With the holiday season all but a distant memory, it is important for advertisers to continue the momentum into the New Year. By working closely with affiliate partners it is possible to further increase sales in the post-holiday period. This article investigates some of the ways advertisers can make the most of this time.
Analyze Past Results
The holiday period is likely to have been the busiest time of year for a number of advertisers. The data from this can help provide insights to help shape future trends. For example, which publishers were most effective at driving profitable customers? Were there certain publishers that were selling high margin products? How did the traffic from these top publishers behave? Additionally it will help advertisers uncover what the most appealing offers were and what encouraged customers to convert. These insights will help when rolling out a plan for the coming year and understanding the partners to work more closely with to not only drive a significant number of customers, but also highly profitable customers.
Short-Term Offers/Flash Sales
Just because the holiday season is over doesn't mean that it should be the end of sale periods. The impact of Black Friday on consumer behavior and sales trends was incredible. Black Friday 2014 was the biggest yet as an increasing number of advertisers had exceptionally strong deals on. Furthermore advertisers were starting these sales even earlier to get a head start on the back of the anticipation of the event.
Strategically planned sales can help advertisers to increase sales in the post-holiday period. These can be short-term offers or flash sales that are run with a limited number of partners. By creating urgency around the event and having strong offers on products with large margins, advertisers can generate significant interest without damaging profitability.
Again, the data uncovered during the holiday sales peak can be harnessed to understand the offers that converted well and the publishers that were at the forefront of driving this activity.
Follow the Mobile Trend
Mobile commerce is rapidly accelerating. In the coming months we expect to see mobile traffic outstrip that of desktop on a regular basis. With smartphone screen sizes becoming larger, boundaries between smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly blurred - add wearable technology to the mix and consumer behavior is rapidly evolving.
More and more emails are being accessed on mobile devices and this has overtaken desktop - so it is important that any emails are optimized for mobile devices for the best results. Advertisers need to understand how the power of mobile can be harnessed to further increase sales. In 2015 it is inconceivable for advertisers not to have a site that is optimized for mobile devices.
Additionally there are numerous opportunities to not only drive online sales through mobile devices, but to also drive visitors into stores to close the loop between on and offline.
We see certain sectors such as ticketing, group buying and FMCG over-index on smartphones where consumers are more prepared to purchase on these devices. For higher ticket items, generating interest online via a mobile device could then be translated to sales by driving customers in store to complete the purchase.
Plan Ahead for Future Events
There are a number of events for advertisers to plan for in the not too distant future. Valentine's Day, Easter and Mother's Day are all on the horizon. Savvy advertisers are starting to think about these events earlier and earlier and booking in exposure across their key partners sites. The data insights gathered from the first point in this article should be considered when planning for these events.
There are a number of opportunities for advertisers to benefit from increased sales in the coming months to help ensure they avoid the post-holiday blues.
Matt Swan is a Client Strategist at Digital Window, where he works with advertisers on affiliate campaigns and conducts market research. He has experience in account management and business development, and regularly contributes to industry sites like Econsultancy, A4U, and The Marketing Lounge. He sits on the research committee at the IAB Affiliate Marketing Council and has conducted research on the mobile network sector and m-commerce. Prior to his current role, he was an Account Director at dgm, managing the Account Management team and top brands.