This Sunday sees the 2018 holiday retail season officially kick-off with the Chinese mega event Singles’ Day. This is followed closely by Australia’s largest retail event Click Frenzy on the 13th of November, before Cyber Weekend rolls around on the 23rd. Whilst the biggest days in retail are quickly approaching, there is still time for retailers to optimise promotions and employ last minute strategies that reach and engage customers.

A multi-channel approach:
Consumers today are constantly blurring the lines between channel and device. For retailers, the key to success is being able to reach and engage consumers with the right message, at the right time.

Leverage promotions across channels (including both instore and online for bricks and mortar retailers) and ensure that consumers are engaged regardless of where they choose to spend. A recent study into the state of e-commerce in Asia-Pacific revealed that 35% of Australians turn to search when discovering new products. The same study found that 85% of Aussies will purchase after seeing an ad on social media and 81% have purchased from a site after seeing a promotion on a deal and coupon or cashback site. Aligning messaging across channels help to solidify brand image, which is increasingly import during the busy retail period. Having an aligned message creates a seamless and meaningful consumer experience.

Stand out from the crowd:
During a time when consumers are bombarded with holiday advertisements, it can be difficult for retailers to stand out from the crowd. By using the data at their disposal retailer can take their advertising campaigns a step further by employing personalisation strategies to deliver relevant and engaging ads.

Native advertising is a strategy proven to be successful amongst consumers suffering for “ad fatigue.” By matching the form and function of the site or app they appear on, native ads are relevant and more appealing to consumers. When backed by powerful cross-device and CRM data, native ads serve personalised at experiences at a time and place that aligns with their customers behaviour.

Further to this, retailers using an attribution model have the ability to elevate good data to great data. Having a holistic view of campaign performance allows retailers to quickly and efficiently examine the impact of campaigns. From here, educated decisions can be made about campaign performance and consumer behaviour. 

Use social to your advantage:
Rakuten Marketing November retail data from 2017 showcased an increase in mobile conversion. Last year 44% of Singles’ Day sales occurred on mobile, whilst mobile accounted for 14% of Australian e-commerce sales over Cyber Weekend. It’s known that when on mobile, consumers are spending the majority of their time using social media apps. These apps have a plethora data available, data which can be used to accurately target and engage consumers.

When it comes to leveraging promotions on social there are options available for retailers to target their audiences. First and foremost, via their owned social channels and community engagement, this strategy can be further employed by allowing (and encouraging!) affiliates to also promote offers via their own social communities.

Social media also provides retailers with the ability to target specific audience segments using demographics, locations, likes and interests. By serving relevant and influential creative to consumer ads appear in a native format, breaking through the clutter and the noise and ensuring consumers are being targeted with products that are of interest to them.

Leveraging Search to Capture Your Audience
According to Google, Black Friday queries grew by 62% YoY in 2017.  Similar trends around search behaviour present opportunities to capture and capitalise on intent. It’s essential to pair intent with the right audience. Having paid search presence around big shopping days is not enough. It’s important to position retailers to audiences that have engaged with them (or are similar to). This combination allows for retailers to position themselves in a pivotal place along the consumer journey.

The key is to start as soon as possible. Create Remarketing Lists for Search ads and Customer Match lists ahead of the major shopping days. Speak to these audiences and continue to leverage them throughout November. Research showed that ‘Black Friday’ queries overtook ‘Boxing Day’ queries last year, start search campaigns early and allow them to continue running into December to ensure further success.

Want to find out how Rakuten Marketing can help you achieve retail success? Visit rakutenmarketing.com and speak to an expert today!