With the 4th quarter underway, retailers now have holiday promotions in place (or they should have) and are already starting to execute on those campaigns.
Even though many of eAccountable’s client’s are in full swing with their exciting seasonal plans, I asked a few of our program managers to chime in on priorities and hot trends for the 2015 holiday season.
Although, I know what should be done at this time of year, my role as CEO often has me operating at high-level running the business and I wanted to check in with folks that are in the trenches everyday. As I suspected, planning and mobile will be huge.
Kent Heltne, eAccountable’s Vice President of Sales, says the most important thing his client’s should be focused on is planning. “Planning good promotions far enough in advance and communicating them to me so I can effectively plan to communicate to affiliates.” he says.
Scott Wanamaker, who manages some of eAccountable’s top-performing accounts says that site performance and stability are often overlooked. “If you have a huge sale you don’t want your website to crash. Retailers also need to make sure all their products are live and accurate.” He adds that it’s imperative to have “your promotion schedule planned out and to begin getting them ready in your various channels.”
Market researchers are predicting this to be another boon for online holiday shopping with mobile expected to account for more than half of all online sales.Both Kent and Scott are also counting on mobile to play an even bigger role than last season.
However, Kent warned that not enough retailers in the overall marketplace are ready to leverage that boom.“Mobile is continuing to grow rapidly and many merchants are not well equipped with their mobile optimization to take advantage of mobile.”
Scott adds that mobile has also changed the shopping habits of consumers and believes that will lead to less of a focus on Black Friday deals and rather increasing promotions from retailers leading right up Christmas. “A lot of retailers last year offered some better discounts closer to the holiday and consumers are becoming more aware of this,” Scott notes.
Also expected are aggressive promotions that will be paired with free shipping. In the past, retailers often separated these two types of offers.
Clearly, preparation, execution and adapting to shifting mobile behaviors will dictate this year’s winner and losers.