eBrandz Blog

Five key elements of a successful digital retail strategy

Black Friday, Green Monday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Blue Thursday – there are so many special holiday shopping in the season. The reason is that probably no other time of the year is more vital to retailers’ bottom line than the keenly awaited holiday gift-giving season. For a majority of them, it represents 25-40% of annual sales.

Each season, a similar game takes place between shoppers and retailers who are keen to sell as much of inventory as close to high end of price range as possible. Conversely, shoppers want the lowest price for best range of merchandise. Owing to the highly challenging economic scenario, the stakes are quite high in this game for both parties. In this context, effective digital marketing strategies are key to cut costs, to communicate the message and leverage existing brick & business opportunities.

Large and even small sized retailers can develop comprehensive programs that use the latest technologies, optimizing their marketing & advertising spend. Small and mid-size retailers can employ social media and other techniques like email. Here are a few practical ideas to enhance your digital strategy for the crucial holiday season:

  1. Ideally, use social media marketing as a year-round initiative. Of course, the holiday season is particularly stressful, which makes infusion of networking platforms into your digital marketing strategy even more critical, allowing to strike a chord with prospects.
  2. Customers like being treated well and then discuss their shopping experience with friend and family. This is where Facebook and Twitter can act as able intermediaries, providing potent and two-way communication channels. They can allow retailers to improve the standards of their customer service in terms of responsiveness. Resolving a customer query via Twitter or on a Facebook post conveys your commitment to meeting customers’ needs and expectations.
  3. If you can create a website feature, which lets your prospects reserve items on layaway ((shop now, pay later), you can integrate this program with Facebook and Twitter pages. There are an array of promotional activities and incentives that you can launch exclusively on social media platforms to grab the attention of your fans and followers.
  4. Millions of people world over now play social games like Mafia Wars and Farmville. Those who wish to decorate their farms with offbeat objects or give more firepower to your mafia captains need virtual currency like Facebook Credits that costs real money. A small chunk of virtual currency can encourage customers to spend more. Giving a fixed Credit will let them buy things that are important to the game. With advanced technologies today, it’s easy to implement such programs.
  5. Inserting certain gaming elements to daily activities to encourage specific behavior patterns forms the core of the concept of gamification. eBay is a good example of this in retail. Why not create a dynamic holiday shopping ‘leader board’ to motivate people to shop more?

In essence, a successful digital retail strategy demands expertise and experience so it is always a wise idea to approach specialists who are familiar with the medium and can leverage according to your customers’ mindset, to earn you a definite competitive advantage.