The holidays are coming. More specifically, the biggest shopping days of the year and the newly deemed Mobile Monday are fast approaching. After setting a record for the largest online shopping day in US ever last year, we predict the mobile shopping trend to continue in 2015.
When we say, "mobile," we aren't just talking about brands enabling consumers to purchase on mobile devices. We are also speaking of the mobile state of mind. It's no secret that most Americans will be spending the holidays with family and friends, eating, relaxing, watching TV and taking advantage of their favorite spot on the sofa. But what else will they be doing?
Paying attention to their phones! This is the perfect time for brands to reach mobile users. The challenge for marketers now becomes not only the "how," but the "what." What is the brand's offer? What is the positioning? What is the message? Are you reaching your audience? Do you know where your audience consumes content?
For many retailers and brands, digital gift cards offer a simple, personal and transferable option for consumers. And for retail and restaurants brands, it is most likely the only online e-commerce offering they can leverage. So how can brands who typically have no e-commerce presence or only offer the ability to purchase digital gift cards, implement a successful holiday gift card promotion?
Here are a few suggestions for developing a process across multiple touch points:
- Make sure gift card page URLs or landing pages are easy to find regardless of the device. Most importantly, create mobile-friendly URLs that are available via search, social, mobile, email and any other digital touchpoint.
- Offer gift cards alongside of other products available for purchase online in case users can't find the specific product they want or are seeking an alternate gift.
- Make sure the gift card options are well defined and visible on all pages in the customer check out process. Include information like shipping time, personalization options and who will receive notification of the gift card purchase.
- Highlight personalization. Customers may not want to give a generic gift, allow them to customize the gift card to add that more personal elements expressing their sentiment to the receiver.
- Establish a clearly laid out journey to the digital wallet or online account development. Many gift givers like the idea of personalizing a gift card for their loved one, but they may not be a customer. Allowing users to choose to proceed without having to create an account will lower the barrier to purchase.
- Implement paid display and social media messaging to ensure target audiences are aware of the brand's digital gift cards and promotion. Utilizing dynamic retargeting technology, audience development platforms, web-placed cookies and other data-driven solutions like leveraging user's email addresses, brands can identify and track fans across the web to reengage them in the online experience at each brand touchpoint, be it in social media or wherever they are consuming content.
- Engage with consumers on social profiles to drive interaction to increase impressions and further reach. The more present the brand is in the community's stream, the higher the awareness of the promotion and gift card offer. In just this past year, we partnered with a national restaurant chain to engage their consumers using paid social and display media during Mother's and Father's Day, and we saw an increase in year-over-year sales of more than 2,000%!
- Integrate calls-to-action into all digital touch points and provide customer service via social, email or telephone. We recognize that timing, budget and internal resources could all be factors preventing brands from creating the ideal customer journey and user experience, but customer service can bridge the gaps. If there is ever an ideal time to hunker down to help customers, it would be during the holidays.
Try this: visit your website as a customer and shop the way they would. Does the experience favor the user? Are there any broken or wrong links, pixelated images, site redirects? Where might interaction on social media take place? If the experience was pleasant for you, then it will be for your consumers.
The objective should be to fuse your efforts together to create a delightful experience for your customers. And we're here to help! If you need assistance getting your holiday digital gift card offer up and running or just have general questions, give usr your text here ...