Holiday Shopping - November 2020

Singles Day has gone, Amazon Prime Day has gone, and Click Frenzy has also gone.   So, what do we have left between now and Christmas  –  Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

There have been lots of articles written this week about what to expect from holiday shopping in  2020.  I read a  couple of great artciles from McKinsey – and have put down my thoughts, as well as including the links to the articles below. As my friend Nathan Bush says, I have read the articles, so you dont have to. 

I met (virtual meeting of course)  with a Top 5 online lifestyle pure online retailer this week.  The quote that amazed me  was, “we are addicted to SMS” . Their organisation in the next week will make close to 2 million contacts with their clients via SMS. That means 98% of their messaging will be seen.  I don’t know their business well enough to quote their actual likley responses, but have been in the SMS and MMS marketing world for some time – so can make some fair and likely assessment.

Conversion Rates for SMS range between  2% &  7%. MMS range between  5% to 20%,  (we have seen 40% for highly targeted VIP and high yield clients)

Doing some numbers,  just to show all you readers, (if any)  the reality of SMS –  they should expect 95% of people to see the message.  And at worst expect click through of between 7 and 12% with SMS, maybe higher.  Lets assume 9% for the purposes of this mathematical excercise.  With volume like that they are probably paying about  3.5c per SMS (maybe less) – lets say  it will cost them –  $70,000 (2,000,000 *.035)  or less.

Lets assume their average basket size is $54.  Assuming  9% click through thats 180,000 visits to their site. Assume 20% conversions  – thats 36,000 convestions at $54.  Yep $1.944 million in revenue.

Many of you will say, email is cheaper, and it is.  Howver, 95% of people dont open your email, between 10% and 20% do. Believe me when I say, I  am not saying email doesnt work, of course it does.  BUT, if you dont have 2 million clients to email,  then in this next 9 days – maximising the contact you have with the clients you do have is going to help catch up on revenues forfeited this year due to Covid.

Getting back to the McKinsey articles,  they are worth a  read. I have to say,  I got the feeling that these shopping events for some, are bigger in the minds of customers, than they are in the minds of some marketers.  The concern for those marketers,  if you went to your favourite retailer on Friday or Monday –  and they were NOT running a BlackFriday or Cyber Monday special –  would you go looking somewhere else.    So if 56% of your clients are shopping on Friday and 39% are shopping on Monday  –  and you are not in the game –  is that smart –  food for thought.  

One commment that struck me was –

” I think the big challenge for retailers, therefore, is: How do I lock back in the customers who have turned to other retailers?” The best of the retailers that I’ve seen out there are being very aggressive to understand that consumer behavior, and targeting consumers with highly personalized propositions to bring them back in the store and then keep them as customers Brian Ruwadi – McKinsey

For me that said, if these clients have left for another, it is even more likley emails will NOT be opened, and this is where SMS and MMS can come in.  If you are going to use SMS and MMS in the next 9 days, think about targeting inactives, with visual branded messaging or at worst double SMS’s –  you can say a lot more with 306 characters that you can with 160, inclusing opt out etc..

The Artcles in full.

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