Why Promotions Matter in Your eCommerce Marketing Mix
If you need any more proof that 2020 brought record-breaking growth, month after month, in the world of eCommerce order fulfillment, you’re in the right place.
The latest findings from digitalcommerce360.com note that online sales for November and December of last year rose at more than triple the rate for the 2019 holiday seasons. Here are some other eye-opening stats:
- U.S. shoppers spent $201.32 billion online during the season, which was an increase of 45.2% compared to 2019 spending.
- eCommerce’s piece of total online sales for November/December was 25.7% – a big YOY jump compared to 2019 (19.2%). That means $1 out of every $4 spent on 2020 holiday purchases came from eCommerce orders. If 2020 would have brought more typical growth, similar to what we’ve seen the past five years, the U.S. would not have hit 25.7% penetration until 2024.
- The major shipping carriers including FedEx, UPS, and USPS delivered a record-breaking 3 billion parcels during the 2020 holiday season, according to ShipMatrix, a shipping technology company.
Good or bad, the business of eCommerce order fulfillment and shipping was thrust into the public spotlight in 2020, as the spike of online holiday sales created a flurry of backlogs and carrier shipping delays for some retailers and brands. Fulfillment, typically viewed as a behind-the-scenes operation, is now thought of more than ever as a driver that can make or break a customer’s online buying experience.
Preparing for eCommerce 2021
- Optimize Your Marketing with eCommerce Promotions
- Types of Online Promotions
- Measuring Program Effectiveness
Now that a momentous 2020 is behind us, what’s in store for retailers and brands in 2021? Here are some predictions:
- The desire to buy more goods online will continue to grow at a steady pace, fueled in part by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- The most successful retailers and brands will be the ones that focus on omnichannel selling – being in as many online channels as possible in order to reach customers and drive sales.
- Having an experienced 3PL partner to manage eCommerce order fulfillment will be key to growing business.
- Maximizing 2021 marketing budgets will mean dedicating more dollars to eCommerce marketing. This includes integrating a variety of promotions campaigns into the mix.
1. Optimize Your Marketing with eCommerce Promotions
Optimizing your 2021 marketing isn’t just about spending more dollars on digital ads. Of course, driving traffic to your eCommerce channels via paid social ads, pay-per-click ads, etc. should be a key piece of any online marketing strategy, but it shouldn’t be the only piece.
Adding a variety of promotions to your marketing mix can help enhance the brand experience and increase customer engagement. And working with a third-party partner that has a solid track record of well-executed promotions programs is often the key to success, as they’re able to provide expertise and support at every stage of the program – from execution and program fulfillment to reporting and analytics.
2. Types of Online Promotions
There are a number of marketing promotions that have stood the test of time for their effectiveness in attracting customers and growing market share. Like any solid marketing plan, brands should consider a number of factors – age, gender, geographic data, socioeconomic data, and competitive data – when deciding which type of promotion is most likely to resonate with their intended audience and create engagement.
Consumer research conducted by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) in 2019 shows that promotions including rebate programs remain an effective marketing tool. Over 75% of consumers are more inclined to make a purchase when a rebate program is offered, and in a typical year, 7 out of 10 consumers will take advantage of a product rebate.
In addition to looking for a great rebate, consumers are also looking for rebates that are convenient and speedy. The easier it is for the consumer to participate in the rebate program, and the faster they receive their rebate, the better. Which is why virtual rebates and online rebate programs are so popular. Learn more about dynamic solutions for rebates and incentive fulfillment.
Sweepstakes & Contests
Creative sweepstakes and contests can generate lots of excitement around a brand. And these days, the options for executing one in the digital space are endless. Brands can implement cross-platform giveaways, re-post giveaways, location-based sweeps, and contests that leverage user-generated content like photos and video.
No matter which type of platform you use for a sweepstakes or contest, compliance and security are critical. For any sweepstakes or contest that PFC manages, our in-house experts will partner with outside firms for security and legal review of your programs. This ensures that all local, state and federal regulations are met. In addition to legal and compliance reviews, we manage all other aspects of sweeps/contests including official rules development, data collection, winner verification, prize fulfillment, and post-program analysis.
Loyalty programs are a great way to earn the attention and trust of a customer for life. And today, trust is more important than ever. Thanks to COVID-19, many consumers who would typically purchase from their preferred bands were forced to try new retailers or brands because their shopping habits were interrupted or consumer demand for certain products gave them no choice but to try different brands and products.
Retailers and brands that capture new customers with discounts or contests, and then implement a loyalty program to add a deeper level of engagement, will reap the benefits of long-term customer relationships.
3. Measuring Program Effectiveness
After your promotions program is successfully executed, nothing is more important than leveraging technology and data to measure its effectiveness and find ways to optimize future promotions programs. Collecting the right kind of data throughout the course of your program will allow you to see the big picture – when, where, and how they interacted with the promotion – and help make the right decisions when it’s time to implement your next promotions program.
Effective data capture and analytics is just one of the benefits of having a robust promotions technology platform in place. PFC’s platform also has the ability to manage online submissions from a sweeps/contest, and can allow consumers to easily check the status of their rebate online. It also gives our customers the ability to view program activity 24/7/365 through a web-based client portal.
Contact Promotion Fulfillment Center
There’s no better time to increase brand loyalty with an engaging and well-planned promotions program! Contact the experts at PFC to explore your options.