Get Holiday Ready : “Unbxd” the Magic of Merchandizing

The mega shopping season (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Years) is just around the corner. Businesses are thinking about retail marketing and merchandizing.

In order to become your shoppers’ go-to gift store, it is essential to provide an easy, and flexible shopping experience that includes products that suit shoppers’ needs. While the holiday season is the ideal time for firms to shine in marketing, they may still have difficulty getting results.

Consumer spending over the holiday season of 2021 (November 1–December 31) increased 8.6% YoY to $204.5 billion, according to Adobe. How do you make sure you have some of that coming your way? One of the best methods to generate interest and draw customers in over this holiday season is with carefully thought-out merchandizing campaigns. Additionally, merchandizing automation reduces your workload during the busiest season by eliminating manual chores with the appropriate solution. It’s time to gain that competitive edge.

This guide will help you prepare your online store for holiday sales

  1. Re-evaluate your site’s global rules

If you have not optimized your website, now is the time. Many merchandizers ignore the need to modify global rules before the start of the holiday season. For example,  if you have “new arrival” products on the catalog, it is best to elevate “discounted” / “on sale” / “promotion” products over a standard “new arrivals” boost rule. While shoppers may want to see what’s new, they will be more lured towards checking out what they can purchase for a cheaper price. Shoppers crave for instant gratification. Promoting highly discounted products across the site is the best way to attract them.

  1. Start with “merchandizing planning” early

Avoid the last-minute rush. Plan your strategy at least a month in advance; and even better – run A/B tests on them.

The more planning you are able to do in terms of merchandizing strategies, and the more data-driven insights you are able to gather around the efficiency of those campaigns – will distinguish your brand from the others.

Holiday shopping starts at least a month or two before the actual season. Many merchants space out promotional campaigns over a longer period of time in order to ease strain on inventory and order fulfillment.

On the communication front, consider sending in “teaser” emails in the weeks leading up to the shopping days. Additionally, savvy shoppers begin research early, so it is important to plan your promotions ahead of time.

  1. Boost your landing page’s performance

After you have chosen your Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, it’s crucial to bundle everything for your clients in a visually appealing package.

Use banners to advertise the sale details, badges to highlight special offers, best-selling items, and seasonal specials. Capitalize on inline banners and alluring overlays / labels / badges effectively to engage shoppers and get them to check out your popular and on-sale categories.

  1. Effective use of filters to hide out-of-stock

One thing is certain during the holiday season: your inventory will fluctuate and products may
run out quickly.

Increased shoppers means increased inventory needs. Do not irritate customers with a long list of out-of-stock results when items rush off the virtual shelves. Keeping a backup is good. If you have an offline store, make sure that you provide the BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up in-store) – a growing strategy
during the pandemic.

Use page and product filters (dynamic rules) to automatically replace products that are sold out by boosting items that are still in stock. This not only improves the shopping experience but also supports your sales after the first upswing.

Having options such as ‘notify me’ when in stock, adding products to a wish list, and dynamically ranking products based on stock-in-hand can all be effective in understanding inventory to run better sales.

  1. Get rid of the “zero results” page

The ability to sell products does not restrict itself to category pages or the top search queries. In spite of your best efforts, some searches on your online store are bound to return no results. Planning for these inevitable dead-ends should be an integral part of your site search optimization strategy. It is the ideal opportunity for merchandizers to profit from the page. Merchandizers can analyze historical data to reduce no results found queries. You can redirect users to relevant categories or products that are similar if your intended products are unavailable. With redirects, you can also promote specific brands or private labels.

  1. Test and schedule campaigns

The holiday season is already very stressful; you don’t need to manually launch your merchandize at 4 am. Your campaigns and banners should be well-planned, merchandized, scheduled, tested and then tested again. Once you’re satisfied, schedule the launch of your merchandizing campaign / promotion for a period that works for both your staff and your customers. Automatically deactivate your campaigns after a specified period of time to prevent running deals and offers unintentionally for longer than you meant to.

  1. Ensure the site’s messaging is consistent

Make seasonal favorites the focus of  your messaging so that visitors will be directed to your website, where personalized product recommendations will be made to increase sales.

For effective campaigns and an optimal customer journey experience,  use the same and consistent messaging across your email communications, social media postings, and other online advertising, regardless of the discounts or specials you run.

One of the most common mistakes merchandizers and marketers make is not personalizing the product to purchase experience.

Conclusion

It is reported that 50% of potential sales are lost by visitors who cannot find what they are looking for on eCommerce sites (Forrester Research). While running seasonal marketing campaigns isn’t a one-stop shop, the right strategy makes it a little easier. Taking the time to address your customers’ pain points will certainly pay off in one way or another. It’s not just about putting products on display that converts. You must get the basics right and look beyond that.

If they can’t find what you’re looking for, they won’t buy it. It all starts with the search.

So that brings about the question, are you ready to face the holiday season? If not, a ton of stuff here will help you prepare for the next one.

Cause after all, the long game is all about powerful merchandizing.

Reach out to Unbxd’s strategy team to discover how to deploy an effective merchandising strategy.

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