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The Summer Sale checklist

07/06/2019

The Summer Sale is right around the corner with even more fierce competition online comparing to last year. As ecommerce director it’s time to check if you are ready for it; for both your ecommerce site as well as your marketing communications plan. We share with you the checklist to be more profitable this season.

THE 8 TIPS

1. Analyze & learn

Yes, it really starts with this: your number one task is to analyze the sales strategy of last year and learn from the results. Were the sales waves competitive and attractive enough for your clients? Ask yourself and your team these questions when reviewing the data:

•What was your most successful sales wave?
•What was the average order value in relation to the discount rates?
•What was your most popular product?
•What days received the best traffic?
•Which traffic source was the most popular, and most profitable?

Don't forget to conduct a debrief for the next sales period when memories are still fresh.

Your number one task is to analyze the sales strategy of last year and learn from the results.

Endless website loading times result in losing appetite and even worse, website crashing can result in visitors who will never return.

2. Be ready for a traffic influx

You definitely don’t want to disappoint your website visitors who were instantly triggered by the discount rate. Endless website loading times result in losing appetite and even worse, website crashing can result in visitors who will never return. Do you have auto scaling infrastructure in place? Are you increasing the capacity beforehand?

During the summer, a higher percentage of buyers is visiting your website from a mobile device while being on their holiday, so avoid content-heavy pages as landing page, and review landing pages on speed risks.

3. Merchandizing matters

Create summer-themed category pages with pictures from vacation destinations or moods. This will increase user experience, keeping the summer vibe alive. Even when discount rates are driving traffic, you still need to engage the emotional brain to trigger the buy. Make it easy for them to find their style and the size they need.

Besides content merchandizing, it’s all about the commercial hints. Working with product labels such as ‘3 pieces left’, ‘selling fast’, ‘sold out’ pays off. Furthermore, this manages the expectations of your buyers and prevents them for being disappointed. Help your shoppers by offering a ‘search by size’.

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4. Plan, plan, plan your advertising in detail

Create an online advertising plan and budget based on the sales promotions that you are planning, and this per day and sales wave. With prices going down, visitors might be tempted even more to try out a new brand. So use this opportunity to introduce more new customers to the brand.

What will be the strategy to boost traffic and guide first time buyers? Did you review your bidding approach (maximum & minimums), your mix of display and remarketing, the target groups and remarketing lists? In which sales wave will you increase your marketing activities? Taking the time to plan this is crucial to generate sales.

5. Increase your ad budget…eeuh…

Some experts advise to not increase the ad spending during the bargain period when margins are lower. As mentioned earlier, this is the period of more instant purchases of brands which are not yet in your customer’s wardrobe. Compared to the full-price periods, the ad spending converts easier. With a short-term view, it sounds contradictory to invest additional budget during this sales period. However, when measuring the return on the customer acquisition cost over a longer term, results might show a very positive outcome. For fashion brands with a smart CRM strategy in place, it is feasible that out of 3 new customers acquired during sales, 2 make a repeat purchase in the following seasons! As such, doubling the ad budget during the sales might be a very wise decision.

6. Increase email marketing frequency

Promotional emails

During the sales period, your competitors are increasing their newsletter frequency. It’s important to make sure your newsletter won’t be snowed under in your customer’s inbox. Communicate your offer and send a reminder email later that week. Be alert on the sending date and time of your emails. For example, it doesn’t make sense to promote a new offer on Friday afternoon at 4.30pm.

Transactional emails

What’s more, use your transactional emails to communicate promotional offers. Remember that these emails have a significantly higher opening rate in comparison to your newsletters. Order and shipping confirmations and customer service emails are a great opportunity to upsell products.

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7. We are ‘bored’ on vacation, so be very active on social media

We’re all spending more time on social media when we are on holiday. Posting our latest travel impressions and ‘spying’ on what friends are doing. To stand out during the summer sale, it’s vital to increase your social media presence but not only with discounting messages but also with more inspiring content. At least double the efforts compared to a regular period.

8. Build up your momentum for the next sales

Building your email list remains very important since it is still a main revenue source based on the last click to buy analysis. Take advantage of the increased traffic from the sales period to actively build up your database for the next sales wave. Onsite retargeting is a great way to build a healthy email database. Use well-timed moments, so don’t irritate visitors in the middle of their online shopping spree.

Do you need a helping hand preparing your summer sale? Or want some expert advice and tips, personally tailored for your brand? We are at your service, book a meetup now!

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