Retailers need to get their e-commerce campaigns in place, says BILL MAGEE
“Xmas Is Cancelled” screamed the headlines. Melodrama apart, it’s clear that for any organisation with an online presence it’s make-or-break time in terms of surviving the COVID-19 crisis.
Digital Christmas has become a bit of a political football in the midst of the Coronavirus as businesses search for ways to ride out the pandemic’s second wave.
One thing’s for sure. Festive commercial campaigns should start right now.
For a business there’s no chance of sitting the virus out. NBK Retail analyst Natalie Berg warned the market weeks ago that this Christmas will be fundamentally different for the trade.
Such is the increasing online demand for goods that Royal Mail is seeking a record number of sorting office staff this year – 33,000 additional workers for the Christmas period, or two-thirds more than usual to handle the surge in parcel deliveries. Even Amazon faces a challenge to ensure it has sufficient capacity to fulfil orders.
Consumer expectations have intensified via the internet with experts predicting even before the pandemic struck that global retail e-commerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion in 2020, accounting for 14.1% of the total, rising to 22% in 2023.
As the pandemic drives more shoppers online Gleavemedia recommends four quick marketing ideas to help businesses sell their stuff.
Create a “Drip Email” campaign starting on Black Friday (27 November) and remember to mark religions other than Christianity.
Consider time-limited and competition-driven campaigns, offering free shipping for a certain day and at a sliding discount that drops a little more each week as Christmas approaches; or even a good old-fashioned “first 100 Buyers” deal. Post all of this to a website, via a blog, and / or send out in an e-mail to all subscribers. Leave no one out.
Send out an e-Christmas card a couple of weeks before the big day ensuring clients remain engaged as they need to be reminded of your brand and product(s).
Share your story with others, and at the same time say a big “Thank You” to those who’ve helped you with your commercial growth. This encourages folks to “tag along” with you into the new year.
Simples eh? Yet you’d be amazed how many firms all but shut up shop long before Christmas Day. Not this time. Consumer is king, as the saying goes, and this is never more apparent this time around
Retail Economics chief executive Richard Lim claims the pandemic’s impact has been so profound it has rewired the customer journey, and companies must take note.
It’s left businesses scrambling to assess the situation to try to realign their proposition to meet a significant shift online that is becoming permanent as increasing numbers shop virtually for goods for the first time.
In turn, it’s forcing retailers to assess what this means for the size of their business. This means balancing the numbers of high street stores needed, where exactly they should invest, and considering potential partnerships that might spring out of a still relatively new commercial practice.
As for the online shopper, in a state of virtual lockdown it is a case of sitting back and letting Christmas come to you.
But just remember. Never mix business with recreation: staring at the screen and uttering aloud “This is a rotten show” to hear back: “Must I remind you once again, Bill, this is your boss and we’re on a video call!”