How to leverage your online shopping this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to implement your retail advertising strategy this festive season. Christmas not only presents businesses with a fantastic opportunity to generate more sales and leads, it also heightens audience engagement and increases brand exposure.

But with shopper behaviour constantly changing, it’s important that your business understands the current Australian retail landscape. This will prepare you for the busy Christmas period so you can capitalise on growing trends and maximise sales opportunities. Here are our top tips for ensuring your online shopping in 2017 hits the right note with your customers.

Connecting your offline and online

It’s no secret – ecommerce is driving growth in Australian retail. We spend almost 3 hours a day on our mobile phones, searching whenever and wherever we need information. This has had a tremendous impact on our shopping behaviour, with a significant drop in foot traffic to stores in the last 4 years.

However, in store revenue in the Australian retail industry is still growing in large part due to the growth of ecommerce and online shopping. In fact, it’s expected to increase by 3.8% in store and a whopping 17.1% online. This means shoppers are spending more, but visiting stores less.

This shift has meant Australian retailers have had to reevaluate the Australian retail landscape and adapt to this new consumer, known as the “non-line” shopper. Thanks to mobile, “non-line” shoppers don’t differentiate between on and offline. For them, there is no line when interacting with your business and mobile is as much part of the local experience as the store, so they expect consistent help wherever they are.

As a result of mobile experiences, they’re more informed, purposeful and better prepared than ever before. Brands and retailers have an opportunity to win their loyalty if they meet and exceed their heightened expectations both in and out of stores. To do that, you need to build towards answering these new consumer trends driving the behaviour of today’s consumer:

  • Be found – Ensure you can be found when people search for you, not only on Google, but on social platforms and local searches.
  • Be relevant – Deliver personalised experiences through interactions on social, personalised advertising and customer reviews to help people make an informed choice about your products.
  • Be seamless – Help customers find, buy and get what they want whether in store or online by ensuring the customer experience is seamless on every device.

Creating a seamless experience over discounting

So what does it mean to create a seamless user experience? It’s easy to get sidetracked by offers and branding, but with 59% of people expecting brands to deliver a seamless experience across devices, it’s important to stay focused on creating these strong customer experiences.

We spend so much time thinking we need to discount, but in fact, a poor user experience can have the biggest negative effect. One of the key challenges businesses face is that if you spend all your time on your website, you might not see what your customers see as you’re so used to navigating.

At Bang Digital, we use website tracking software that’s installed on your site and tracks people’s actual interactions. You can see if they’re going to the wrong area, not clicking on the right button and we’re they’re dropping off. It’s small tweaks like this that can increase conversion rates dramatically.

Shopping tools to use this Christmas season

When it comes to implementing your retail advertising strategy, there are a wide range of tools for you to use. To leverage your online shopping this Christmas, consider the following:

Google Shopping

With Google Shopping, your business is given a compelling format to showcase your product information to your consumers across Google sites, Google image search, the Google Display Network, and even YouTube. Now with Google Shopping, you can promote your business and local inventory, boost traffic to your website, find better qualified leads, and ultimately sell more online.

Facebook Checkout

Want to create an immersive online shopping experience? Now you can connect and sell your products to billions of Facebook users, thanks to Facebook Checkout. A free and easy to use tab you can add your Page, Facebook Checkout lets you display and sell your products right on the page for your customers to see.

Dynamic Advertising

With dynamic advertising, you can personalise your Facebook adverts and automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest in your website, app or elsewhere on the internet. This allows you to reach more shoppers, retarget shoppers to complete the sale, and contact people across devices.

Key online shopping days

Now you have the trends, insights and tools at your disposal, it’s time to start planning for the Christmas season and beyond. This holidays, millions of Australians will search for products and mobile will define the top 4 expected shopping days: the 2 Saturdays before Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

However, it’s important to note that traffic peaks just before Christmas in late November/December and then has a second smaller peak in January. With these purposeful shopping experiences continuing to accelerate, you need to be building to meet your customers where they are. So start today by following these steps:

  1. Focus on your product data feeds – Add your entire product inventory in your feed and fix any errors. If you sell offline, you can prepare and add local inventory feeds. If you have reviews for your products, you can set up product ratings.
  2. Take a look at your shopping campaigns – Plan to have enough budget for the spike in holiday traffic. Test smart bidding to help maximise your ROI and create remarketing audiences to improve your targeting.
  3. By October – Add retail promotions, create seasonal campaigns and then monitor your budgets and performance throughout the holidays.

Need help leveraging your online shopping this Christmas? At Bang Digital, we know that Christmas can be a stressful time for businesses, which is why we want to give you the gift you deserve – an excellent Christmas retail advertising strategy. Get in touch with our team of digital experts to discuss.