This holiday season the keyword is incentives. Most consumers aren’t frivolously spending their money; they’re cutting back and searching for the best deals. If you want to be the retailer that they choose, you’d better consider incentives. This statement might sound forward, however the statistics don’t lie. Let’s look at some incentives that consumers are searching for before making a purchase.
Coupons are a big hit and they are becoming more popular. According to comScore, a global internet information provider, 62% of consumers are using coupons to help cut back on their shopping expenses. A survey by eMarketer, a market research company, shows that 59% of consumers will be using coupons to decrease their shopping expenses. Surprisingly enough, wealthy consumers, those that make $100,000 plus a year are turning to coupons. According to a survey by comScore, coupon site visits by the wealthy increased by 37% compared to this same period last year. Here’s a hint, if you have an ecommerce site, coupons are a definite plus and consumers will be looking for you.
Consumers are also motivated by free shipping. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it twice, “If a site doesn’t offer free shipping, I’ll find a site that does.” If you don’t believe me check the statistics. According to a survey by comScore, 72% of consumers said, “If an online retailer charged them for shipping they would search for an online retailer that offered free shipping.” Now more than ever before consumers are becoming more savvy. If a competitor is offering the same product with free shipping, I’d bet money that you’re going to lose the sale if you’re not offering the same.
Sales and deals are being sought out by consumers. Everyone loves a discount. According to a survey by e-Marketer, 40% of consumers will be looking for sales and 24% will be looking for deals in order to lower their shopping expenses. Why do you think Black Friday is such a busy shopping day, not to mention Cyber Monday which follows a few days later?
Incentives are the key this year. More and more consumers are comparison shopping and not just buying items on the first site they see. Comparison shopping sites are seeing an increase in traffic and more competitors are allocating their advertising budget towards online spending. If a retailer wants to be competitive this year, they need to have an incentive, even if it’s not coupons, free shipping or big sales, there needs to be an offer that tells the consumer they are getting the best deals on a particular site.
I recently had dinner with some friends and the conversation turned into a debate about the merits of shopping online. I was mentioning how I had just made a fabulous purchase on Zappos and not only was I extremely pleased with my new shoes; I was upgraded to overnight shipping at no additional cost to me! What could be better than that? Imagine my surprise to hear that not only do these particular friends never shop online, they said they would never consider it, insisting they feel they would not get what they ordered, it would not meet their expectations, it would take a long time to be shipped and unless they can actually see and touch what they are buying, they would not feel comfortable giving a credit card to an online retailer.
My argument was how easy, fast and reliable online shopping really and truly is, as well as the numerous discounts I have received (and continue to receive) almost every time I shop. I was flabbergasted by their stance on the matter and could not help but argue (all be it nicely) my point. All I could think about was how much time and money (not to mention gas) I have saved by shopping online.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of online shopping:
Free Shipping, Free or Easy Returns. Nowadays many online retailers waive shipping costs and make the return process seamless.
Fast Delivery. You can get what you are ordering the next day in many cases.
Special Online Deals. Many sites offer “online only” specials, discounts on future purchases, free gifts, repeat buyer/loyalty savings, last-minute promotions, rebates, etc.
Free Gift Wrap. If you’re buying a gift, many retailers offer free gift wrapping, as well as a card that is shipped with your order.
It’s not scary to shop online, nor should it be. Give it a whirl!
Although we are more than halfway through the month of December and well past a much hyped Cyber Monday, there is still much online holiday spending to take advantage of! Online retailers are really stepping it up this season and they should be, as the competition is mighty fierce! Just a few questions for any online retailer to ponder…..Are you utilizing the most effective keywords? Are your paid ads eye-catchy enough? Why should/would a searcher click on your ad versus another?
In an effort to capitalize on this heightened online spending season, here are a few selling features retailers should try to get across in their advertising message. We have also found it to be helpful and quite effective to mirror the same message/theme on the website itself. For example, if you promote free shipping in your ad copy, the same promotion should be displayed on the page you are directing the searcher to. This will simply reinforce your message and possibly convert better, as well.
Here are just a few incentives to offer your potential shoppers:
Happy holidays and happy selling!