It’s that time again.
The busiest quarter of any eCommerce retailers’ calendar is upon us, giving us the chance to look back at all the changes in the last year and to make the most of the next period.
48% of all consumer spending took place online over Q4 in 2020 and although only time will tell just how much the pandemic has changed retail, early data is showing that the shift to eCommerce remains fairly consistent with the UK economy growing by 4.8% in the second quarter of 2021.
With this in mind, we take a look at the best ways to prepare for Q4 and make sure you’re ahead for the surge in retail.
How to prepare for Q4
1. Establish your calendar and plan your promotions
With key dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day and Christmas, you will need a well thought out marketing calendar to help you make the most of these opportunities.
Organising your calendar will allow you to create successful campaigns that make the most of the surge in website traffic on these key dates.
Deciding on the duration of your promotions and ensuring all marketing materials are in place well in advance will eliminate last-minute mistakes and stress.
Singles Day is certainly not to be missed either. In 2020 the day saw eCommerce profits increase by 85% from 2019, with $75 billion (£56.8 billion) being spent. Celebrated annually on 11 November, the day originated in China and looks set to gain attention across the Western world; definitely one to keep on your calendar.
Thinking of how to promote your discounts or want an innovative way to let your customers know about your delivery deals? Utilise Behavioural Overlays to promote your Christmas delivery deadlines, promotions or encourage newsletter sign-ups.
2. Use data to look out for trends
Reviewing which of your campaigns were the most successful last year or any staffing and stock issues will hold value, but the most crucial component of your 2021 eCommerce strategy will be data-driven insights.
Using real-time data in your campaigns will allow you to identify and react to changing trends.
By tracking, analysing and applying data to your strategy, you can see what is working and what is not, making adjustments where appropriate.
To fully realise a reactive data-driven strategy, you’ll need dynamic elements on your site that respond to real-time trends.
AI can transform your data insights into personalised content and recommendations based on both user behaviour and market trends.
You can also compare your business against competitors using real-time data from Salesfire’s eCommerce analyst platform, TrendDesk, allowing you to make the most of key trends in your industry.
3. Optimise your site search
Search plays a significant role in the purchase journey and is often the first step for many consumers with search interest in Black Friday 2020 peaking at midnight the day before.
More than 7.5 million searches were also made in the UK on Black Friday 2019.
This influx means that the speed and accuracy of your on-site search is key to optimising your conversion rate over this period.
Slow load times, inaccurate results and hard to find search bars all prevent customers from finding their perfect gifts.
Optimising your search bar will ensure it is delivering genuinely relevant results and performing to its maximum potential.
This will work to boost your sales, improve engagement rates and promote customer loyalty.
If you’re looking to enhance your on-site search, take a look at our AI-powered Search.
4. Maximise the opportunity to upsell
eCommerce sites expect to see an influx of online shoppers in Q4 and with shoppers keen to make their Christmas gift purchases quickly it’s a key time to make the most of upselling opportunities.
Using AI and machine learning you can base product recommendations on a customer’s on-site behaviour or previous purchaser’s browser history, suggesting genuinely personalised products they may not have previously thought of.
Offering items on product pages or on the checkout page can also create a perfectly timed cross-sell to entice shoppers and increase the AOV of your baskets.
Want to create upsell and cross-sell opportunities on your site? Our Product Recommendations use AI and true machine learning to offer shoppers the perfect product.
5. Revisit your basket abandonment emails
The busiest shopping season of the year presents the perfect opportunity to review and update your email campaigns to achieve maximum success.
With nearly seven out of ten shopping carts being abandoned, improving your basket abandonment email sequence can recover lost sales and re-engage customers.
Testing and optimising the subject line, content and timing of your emails could significantly increase your sales recovery. With 72% of users who abandon their basket intending to buy within the next 48 hours, this is not an opportunity you want to miss.
Revising your basket abandonment email sequence in line with the festive season will ensure your communications are timely and relevant to achieve the greatest impact.
Related: Want to get the most out of your Basket Abandonment emails? Find out how to get the most out of your strategy with our quick guide.
With the festive shopping excitement beginning earlier each year, retailers need to plan ahead to make the most of the busy period and to ensure the increased traffic through their site has the best chance of converting.
To speak to a member of our team about how we can help over the holiday season, contact us on 0204 505 9040 or book a demo.