But the outlook isn’t all gloom and doom, especially for brands in the outdoor industry. For one, with social-distancing measures becoming the norm for a majority of Americans, the outdoor industry finds itself in a better boat than most — as outdoor activities offer consumers the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and safely away from the crowds during the pandemic. This, of course, presents a big opportunity for outdoor brands to reach out to new audiences, many of them bored and eager to discover new activities and interests to stave off their pandemic-induced cabin fever.
Further, by making strategic moves that anticipate the ways the pandemic will shift consumer behaviors during the 2020 holiday season, outdoor brands can put themselves in a position to maximize their fourth-quarter sales successes. The bottom line: Consumers will be shopping for outdoor gear this holiday season, and for your brand to earn as large a portion of the spend as possible, you’ll need to focus on making it easy and safe for them to buy your products — and this year, e-commerce in particular checks all the boxes.
Consider these six TBA Outdoors-recommended, e-commerce-focused tactics that can put your brand on a path to success this holiday season:
1. Offer a holiday promo
Few things spark consumers’ interest quite as effectively as the promise of getting a good deal, and presenting a strong offer that sets your brand apart from the pack is an especially good idea during the highly competitive holiday season.
Among the top promo options, providing free shipping when a specified order threshold is met is a great way to increase your customers’ order values — and let’s be honest, a free-shipping offer of some sort is pretty much expected by a majority of today’s online shoppers. Another option to consider this holiday season is creating attractively priced bundles that both increase consumer appeal and ramp up your sales volumes, all at once. Keep in mind that more consumers than usual are likely to be seeking all-new outdoor pursuits after being cooped up for much of this year, so a beginner’s package might be an attractive option to offer those who might be looking to dive into your sport or activity.
2. Build a promo-specific landing page on your website
Offer-specific landing pages have been shown to increase consumer conversions when they’re employed, but that’s not the only reason to use them. These custom-built pages also allow you to put a spotlight specifically on your promo, and when you link directly to the promo landing page from your paid advertisements and/or your other marketing communications, it can also make it easier to gain insights about where your traffic is coming from — so you can invest more into the traffic sources that are working best. Further, landing pages also offer your brand an opportunity to collect consumers’ email addresses by providing a special incentive to visitors who opt in, giving you new leads for future marketing efforts.
3. Support your promo with email marketing
Especially for e-commerce retailers, email marketing is one of the most powerful tools brands have available for boosting website visits and increasing their online sales. And during the holiday season, when many consumers are actively seeking gift ideas for the loved ones on their lists, a well-strategized email campaign can really move the needle on holiday sales. To get the word about your promo out to your email list, consider getting an earlier-than-usual start to your holiday promo email campaign — so that you can get the seed of your gift idea planted early, then follow up with reminders about your promo as the last day for in-time-for-holiday-arrival shipping deadline draws nearer.
4. Hype up the holiday promo on your social media channels
When you share news of your promo via your brand’s social media channels, not only will you reach the consumers who are already most interested in your offerings and your brand (as evidenced by their following you on the platform), but you can also tap into the potential for reaching additional, like-minded consumers when your followers like your posts and share them with their friends. In addition, social media channels offer a great opportunity for your brand to reach an extremely targeted group of consumers — ones with interests and characteristics fitting the profile of your most likely customers — via boosted posts and paid ads.
5. Optimize the path to purchase on your website
Of course, once you get visitors to your e-store or website using the techniques and tools mentioned above, you’ll want to ensure that the consumer’s path to purchase is as smooth and easy as possible. Using tools like website analytics and path analysis, you can identify and eliminate any hurdles that may be keeping consumers from pulling the trigger on their purchases — and increase conversions as a result.
6. Leverage Amazon and Walmart Marketplace
With so many of today’s digitally savvy consumers doing their holiday shopping on the Amazon and Walmart websites — the two clear leaders among today’s online retailers — brands that don’t get their products listed on these channels are missing out on big opportunities for added sales. Both of the retail giants allow third-party businesses to offer their wares to consumers on their hugely popular shopping websites, and for brands whose products meet the criteria for what can be sold on the sites, listing your offerings for sale there can be achieved by creating a seller account and going through a series of steps to create your item listings.
Could your outdoor-oriented brand use the type of expert marketing guidance needed to not only get by, but even flourish in challenging economic times? At TBA Outdoors, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover e-commerce, brand strategy and much more — including web design, creative, interactive web development, social media, PPC, analytics, path analysis, conversion rate optimization, Amazon and Walmart sales, and SEO — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can help you with the macro-level business evaluation and focus shifts that are sometimes needed put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional assistance ranging from a simple web-store analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.