The 3 ecommerce tactics your competitors cashed in on during the 2022 holiday season
What’s the holiday season if not a shopping spree? The start of the 2022 festive season proved to be just that. According to Adobe Analytics data, consumers spent a whopping total of $35.3 billion through Cyber Week 2022 — with record online spending during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
So, the question is, what did ecommerce retailers do right this holiday season — and will this record be broken next year? The answer lies in the data and what you do with it.
Use customer intelligence intelligently
To stay relevant, brands need to evolve their digital experience at the same speed as customer expectations. To do that, you need to understand your customers closely, observe their behavior, know their patterns, and be able to predict not just what they want — but also when, where, and how they want it.
Adobe Commerce is a flexible, extensible, and scalable platform built with the power of artificial intelligence (AI). With its advanced data-sharing capabilities, it’s designed to help you create incredible commerce experiences from start to finish that can entice your customers to spend more. Having gained experience helping many businesses build their online marketing strategy with Commerce, I know that there’s a lot more we can tap into to scale your ecommerce business and improve your customers’ digital shopping experience.
I’ve been fortunate to gain insight into what strategies ecommerce giants and up-and-coming brands are implementing to be more successful in the online marketplace. With that in mind — and knowing the Commerce features available — I’ve gathered actionable tactics for you to cash in on. Here’s how you can use the data you’ve collected over the years and during this holiday season to unlock greater value during your next sales cycle.
1. Make it personal
Ecommerce personalization isn’t a feature that’s just nice to have anymore — it’s what your customers expect. Successful merchants are implementing personalization, and missing out on it can be your biggest mistake. If done right, it’s a proven tactic to one-up your competitors and get your shoppers to loosen their purse strings.
The most common way to do this is to personalize the product recommendations experience based on your customer’s purchase and browsing history. Many ecommerce giants use this data to provide product recommendations as widgets — especially on the product listing page (PLP) and product description page.
Tap into the power of Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s AI platform, to unlock real-time insights on customer behavior and then apply these insights to provide unique product recommendations and personalize every shopper’s experience. The basis for recommendations can range anywhere from being centered on shoppers or items to content similarity and even contextual popularity.
But you can take these recommendations even one step further. Along with providing widgets on certain pages, you can use Adobe Commerce, powered by Adobe Sensei, to personalize your customers’ entire search and browsing experience.
Zumiez, a leading specialty retailer of clothing and accessories, uses product recommendation widgets not just on its PLP but also in search. This ensures that no two customers have the same shopping experience. They view content based on their individual shopping history, and search results are displayed in order of search relevance and proximity of the item to the customer.
Using Commerce customer segmentation and Adobe Experience Manager together, you can also customize the page content for every shopper in real time and display promotions and banners that are relevant to them.
2. Design attractive promotional offers
Promotions and discounts are one of the most popular and proven neuroscience tactics to boost sales. According to neuroscience, a person’s brain and emotions also subconsciously weigh in on the decision to make or not make a purchase. The idea of saving money (through a promotion) stimulates the feeling of pleasure in a customer. Humans are wired to keep wanting more — and in this never-ending pursuit of pleasure, the customer spends more to save more.
Intelligent retailers know this and use it to their advantage. They create promotional offers that the customers cannot resist and, in the temptation to save, customers actually end up spending more. One of the most popular promotions is the classic “buy one, get one” (BOGO) offer or its equivalent best deal.
To set yourselves apart from the competition, your brand needs to offer more personalized yet profitable incentives to customers. One of the leading ecommerce giants in the market today made its business more profitable with the free shipping tactic. One way to make money on this promotion is to offer it above a threshold order value that is higher than your average product price.
For example, if you are offering a $40 product on sale for $22, make the free shipping threshold 1.5 times the actual product price (i.e., $60). If the customer adds just one product at $22 to their cart, the shipping is not discounted. If they add another, the shipping may be discounted by some percentage. But if they add three items at $22 each, they get free shipping. The idea is to incentivize the customer to add more to their cart to save on shipping. The customer is happy with their free shipping and heavily discounted items, and you have sold three items instead of one.
Think outside the box while using your data to test-run your promotions and figure out the best periods to run them in. Try running multiple offers based on your shoppers’ history to maximize your chances of a sale. For example, Harbor Freight Tools runs different discounts simultaneously — based on price, quantity, and percentage, mix-and-match deals, and other private-label credit card promotions.
3. Create a more rewarding experience
Ecommerce loyalty programs like a members-only sale or an early-access pass give customers a sense of exclusivity and a higher sense of position as compared to other customers — motivating them to spend more to prove their loyalty. In fact, according to a study by Harvard Business School, 63% of consumers say they’re prepared to modify their spending habits to maximize the benefits of a loyalty program.
Adobe Commerce offers you an exclusive feature to set up private sales or invite-only events to generate a buzz for your brand and boost loyalty by giving your repeat customers a VIP experience. Here’s just one example of this in action — Harbor Freight Tools has customized its loyalty program with member coupons to further push repeat purchases. You can also use such events to offload excess inventory and get one-time customers to buy again.
It is important to implement a rewards program that actually rewards — or else customers might think it’s bogus and build a negative perception of your brand. It pays to be aggressive in your rewarding strategy to derive the maximum benefits.
Get ready to break your sales records
To get ready for your next big sales cycle, make sure you implement these tactics on a trial basis, track the key metrics, and optimize along the way. Use this method to find out which strategies work for you and reconsider the ones that don’t.
Adobe Professional Services has worked with top ecommerce players to help them boost conversions during holiday sales. We can help guide you in implementing strategies that work for your unique requirements and use cases.
Roshni Taylor is a business solutions architect for Adobe with eight years of experience implementing Adobe Commerce for enterprise customers. Roshni provides strategic oversight and thought leadership for customers to capitalize on business opportunities.