Is ‘Shopability’ key to nailing your Black Friday/Cyber Week strategy?

Late fall and winter are the busiest period for eCommerce – as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Week and Christmas all stack up in less than two months.

For retailers, increased sales come with increased competition. Cost per click (CPC) rises as brands compete for customers through banner ads, social and search engines. This combines with skyrocketing consumer expectations – as shoppers look for great deals, fast.

So how do you preserve your lifetime value and customer margins? The key lies in a single, fundamental mindset – “shopability”.

What is shopability?

Shopability is all about helping consumers find and buy the products they want through touchpoints and signposts in your online store.

It’s a similar concept to a bricks-and-mortar retailer. When you head to your favorite store, you’ll be greeted by clear visual cues designed to drive you towards a purchase. This could be signage, displays, layout or product positioning, right down to staff behavior and sales tactics. The in-store experience is deeply rooted in psychology – and almost all elements of the customer journey are designed to make it easier and more enticing to part with your cash.

Websites also aim to facilitate purchases through great user experiences – but the dynamic is different. The online shopper has different expectations. They’re less captive and more price conscious.

eCommerce is therefore a very challenging space – particularly during busy sales periods. As competition hots up, prices go down. Deals and price points dominate the online conversation, while typically hot-topic issues like provenance and sustainability simply fizzle out.

Increased costs for clicks and acquisitions, coupled with lower consumer prices, put retailers in a tight spot. Meanwhile, customer lifetime value also decreases as consumers make purchases based on deals, not brand loyalty.

Shopability can help your business stay above the melee of deals, ads and competition – and attract customers who are worth more to your business than a single transaction.

Steering your brand away from the crowd

Digital shopability is about optimizing those all-important consumer touchpoints to make it easier for them to find and buy a product – just like in a physical store. What’s more, it helps your products stand out on the crowded digital shelf.

The aim is to use content and media to engage the right audience and decrease any friction between them and the ‘Buy now’ button. To do this, it’s important to boost the performance of our media buying, engage consumers and make conversions easy.

But this isn’t straightforward. You sometimes only have a few lines of text and a couple of keywords to make an impression. This makes elevating your brand above the rest very challenging. It often comes down to the cheapest prices and best deals.

So how do you get ahead? One method is to take a deep dive into your eCommerce back-end catalog and work out which products are shoppable – that is, desirable for your customers to buy, and easy for you to sell – and which products aren’t.

In mapping out your eCommerce system, you can take everything from logistics to product availability into account. This will help you understand how these factors affect profitability, and how you can optimize the consumer journey for those specific products.

But how do we make the user journey special? Here, content can step in to provide that all-important in-store customer experience or in-person service. For example, an unboxing video can replicate the feeling of holding a real product in your hands. Or a customer testimonial or great product description can show a person what a product can do for them.

With well-balanced, engaging content that isn’t pushy or aggressive, we can make each touchpoint on the consumer journey frictionless, useful and inspiring.

By now, your customers won’t be talking about prices – they’ll be talking about brand.

Playing the long game

Price wars and discounting during major events like Black Friday, Cyber Week and Christmas can have a negative impact on your brand.

But you can use these events to your advantage too – capitalizing on the spiking activity levels without exposing your business to financial pressures.

This means thinking about your customers as part of a year-round cycle – not just during the seasonal hysteria of deals and discounts.

At Reprise Commerce, we want to see more eCommerce brands play the long game.

We help our clients to:

  • Keep their audiences interested for longer.
  • Use market insights to personalize consumer experiences.
  • Be more tactical about their promotions.

This approach can make eCommerce tactics much more effective – delivering greater brand loyalty and customer lifetime value.


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