eMarketer predicts this holiday season’s online retail sales will account for nearly 25% of the year’s revenue. Though ecommerce marketers have been preparing for the holidays since July, consumers generally begin shopping in November, so there is still time to enhance your holiday marketing initiatives with online video.
Here are our five tips to ensure ecommerce sites are in video-ready mode for this holiday shopping season:
This should be a no-brainer. Not only should all of your videos be mobile and tablet-compatible year round, it is especially crucial this holiday season as tablet-based shopping is expected to boom.
Consumers will be shopping on-the-go and from their sofas via the tablet this holiday season, and even in stores with kiosks and sales associates sharing information via tablets. This is a sure-fire expectation, and it is one channel where you don’t want your videos to stall or buffer for too long, or else you will lose your shopper. A safe way to ensure mobile-compatibility is to make all of your videos HTML5 compatible, as these videos work for both Android and iOS devices.
The holiday season presents an opportunity to refresh your brand. Infuse your videos with new, seasonal messages that deliver cheer to your customers. For example, last year Starbucks introduced a new holiday theme into their communications: “Let’s merry.” Many of our customers give their SmartVideos a creative refresh for the holidays. For instance, West Elm’s on-site videos implemented through their product catalog will have a seasonal theme for the holiday shopping period. Seasonal treatment includes: holiday/season themes (such as winter, Christmas or family festivities), CTAs for gifts (i.e. “add this gift to your cart,” “order this gift for your family,”) and adding key holiday dates (i.e. as the last date to order for holiday shipping/delivery, last date for gift returns/exchanges, vacation dates, etc). ’Tis the season to be jolly! So make your videos light, even humorous, with your creative refresh. This is an opportunity to approach shoppers with a cheery, festive side of the brand. A great example of this is last year’s Overstock.com holiday video ad, which brings the holiday spirit to the viewer while showcasing the brand’s values, namely superior customer service.
No doubt there will be an abundance of promotions, door-busters and time sensitive sales this season. While a great tactic for incentivizing customers, these promotions force brands to ensure their holiday advertisements are timely and always up to date. It can be challenging to ensure online video ads reflect such changing offers, unless a brand utilizes smart, real-time videos, the way Office Depot does. “The real-time, dynamic nature of [smart] videos gives us the means to generate videos rapidly and cost-effectively to support fluctuating price points, holiday deals and last-minute offers,” says Director of Marketing, Nicole Fraley. Timely videos also deliver a better user experience that ultimately increases customer loyalty and retention.
Understand your audience and anticipate their needs this season, even before they know themselves. Videos that are personally relevant to your shoppers not only support them in the ecommerce experience, but also develop loyal customers who will keep coming back long after the New Year. Take a video holiday gift guide to the next level by making it personally relevant. Smart, real-time video can include the customer’s recent browsing behavior and products viewed, and recommend related items to a recently purchased gift. We all have that one person on our shopping list that we never know what to get them. Ease your customers’ pain point and create video ads that recommend gift ideas for that older uncle or young niece. By creating video recommendations for your customer’s various buying personas, you take distress out of the holiday craze.
Consider creating video content that can also support and aid your customer during the holiday mayhem. Video content that educates consumers is another engaging way to drive brand loyalty. For instance, a few years ago Target partnered with YouTube and created a “Holiday Solutions” video channel that shared holiday recipes, party tips, and gift ideas. This type of video content also conveys that you understand customer needs and lifestyle. SmartVideo takes this a step further with personalization, presenting tips and ideas that are relevant to purchase history, demographics, etc.
From luxury brands to specialty retailers to mass merchants, ecommerce sites are embracing online video as not only a marketing tactic, but also a customer engagement tool, proven to boost sales, brand impact and loyalty. The holiday season is an ideal time to maximize the power of video, and it’s not too late to enhance your marketing initiatives with video today.