Use your data
“Sales data and website analytics can tell you exactly what is resonating with your customers today. Pay very close attention to changing trends since March (when COVID-19 stay-at-home orders gained traction), reviewing campaign performance to see what themes you could tailor and reuse for the holidays; product category sales to create promotions around your most popular categories; website metrics, including traffic to specific pages, most searched keywords, abandoned carts, and orders. This data informs you on the types of products your audience is seeking, and can determine what holiday themes and merchandising to promote sitewide. Next, review the most popular channels driving traffic and conversions to determine where to promote your sales,” said Michael Mathias, CEO, Whereoware.
Invest in your e-commerce website and digital marketing strategy
“If you don’t have an effective e-commerce website, now is the time to get one, and if you have one, make it better. Add higher-quality product photography and videography, update your product catalogs, and improve product descriptions and details to drive search engine optimization (SEO),” said Mathias. “Add product recommendations to drive upsells and cross sells and increase average order value. Use email and digital advertising to drive traffic to your website, widen your audience base, and nurture customer engagement. Invest in the digital shopping experience B2B buyers now expect. COVID-19 was a stark reminder that vendors need a multi-channel strategy, supported by a strong digital presence.”
Optimize the journey, not the sale
“The best online experience is unexceptional. Sounds ridiculous, but think of the brands your most loyal to. I bet that in addition to liking their products, they made it easy for you to browse, buy, ask questions, track orders, or get updates on delivery. The best experiences are easy and simple – they don’t make you think and never frustrate you,” said Mathias. “This holiday season, when so many things could be in flux, stand out for how easy and effortless it is to do business with you. Optimize the journey from your website navigation, product search, product detail, through the seamless shopping cart. Don’t stop there either, but make sure you’re delivering a great post-purchase experience – providing order updates, delivery transparency, direct lines to customer service, or personal follow up by a rep.”
Be open to trying something new
“Buyer and consumer shopping behavior is changing all the time, but has shifted dramatically since COVID. Embrace the change and look across industries and business types to generate creative ideas. Maybe “back to school” is your annual best-selling line, but you also sell Home Essential products. Realize that you can’t put your eggs in the back-to-school basket this year, and double down on Home Essentials. We’ll see B2B campaign mimicking B2C, with surprising results. For example, last year, we strategized a B2B Black Friday marketing campaign for a client (typically Black Friday is strictly a B2C shopping holiday) – and drove 170% more revenue than the year prior. Get out of your box and stop following the rules,” said Mathias.