With Black Friday just days away, merchants should look ahead to capitalizing on the season’s highs with after-Christmas sales that provide new reasons for shoppers to engage.
As discussed in our previous post, revenues in January tend to slip dramatically from holiday-season highs, heralding in a first-quarter lull. But while the early months of the year may not break records, they still hold the potential for growth; online revenues in the first quarter of 2015, for example, grew at a rate of 9.1% year over year, according to the MarketLive Performance Index.
Furthermore, post-season shopping starts promptly on December 26, or for some, even on the holiday itself; last year, Christmas Day online sales jumped 8% year over year, according to IBM Digital Analytics. This year, close to 1 in 4 shoppers — 24% — say they plan to take advantage of post-Christmas sales, according to the MarketLive/E-Tailing Group 2015 Consumer Shopping Survey.
The action item
In addition to seeding opportunities for post-season re-engagement into the shopping experience during the peak buying period, as discussed in our prior post, merchants should also design purpose-built campaigns that address the needs of shoppers in the immediate post-Christmas period. Among the tactics:
- Think mobile. IBM found that mobile devices accounted for a whopping 57.1% of eCommerce traffic and 34.8% of sales on Christmas Day — signaling that consumers were content to check out sales via smartphones and tablets during breaks in their festivities, but less apt to mosey over to the computer and log on. Merchants should cater to this behavior by ensuring that they translate post-season campaigns and promotions for their mobile audiences. Social media should play a significant role in spreading the word, given that fully 61% of social visits originate on mobile devices, according to Merkle/RKG.
- Position New Year’s as a shoppable event in its own right. From party supplies and outfits to organization tools and fitness equipment to help shoppers keep their resolutins, there are plenty of New Year’s needs merchants can address in the week immediately following Christmas.
MarketLive merchant Honey Baked Ham rolled out New Year’s recipe ideas and product suggestions promptly on December 26 last year to serve shoppers gearing up for the next celebration.
- Switch the focus from gifts to self-rewards. More than half of consumers plan to buy non-gift items for themselves during the holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation — and the post-Christmas period, when gift cards have been newly received, is a prime opportunity to promote gifts and services that reward shoppers. Merchants should highlight best-sellers and group picks by gift card amount. Gift card redemption policies should be front and center.
MarketLive merchant Peruvian Connection put the focus on escaping the stresses of the holiday season on Dec. 26 with its Facebook post inviting shoppers to consider sleepwear for relaxing now that “everyone has gone from your house”.
Stay tuned to the blog throughout the holiday season for up-to-the-minute results and check out MarketLive’s holiday resource center for further best practices.