Looking back this time last year, many marketers sprinted to prepare for the holiday frenzy amidst the uncertainty of Covid-19. Fast forward to 2021, it’s important that marketers take a minute to slow down and evaluate their Q4 affiliate marketing strategy prior to the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With many industry experts predicting these holiday promotions to kick off as early as October, now is the time for marketers to finish planning their campaign execution while aligning promotions with year-end sales goals.
In 2020, Black Friday and Cyber Monday accounted for a 180% increase in new customer acquisition in comparison to regular shopping days. Existing customers tend to seek out the best deals and coupons rather than shop with their trusted brands when it comes to these holidays. To remain well-equipped for the season’s biggest ROI trophies, let’s hone in on a few key strategies to make Q4 the most profitable quarter this year.
As consumers browse holiday gift guides and narrow down their shopping lists, a sense of urgency will quickly push them from the consideration stage to the point of conversion. In an effort to grab the attention of those consumers, marketers should plan to launch limited-time deals, such as hourly flash sales and personalized offers.
Leading up to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping spike, marketers can expect to see an increase in new shoppers due to a general uptick in shopping through Q4. 58% of consumers expect to spend the same or more than recent years this holiday season. To capitalize on both new and existing customers, marketers should take advantage of SMS marketing. Due to the instantaneous nature of SMS, marketers can utilize this channel to stand out amongst the competition and drive reach for their holiday flash sales to opted-in customers. With a 98% open rate, the simplicity of SMS makes it even more enticing for a customer to click the offer link as there’s no room for fluff. SMS in conjunction with email marketing can be a powerful duo for the holidays by maximizing offer reach to consumers on mobile and desktop.
One thing to note as Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions are presented in a short timeframe, there may be a larger influx of customers than what your site is built to withstand. According to a recent study, marketers lose 4% of a day’s sales each hour their website is down during the holiday spike. Prior to launching limited-time deals this holiday season, marketers must make sure their site bandwidth is optimized for an exponential uptick in traffic on both desktop and mobile.
To ensure the highest average order value (AOV), marketers should implement cart-level alerts into their Q4 affiliate strategy. Across the globe, the average shopping cart abandonment rate sits at 69% year-over-year. In an effort to proactively prevent abandonment through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, marketers should enable automated notifications offering in-cart incentives to customers. These offers can include free shipping, fast delivery, personalized coupon codes, and free trials to entice customers to convert.
In Q4 2020, 34% of Cyber Monday sales were completed solely on smartphones. As Cyber Monday shifts towards becoming a mobile-focused event, e-commerce shopping apps should mimic these alerts as in-app notifications at the time of checkout. This past year, over half of U.S. consumers increased their in-app spending during the holidays, with 84% expecting to sustain this level of usage through 2021.
When incentivizing consumers to convert using fast or free shipping promotions, it’s important to remain transparent with order fulfillment timelines. Speed of delivery has a greater influence over a consumer’s purchase decision than free or discounted shipping. Honesty about expected order fulfillment dates and delivery turnaround times are crucial, as inconsistencies can hurt brand loyalty and trust in the long run.
In 2020, the last four hours of Cyber Monday accounted for 25% of the entire day’s revenue. When planning exit-intent messaging around Q4’s biggest shopping days, personalization will be a key player this year. In an effort to keep potential customers from leaving your site, personalized deals should be presented based on a number of factors such as cart contents, on-site consumer behavior, purchase history, and more. Many marketers tend to push a simple coupon code to consumers as a last-ditch effort, but the price is not always the reason behind consumers wanting to look elsewhere.
Some consumers may want to leave your site to do more research on a specific product they’re considering. 66% of Americans stated they’d prefer information about a product provided to them while shopping on Black Friday. In an effort to push consumers to convert, marketers should create informative content that spotlights a product’s qualities, features, and benefits. When combined with a discount or shipping offer, these informed buyers will be more likely to make a purchase faster than their uniformed counterparts who may just be browsing.
Marketers must approach their holiday marketing strategy with the mindset that shoppers will need additional enticement to buy. Because this year’s shopper is likely to be more omnichannel than ever, creative and personalized promotional offers will be critical. Creating the right touch points in the consumer shopping journey will help to both acquire new customers and build brand loyalty with existing customers.
Ready to exceed your 2021 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales goals? Reach out to our team of affiliate marketing experts today to get started.
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