Online retailers are in an enviable position as positive Cyber Week numbers continue to be reported. In fact, Cyber Monday continued its 10-year trend of being the biggest shopping day of the year with sales growth of 8.5 percent year-over-year, according to IBM Digital Analytics.
With the National Retail Federation (NRF) anticipating holiday retail sales will climb to $616.9 billion this year, 2014 shopping is shaping up nicely. While the numbers continue to impress, let’s not lose sight of the fact that online commerce only accounts for one tenth of U.S. retail sales, according to the Department of Commerce.
While online retailers are keenly aware of the importance of these weeks, there’s one day in particular, Super Saturday — in 2014, this coming Saturday, December 20th — that should be circled on the calendar. As the last big push before Christmas, Super Saturday can pose a serious threat for online retailers for two significant reasons.
First, retail analysts at ShopperTrak predict that more people could hit U.S. stores on Super Saturday than the traditional Black Friday rush. Second, Free Shipping Day is Thursday, December 18. With no minimum order requirement and a guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve, the annual event is the last big hurrah for many online shoppers.
Still, this doesn’t mean online retailers can’t get in on Super Saturday. While only 3.9 percent of shoppers make purchases during the last two weeks of the year, according to NRF, the numbers are significant when you consider that healthy $616.9B figure.
Aside from ensuring that orders arrive on time, here are three additional actions online retailers can take to make the most of Super Saturday.
Optimize Cross-Channel and Cross-Device Campaigns
While you’re likely to be tweaking your campaigns all season, last minute shoppers present a new dynamic. Many have already made their major purchases and could be looking online for last minute items. Still others may be just starting their holiday shopping on Super Saturday.
If you dig deeper into cross-channel performance, you can identify which segments of last minute shoppers should be the focus of your efforts and how to most effectively reach them.
For example, here are three types of analyses to consider:
· Align abandoned shopping cart items with retargeting and search to determine if customers have likely already purchased those items. If they probably have, are there complementary products you can offer?
· Assess the relevancy of your messages by analyzing the customer’s level of engagement across channels and devices. Then, explore retargeting and search results for more insight into customer interest.
· Examine the average amount of touch points on the customer journey and experiment to see which combination of channels may shorten the path the conversion.
Enact Plan B Campaigns
When you set up your holiday campaigns, you likely also developed back-up plans. The go/no-go decision may have been made after weeks or days but on Super Saturday, they’re down to hours or minutes. With no time to waste, monitor results in real-time and be ready to enact Plan B to seize last minute opportunities.
Mobilize for Mobile
We all know mobile shopping is on the rise and last minute shoppers will crosscheck offers on their smartphones while they’re in stores. Prepare to succeed by presenting in-store offers on mobile devices, posting offers on your mobile website, and creating cross-channel/cross-device offers to across all channels and devices.
Online retailers that integrate themselves into the offline experience will see great gains beyond Super Saturday. Especially considering that 60 percent of all U.S. retail sales will involve the Internet in some way by 2017, according to Forrester analysts.