How to drive online & offline sales this Christmas - Kym Reynolds senior marketing expert at SmartFocus | DMA

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How to drive online & offline sales this Christmas - Kym Reynolds senior marketing expert at SmartFocus

Here are some top tips from context-aware marketing company SmartFocus and retail creative agency Live & Breathe to help CMOs drive sales this Christmas.

For mobile optimised websites and apps:

- Add 1-3 key holiday messages or offers front and centre of your mobile website and/or app

- Double check mobile optimisation of your website, especially on larger smartphones and tablets

- Can you remove any steps to make browsing products easier?

- Longer term, consider a virtual beacons trial to drive usage of loyalty card/app and any related offers in-store

- A virtual beacons trial will also allow shoppers to click a ‘Remind me in-store’ button on your website, which triggers a product or offer reminder when they walk near or into a store

For Click and Collect:

- Make sure your Click and Collect service is communicated clearly across all relevant channels

- Clearly inform online shoppers that your Click and Collect service is the safest way of shopping right up to the last minute - guaranteeing your shopper that their gifts will arrive in time

- Ask yourself what extra can you do to highlight your Click and Collect service both in-store and online?

For website/email marketing:

- Promote ‘social proof’ from bloggers, key opinion leaders and positive online reviews around key products and services

- Check you have delivered messages focussing on high margin lines, eg non-food items for grocers

- Make sure your transactional emails (eg ‘Thank you for your purchase’) also gives information about in-store offers and extra reasons to shop in-store

- Use online purchases to drive further physical sales or Click and Collect pickups. For example, send vouchers to use in-store, or give gift cards that can be used in the January sales

- Run an exclusive social media voucher that can be redeemed in-store

- Use targeted emails, web content and banners to drive sales of top performing products and under-performing lines

- Make sure online offers are personalised and emails are highly segmented, allowing you to suggest online and in-store offers based on segmentation and purchase history

For in-store digital:

- If in-store tablets are used, make sure detailed information is easily available about your products, including positive price comparisons and customer reviews

- Check your in-store Wi-Fi is working and easy for shoppers to access

- Make sure your online and in-store pricing is aligned

- Investigate using in-store digital media to help drive information and inspiration in-store, show reviews and positive price comparisons, and use as a media services space

For social media/video:

- Ensure there are enough community managers covering your social media channels (especially at evenings and weekends) to answer shopper queries promptly, even out of hours

- Supporting TV campaigns with online video? Add digital overlays to online videos that drive to online ordering and the Click and Collect page of your website

- Communicate your store’s expertise and services as well as products. For example, specialist retailers should promote their valuable knowledge and advice that consumers would find difficult to get elsewhere

- Run an exclusive social media voucher that can be redeemed in-store

- Plan ‘always on’ Facebook contests through an app to acquire rich Facebook Connect opt-in data

Physical retail can rapidly benefit from online and digital channels, especially at Christmas when less sophisticated retailers will miss out the opportunities an integrated approach brings. Implementing these fast fixes will help maximise spend and improve Christmas campaign results.

Kym Reynolds is a senior marketing expert at SmartFocus. SmartFocus is an innovator in messaging and communications, enabling the world’s largest brands – including Nestlé, Mercedes-Benz and House of Fraser – to understand and connect more closely with today’s connected consumers; whether that be via web, mobile, email or social channels. Through The Message Cloud solution, SmartFocus genuinely listens to and learns from customers using patented algorithms and unique location-based marketing tools. Using The Message Cloud, SmartFocus customers have the rich data, intelligence and the tools for contextually unique engagements, through any digital channel.

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