‘Tis the sea­son to get pre­pared for the hol­i­day online shop­ping sea­son, and the good news is it’s going to be a strong one – accord­ing to Ste­fan Torn­quist, Mar­ket­ing Sherpa’s Research direc­tor and pan­elist on a webi­nar I recently mod­er­ated. Torn­quist pre­dicts that retail­ers will see solid growth this com­ing hol­i­day sea­son, and offers up sev­eral tac­tics for a suc­cess­ful Q4.


The key mes­sage I took from Tornquist’s pre­sen­ta­tion was ‘reten­tion trumps acqui­si­tion’: by this he sug­gests that retail­ers should adopt prac­tices that result in keep­ing more cus­tomers and keep­ing them happy. As such, his first rec­om­men­da­tion was to focus on reduc­ing aban­don­ment. Torn­quist also sug­gests keep­ing var­i­ous tac­tics in per­spec­tive in terms of the time and invest­ment they require, com­pared with their effec­tive­ness. Finally, Torn­quist empha­sizes the need for ongo­ing and dis­ci­plined mea­sure­ment – cit­ing ram­pant lack of insight into paid search con­ver­sion met­rics among a large per­cent­age of eCom­merce businesses.


We were also joined by Steven Har­ris, VP of Online Mar­ket­ing at Cable Shop­ping Net­work (CSN) who picked up on Tornquist’s first theme. Har­ris, who has deployed auto­mated and tar­geted email as a very effec­tive remar­ket­ing tool, talked about how their efforts to tackle the cart aban­don­ment prob­lem have resulted in more than $250K in recov­ered rev­enue. He really hits home his point by point­ing out the absur­dity of how we tend look at an aban­doned cart in a gro­cery store as cri­sis, but view aban­don­ment as nor­mal on the Web!


Ben Vis­con, Online Mer­chan­dis­ing Man­ager at Recre­ational Equip­ment Inc. (REI), wrapped up with the dis­cus­sion with his 5 online hol­i­day readi­ness tactics:

1. PLAN – mon­i­tor successes/failures; exam­ine site search logs and browse pat­terns as they relate to con­ver­sions and AOV; and start plan­ning for next year as soon as this sea­son ends

2. MAKE IT EASY – give your cus­tomers what they need to make a buy­ing deci­sion (prod­uct com­pare; reviews and related items – to name a few)

3. INTEGRATE MARKETING TOUCHPOINTS – from email to cross-channel incentives

4. VALUE – it’s not just about price

5. FLEXIBILITY – have a backup plan, and be ready to react through­out the hol­i­day season


Ste­fan, Steven and Ben shared some great insights and advice in this Webi­nar. It’s avail­able on-demand, so I encour­age you to fol­low this link to view it – there are some great nuggets in there for any retailer in the midst of get­ting ready Hol­i­day 09: http://​www​.omni​ture​.com/​go/24287.