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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

Is Your Website Conversion Ready for Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday 2012 was the biggest online shopping day in history. According to IBM’s analysis, this epic shopping day generated 30.3 percent more sales than the previous year (2011). As if that wasn’t massive enough, IBM also noted that 13 percent of total Cyber Monday online sales were done via mobile devices – a 96 percent increase from the year before. Considering how easy, fast, convenient and personalized online shopping has become, these numbers aren’t all that surprising. Meanwhile, the projections for the 2013 holiday shopping season are taking shape and point to a 10 percent rise among the majority of US retailers.

As the race to Cyber Monday heats up in the next few weeks, marketers and analysts are all asking the same question – what’s in store for 2013? Will the lines between sales channels continue to blur? How can brands use segmented targeting to increase conversions? The one truth that no brand can deny these days is that the customer experience is mission-critical to omnichannel retailing. Come this holiday season, brands should use segmentation and targeting on their websites and mobile sites to increase conversions across all digital channels.

Seize the opportunity to win over new visitors.

A new visitor engaging with a site is a golden opportunity to build a long-lasting relationship. Leading up to the holidays, marketers should seize the opportunity by presenting new visitors with targeted content. Whether it’s the opportunity to educate them on the merits of your brand, sign up for your brand’s email list or present them with a promotional offer specific to new visitors, a targeted experience will be a worthwhile investment.

Tie your geo-location targeting from online to in-store.

For American shoppers, the lines between in-store, online, mobile and social are blurring more and more every day. As our recent Mobilizing the Retail Shopping Experience research study indicated, use of mobile devices in-store is growing rapidly and according to some of our clients, it happens as frequently as 50 percent of the time.

We’re also seeing more retailers creating marketing strategies to support the buy online/pick up in-store trend.

So how can retailers adapt their digital strategies to accommodate consumers’ needs this holiday season? For one, retailers can use geo-location targeting to present online shoppers with the same promotions that are being offered by physical stores in their region. Similarly, those retailers that have in-store pick up capabilities can present special offers on items that were left with above-average inventory in a given geographic area following Black Friday.

Target content by traffic source.

Pre-schoolers all across the country are going ‘gaga’ for the new Hug Me Elmo toy this holiday season. For some kids, the new Disney Infinity video game is at the top of their wish list. Then there’s the new LeapPad Ultra that combines education and fun. No matter what age, children all across the country have their wish lists ready for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. With segmented targeted, digital marketers can and should present tailored banners, messaging or promotions to visitors who were driven to their website through a brand-agnostic Google search using keywords like “Hug Me Elmo.” Conversely, the banners, messaging and promotions targeted to repeat visitors who visit the website frequently would then need to be personalized specific to their needs and past online shopping behavior and activities.

Time of day matters.

Our clients have seen time and time again that visitors to their site behave differently depending on the time of day and/or day of the week. If you’ve noticed differences in behavior through your testing efforts, target visitors with content accordingly. For example, a weekday visitor may be more inclined to watch videos with product demos, while a weekend shopper is looking to make their purchase quickly and move on. Similarly, early morning visitors may have a specific goal in mind such as locating the nearest store. Meanwhile, an evening visitor is more likely to browse and engage with product recommendations. So it’s important to identify how the time of day and day of the week impact each consumer’s online shopping experience and target accordingly.

Past behavior is indicative of the future.

No two shoppers are identical. That’s why it’s so important to build profiles based on a combination of different attributes for each of your visitors. If based on past shopping activity, a sporting goods retailer is able to determine that a visitor has engaged with soccer equipment for young adults and/or golf clubs for an intermediate golfer, personalization will go a long way. For marketers who haven’t yet begun to collect this type of sophisticated data, it’s time to start.

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