My top tip for preparing for the holidays this year is to set all your execution deadlines now if you haven’t already. This may seem like a given, but it is a crucial reason why some brands don’t meet their maximum potential during this time. Whether you are building ads, creating content, or launching new products, sticking to your deadlines will play an important part. Beyond all strategy, the true magic is in how well you can execute. Build your ads at least 72 hrs in advance to ensure you don’t run into any approval issues.
Caitlin Thomason – Director of Paid Media
Common Thread Collective
Everyone focuses on the promotion and content, which don’t get me wrong, is vital to success during this incredibly important period, but I’ve always guided my clients on making sure they prepare operationally as well. Customer service is a key component to winning the season and that includes responsiveness to customers who need help (by email or chat), time to deliver, and the ability to adjust/cancel/modify orders if need be. The experience is equally, if not more important than the deal. Not only will it ensure a strong likelihood of conversion, but it also helps set the tone for a higher lifetime value of your client. Online customers who have a strong experience are 3-5X more likely to return.
Jamie Schreter – eCommerce & Digital Marketing
Increase database and server capacity: The unexpected increase in visits can cause an eCommerce website to collapse. To prevent this from happening, you can expand the capacity of your servers in the days leading up to Black Friday. Analyze your customers and find out the time of day when they usually buy can be highly beneficial for managing the space and needs of the server.
Check your site speed: Test it before, during and after the holiday season. Keep in mind that almost half of the shoppers will never return to a slow website.
Create specific landing pages for this big weekend: We all know that personalisation is a big key in the advertising space. Creating special landing pages that target Black Friday brings added value and improves the user experience. The information must be clear and high quality too, otherwise, the user can land on your site but leave immediately without even purchasing.
Get your retargeting strategies rolling: It takes time for a potential customer to become a customer, so give him the time to reconsider and hit him or her with some great looking remarketing campaigns.
The sense of urgency: Countdown campaigns create a sense of urgency and encourage the user to prioritize his or her shopping experience.
Is it mobile friendly? Mobile is becoming the most prominent device to make purchases as we are always on the go. Ensure that you optimize your website for mobile devices.
Payment options: The customer journey must be super smooth and leading to several payment options. If the checkout does not include several payment methods, the user can leave.
Track your success: Don’t forget to track everything as data is one of the most important things in marketing nowadays and can help you to understand your customers even better so that you are well prepared for the next holiday season.
Elisa Ferreri – Digital Marketing Manager
Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.