product feeds and update your stock status every day. Your images should meet the Amazon specifications of the recommended 500X500 pixels and the jpeg or gif photo of your product should have a white or clear background. Amazon Search Terms Use up to 5 specific and strategic search terms to improve your Amazon visibility. These are typically terms that buyers use while searching for your product. While inputting the search terms, omit to mention the brand name and the manufacturer terms as Amazon will automatically pick up that information from your product feed. You can also take advantage of Amazon’s Product Features, and include bullet points that highlights product details.
Sears is one of the most trusted retail brands in America and it stands 7th in the Internet Retailers Top 500 guide, 2011. The Sears platform offers an effective cost per acquisition online sales engine that connects you to millions of Sears’s shoppers.
Make Your presence felt this season
Pay Per Click Channels
Amazon Product Ads – is one of the internet sites that offer the highest conversion rate per click. Amazon Product Ads directly take the shopper to your website. They have a good starter offer of free limited time $75/- free in clicks for select categories.
Nextag – This is a sure shot platform for many online retailers and it is the preferred choice for PPC campaigns.
Become – This fast growing channel offers great promotions for the festive season, and it offers incentives for installing their ROI tracker as well as free logo placement and promos for new and existing online merchants.
Pronto – Pronto’s unique micro-sites that are dedicated to a particular product category offer you a value for money means of listing your products. The micro sites include ones such ProntoStyle, ProntoTech.com, ProntoHome.com, ProntoKids and BabyPronto, etc.
FindGift – This dedicated gift giving channel offers you a variety of gifting ideas, and the products to match. This is a great place to promote your products that are good as gifting ideas.
Free Shopping Channels
Google Product Search is the web’s #1 shopping channel. Submit your optimized product feeds to this high potential channel on a daily basis for maximum visibility and conversion.
Bing Shopping – This channel helps you reach nearly 83 million potential customers for free! The channel is consistently ranked amongst the top in conversion rates.
The Find – This platform connects online shoppers to 500,000 online retailers and it clocks an estimated 48 million searches every month! Success is dependent on the joining of its upfront program and submitting only optimized, and updated feeds.
ChannelSale – Successful Online retailing
ChannelSale offers you a single platform to optimize, manage and monitor your product feeds to multiple marketplaces and comparison shopping engines and it enables you to boost your conversion ratio.
Our robust program and support will help you optimize your feeds for different channels with minimum effort and expense. The site enables you to plan and launch highly effective campaigns to boost your holiday sales and its analytical engine – ChannelSale Calculus Reports enables you to check which channels are contributing what to your total sales revenues.
With 200+ Marketplaces and Comparison shopping engines to choose from, you have literally unlimited potential to increase your sales and boost your bottom-line. As the most economical of the multi channel platforms, it helps you conserve your expenditure, even as you improve your turnover.
Start reaching more online customers – Join Now!