PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 16, 2012) - The Q4 holiday season is easily the busiest time of the year for retailers, and Q4 2012 is expected to be a big one, with shop.org predicting a 12% increase in ecommerce sales when compared with 2011(1). But historical trends indicate that U.S. presidential Election Days, like the one on Tuesday, Nov. 6th this year, see a marked decrease in ecommerce spending as consumers focus on voting and watching election results.
Monetate, the leading provider of testing, targeting and personalization technology for online marketers, suggests that retailers develop strategies for their ecommerce sites to help counterbalance this notoriously slow shopping day.
"Many retailers simply accept Election Dip as a given, assuming that ecommerce and retail spend will be down across the board," said Kurt Heinemann, Chief Marketing Officer, Monetate. "While Election Tuesday will certainly not be the biggest shopping day of the 4th quarter, retailers that plan ahead and get creative can still engage customers and minimize the dip in election day spending."
Monetate offers the following tips to online retailers for Election Day:
- Crowdsource the Vote: Retailers can draft off the GOTV message by creating a crowdsourced voting campaign allowing consumers to vote for the Election Tuesday deal they'd like to see online. Allowing consumers to vote for percentage off, free shipping or other promotional offers engages them in the shopping experience and makes them aware that the brand will be providing an incentive on Nov. 6th.
- Projection Planning: Tactically, an easy way to plan ahead is to refer back to data from past elections (presidential and otherwise) and check traffic, conversion rates and timing trends. If the majority of sales came early in the day, consider an online early bird special. Or, if sales spiked only after the polls closed, consider a late night flash sale timed with the polls closing.
- Countdown to the Polls: Use geotargeting to feature a countdown clock for the closing of the polls, with the clock populating for each visitor depending on his or her state. This can serve as a reminder to visitors to go out and vote, and if a retailer is planning a promotion in conjunction with the close of the polls, the clock can also be timed to the start of the offer.
- Make a Merchandising Play: Merchandisers can take a look at their products and play into the theme of the day by offering red, white and blue or politically-themed products at a discount.
- Optimize the Experience: Ever hear of couch commerce? Shopping online while lounging on the couch, watching TV? Odds are strong that consumers will be watching the election results roll in that evening, likely with tablet or mobile phone in hand. Retailers should make sure their site is optimized for smartphones and tablet traffic, or risk losing shoppers to better optimized retailers.
- Utilize Community-Building Features: Sure, ecommerce and in-store shopping may be down on Election Tuesday but it's part of having an engaged electorate. Sites can utilize their blog and community features to let potential shoppers know in advance what promotions will be offered, and also to remind them of their civic duty and encourage GOTV efforts. A blog is also a great avenue to convey policies that a company implements to make sure its employees have access to voting as a way of supporting the democratic process.
(click here to download the The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website for Holiday Traffic ebook)
"It's not just Election Day, but the run-up to the election that makes it challenging for retailers to reach consumers -- at least in the traditional, mass-oriented channels that are blitzed by election advertising," said Nikki Baird, Managing Partner, Retail Systems Research. "Consumers realize that the best and most current retail deals are found increasingly through social and mobile channels. Retailers would be smart to take advantage of any opportunity, including election-related promotions, to create closer engagement with shoppers, especially with the holiday season just around the corner."
Monetate drives billions of dollars of revenue every year for some of the best-known brands in the world, including Best Buy, Comcast, Frontier Airlines, Aeropostale, The Sports Authority, and PETCO. The company's comprehensive product suite and conversion expertise enable marketers to deliver a more relevant customer experience with unprecedented agility.
Monetate's solutions, which combine A/B and multivariate testing with behavioral targeting, merchandising and product recommendations, are used by global brands across a spectrum of industries. Monetate enables brands to use Big Data to increase conversions by creating a more relevant online experience.
Leading marketers rely on Monetate's cloud-based browser technology to achieve a new level of speed and control, allowing them to run 16 times more optimization campaigns compared to industry averages. The Monetate Agility Suite includes advanced products for testing, merchandising, targeting, and cross-channel consistency, providing an opportunity to bypass IT restraints and react in real time to customer demands. Monetate also helps marketers implement best practices and drive online revenue through its expert strategic services and content publishing teams. For more information visit http://monetate.com/ or follow us on Twitter @Monetate.
(1) Shop.org released a 2012 online holiday sales forecast, expecting sales to grow 12 percent over last holiday season.