Even though spring technically started on March 20th, for some reason, it doesn’t seem like Spring until I change my calendar to April. And when that happens, my mind immediately translates to Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. The Spring holidays are important and even sometimes more important to online retailers than the fourth quarter.
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2013 consumers spent an estimated $17.2 billion for Easter, $20.7 billion for Mother’s Day, and $13.3 billion on Father’s Day. In addition, in 2014 Easter will fall on April 20. That is very late in the season and may lead to stronger Easter sales.
To help with Spring selling efforts, on February 25, 2014, shop.org released the the 2014 edition of the “Spring Holidays Planning Guide: Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.” The report examines 2013 trends and tips for these holidays.
Highlights from the report:
- Free shipping is critical for online shoppers at all times. The survey found that, among consumers who spent more online for holiday in 2013 than in 2012, nearly 40 percent said free shipping offers were a motivator. Survey recommendations include suggesting retailers try a variety of tactics to manage cost and customer expectations. Items to test include abandonment rates based on minimum order value, as well as testing customer response to a price lowered by the value of the shipping in lieu of free shipping.
- Online shoppers strongly value shopping cart totals, clear product descriptions, in-stock availability, value, and on-time delivery. The survey findings included that showing the shopping cart total (with shipping and sales tax included) is important to avoid customer sticker shock when it’s time to start checkout. Also a must: clear product descriptions.
- Strong customer service is key. Access to customer service was important to almost two-thirds of online consumers surveyed. While the findings showed many online holiday shoppers gravitated to self-service options such as site search and even FAQs, other customer service options are in demand, such as live chat and video assistance.
- Emails need to be mobile-optimized. Research shows that consumers opened two-thirds of their email via mobile devices, primarily on their smartphone, in the fourth quarter last year. The shop.org findings show that emails are now one of the primary points of interaction between retailers and customers. Therefore retailers need to invest in creating smartphone-optimized emails with smart subject lines, strong calls to action, and links that make sense.
These tips should make your Spring holiday sales efforts more successful!
Onward and Upwards.