Planning Ahead for That Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It’s a little known fact that the idea of celebrating “Christmas in July” began in 1914 amongst a group of Vaudeville performers living in Freeport, New York. Far too busy travelling and performing in December to enjoy the holiday season, celebrating in July made perfect sense! Fast forward 100 years or so and there’s still a group of people who in the summer months are thinking about the winter holiday season: retailers.
And plan ahead they should! According to a study by eMarketer, the 2015 holiday season saw an increase in e-commerce sales of 13.4%, or $9.33 billion—just slightly below the previous year’s growth rate. And all indicators point to another booming holiday shopping season this year.
E-commerce sites can expect to see further traction in some of the trends of 2015. For example, mobile shopping via smartphones comprised 20% of online shopping during the last two months of 2015. There’s no sign of this trend slowing, so marketers should be sure to optimize their campaigns to span different channels. Millennials in particular love the mobile channel for both shopping and purchasing (and of course, for Snapchatting and taking selfies)
Procrastinating was also a big trend in 2015, with December 22nd and 23rd seeing the biggest daily year-over-year gains of the entire season. The availability of short (1-3 day) shipping times clearly enabled shoppers to hold off buying gifts in order to take advantage of those last-minute deals they’ve come to expect. A full 25% of shoppers surveyed said that same-day delivery was important in their holiday shopping decisions. Although 39% (who are clearly better at planning ahead) said it wasn’t important.
For subscription businesses, now is a good time to start thinking about your holiday promotions. What campaigns will you run? What’s your budget and how will you allocate spending across different channels? Recurly’s coupon function lets you create a virtually unlimited number of bulk unique coupons for a coupon campaign that you can use to entice prospects and reward loyal subscribers. The unique code ensures that the coupon can only be used once, letting you control total redemptions. Want to learn more about our coupon function and the many ways you can use it to power your holiday promotions? Read our blog series on coupons here.
Another excellent customer acquisition strategy is to offer gift subscriptions. Recurly has this functionality as well. The subscription can be configured for different lengths and can be renewing or non-renewing. Later this summer, Recurly will also be launching Recurly Gift Cards which will provide the gift recipient with pre-paid value towards any of the subscription business’ plans or products; and the recipient can choose when to activate their new subscription. Either way, gift subscriptions are an effective way to gain new customers and should be a key component of your holiday marketing planning. Contact our Support Team to learn more.
And of course, having made all your plans and preparations, once things get rolling it’s important to analyze in real-time how well your campaigns are performing so that you can make any necessary adjustments. Recurly Analytics will help you do just that by tracking the key metrics that subscription businesses care about to see how things are trending. Learn more about our Analytics here.
Give your company the gift of Recurly to power your holiday promotions and delight your customers. Sign up for a demo today!