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Christmas eCommerce: Keep it merry and stress-free!

Research has shown that almost 56% of British consumers will be spending nearly half of their Christmas shopping online this year. Others have also estimated that 8 out of 10 consumers will be considering online Christmas shopping. It is not surprising that British retailers have been investing a substantial amount of their efforts to embrace this once-in-a-year opportunity since several months before Christmas.

Despite the optimistic figures, some concerns remain amongst the retailers. It is one thing to browse on eCommerce website, but it is quite another thing to click the ‘purchase’ button for the consumers. Approximately 48% of the online shoppers are likely to quit shopping, leaving their shopping carts hanging there, abandoned and eventually forgotten.

So what is demoralising them?

Christmas time not only brings jolly and delightful feelings, but the time also makes people stressed and occupied with planning parties and finishing off their big projects before starting their holidays. And they are less likely to enjoy the complicated and time-consuming eCommerce procedures, forcing them to abandon their shopping baskets before completing the payments. It is the hard-to-follow structure, slow loading website or simply the unexpected delivery cost that make consumers switch to competitors or in-store shopping. Retailers cannot afford to lose these key shoppers whose expected average Christmas expenditure is 375 pounds per person.

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(Picture from Ag Report 365 http://agreport365.com/christmas-shopping-stress-fight/)

Christmas is just around the corner: What can we do at this stage?

Marketing strategy during Christmas encompasses an early preparation. Yet, there are still some actions that can be taken to avoid the ‘lost-consumer’ problem. The most straightforward solution, probably, is to send them the reminder emails. Big retailers such as John Lewis and QuickSilver use ‘Cart Abandonment Email’ to remind their consumers of the unfinished shopping activities. Their emails feature precise messages with images of items and the links that direct consumers back to their shopping carts.

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(Source from http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63925-cart-abandonment-emails-how-five-retailers-retarget-lost-customers)

However we also need to look at the root cause. In other others, to tackle the tedious eCommerce shopping experience by adding more fun and creative elements of your company.  For example, use of videos and photos featuring your team dressed in Santa costumes might attract the consumers’ attentions, making the process less monotonous.

Christmas-themed deals or promotions should be renewed and updated every couple of days to encourage your online customers to visit your website regularly. By offering vouchers that can be used in January 2014, it will not only ensure returning customers but also less chance of losing shoppers to the competitors. Similarly offering promotion code on the spot will prevent your consumers from leaving to other websites, looking for better offers. Your online sales will be likely to increase if you improve the cost of delivery. Given that consumers abandon their carts due to unexpected total prices at the final process of online shopping, companies may need to reduce the delivery fees, if not free, on orders that exceed certain amounts. This can provide some incentive for the consumers to spend more and at the same time avoid disappointments.

The most basic way to enhance online conversion rate is to revise the technicality and accessibility of your website (yet, many tend to underestimate this). The speed of website download determines the conversion rate, and therefore the volume of your Christmas sales. Ensure that your eCommerce website operates effectively and speedily for every type of device.

In conclusion…

As mentioned earlier, Christmas marketing strategy requires a long-term planning. This may involve the development of a personalized online shopping website, or incorporation of a range of social media methods to make online shopping more fun an interactive. In a busy time like Christmas, consumer attitudes are even more volatile. Retailers must make sure their eCommerce sites are precise, easy-to-follow, and speedy to avoid the ‘missing payment’ or ‘lost consumer’ situations.

Brand Relaunch inferno / feat. Tesco, NME, Siemens, and VOV.

Some are changing their look, some are just going for a session at the beauty parlour, some are coming back after years in the closet – it looks like recently the word has been “relaunch”, for a lot of brands, though.

Voilà les news:

From MediaTel: ‘IPC Media has announced a ‘major redevelopment’ of popular title NME, which is set to relaunch on 9th October.

Under editor Mike Williams, changes include a redesigned logo, a greater Radar section both in print and online, new franchises and an enhanced ‘reviews’ section.

The magazine currently boasts a global audience of 3.4 million every week, and Williams commented that it is ‘vitally important’ for NME to continue to push things forward and innovate.’

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From Sky News: ‘Supermarket giant Tesco has relaunched its premium food brand for the first time in 15 years, as it tries to stem a slump in profit.

The new lines have been released just days after it revealed a 23.5% pre-tax profit plunge in its half-year result.

Britain’s biggest retailer said the update to its ‘Tesco finest’ food lines will include 400 new products, with 75% of the 1,500 product range being either new or improved.’

 

From Marketwired: ‘SUNNYVALE, CA- (Marketwired – Oct 7, 2013) – Eastwick, a leading independent strategic communications firm focused on technology, today announced that Siemens Enterprise Communications has selected the agency to lead the earned and social media programs as well as content and messaging strategy for the company as it moves toward a major rebranding and relaunch. Unveiling of the new brand and new name will take place during a global online broadcast event on October 15, 2013.

Siemens Enterprise Communications, a leading global provider of unified communications solutions, has garnered significant industry interest over past months with their announcement of Project Ansible, a visionary real-time collaboration and communications platform bringing together voice, video, social media and search into a smart, seamless, intuitive enterprise experience.’

About time!

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And, last but not least, Italy’s most famous egg nog is back in business!

The history (from the new website – http://www.vovzabajone.it): in 1845 ‘Gian Battista Pezziol decides to use the yolks, mixing them with Marsala wine, sugar and lots of LOVE, in order to create a liquor with a natural and simple recipe, which he will call “Vovi“ (“eggs”, in Venetian language). Pretty soon the liquor became a hit, crossed the borders of Veneto, and changed name: VOV. Still, to this day, all over the place, the name stands for the REAL egg-based liquor.’

Whole Lotta VOV!

The website is quite fresh and proudly made by, well, us. Yeah.

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What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Photo sources: NME, Wikipedia & Appnova