Greg Ng

Gregory Ng, Brooks Bell

For the second interview in our Holiday Success series (here’s last week’s Q&A with the e-tailing group), we caught up with Brooks Bell’s Gregory Ng to gather his insider perspective on a few trends and tactics for the upcoming holiday season.

Q: What is one of the biggest ecommerce trends we’ll see this holiday season?

A: I believe that online retailers will leverage more flash sale techniques this holiday season. We’ve already seen Cyber Monday deals launching prior to Thanksgiving. I expect “Holiday Shopping Flash Sales” to crop up even earlier this year. With the promise of exclusive products being offered earlier in the shopping season (and in limited quantities), these sales will surely be successful. But the real opportunity lies in how those email lists are used post flash sale. For example, if retailers message those that clicked through too late with a “bonus second offer,” they could stimulate sales during down periods in the buying season.

Q: What is the most important thing an ecommerce business can do this season to improve conversions?

A: The most important thing to remember is the mindset of the online gift buyer. For many, the sheer amount of gifts to be purchased is a task that feels good to accomplish. Capitalizing on the psychology behind this process can lead to increased conversions and a larger average order value. For example: Most gift givers have a set budget they want to spend for each recipient. Make sure your products can be sorted by price point. This should extend way past a simple sort of products from lowest to highest price. Instead, curate the top-selling products within a price range (i.e., Gifts Under $100).

Q: How can ecommerce companies support consumers shopping across multiple devices?

A: Online retailers can start by giving customers and potential customers incentives to register on their sites. Registered users will not only get a more seamless experience—particularly when it comes to wish lists and populated shopping carts—but this will also help you track channel behavior down to the customer level.

Obviously the range of possibilities for multiple-device marketing greatly increases for brick-and-mortar retailers. The most exciting opportunity to me is the ability for customers to add to wish lists, registries, or online carts by scanning products with a mobile device or store kiosk.

Q: What is a good campaign to run during the holidays that many ecommerce companies still seem to overlook?

A: A campaign that is normally overlooked during the holidays is dialing up urgency by highlighting products that are in jeopardy of selling out. Typically, ecommerce engines have pre-determined inventory levels that trigger “sell out” messaging. But if those settings are adjusted (especially during this high-volume time), it could convince more customers who are fearful of missing out to buy now instead of leaving items in their cart.

The series continues next week with another interview, so be sure to stop back for even more holiday hints.