Even as online retailers are being pelted with back-to-school marketing tips—like these helpful “8 Trends to Tap” from NextDayFlyers.com—the early warnings are going up for the 2010 holiday season.
My reaction? Well, as the saying goes: “It’s about time.”
Two weeks ago, Lisa Morgan over at Practical eCommerce cautioned, and I would concur:
“The economy is still shaky, customers remain fickle, and if you’re not prepared you could miss out on the most important shopping season of the year.” (Gearing Up for the 2010 Holiday Season)
Then today I get an email from Internet Retailer headlined “Only 115 Days ’til Black Friday.” The message is actually a teaser for the Online Retailer Survival Guide put together by website performance specialist Keynote, but it’s worth registering and checking out the content. Keynote’s point, and it’s a good one, is that…
…NOW is the time to be testing your site to make sure it can handle the traffic, not a few weeks out from November 26, which is the date of Black Friday 2010, (making November 29 Cyber-Monday 2010).
My point is that NOW is also the time to make sure you have in place the testing and targeting capabilities you will need to compete successfully in the coming holiday shopping season. I admit this point poses something of a dilemma for the marketing efforts here at Monetate because one of our strongest claims, to which our customers will attest, is that Monetate is quick and easy to set up.
So if you and I were to meet at a Halloween party this coming October and you still didn’t have a testing and targeting solution in place on your retail website, I would still tell you that there is still time to get Monetate up and running for the 2010 holiday season (we’ve worked enough holiday seasons to know this to be true).
What you won’t get, if you wait until October to setup Monetate or any other testing and targeting solution, is the full force of accumulated visitor data and test results that you will get if you start now. This data will enable you to maximize your conversion rates, average order values, repeat purchases, and other metrics that make for a jolly season when they come in above target.
So get started now and earn yourself a much-deserved break in January. It will be about time.