Easter is coming up fast, on Sunday, April 1. The sweet, bunny-filled holiday presents extra sales opportunities for your easter marketing strategies, especially for retailers in the gifts, flowers, and home goods spaces. Last year, Easter fell on April 16 — a full 15 days earlier. Here at Criteo, we unpacked our data from 2017 to see what we could expect to see this time around.
With the official start of Spring kicking off on March 20, sales of home improvement and gardening goods start to pick up. Perhaps not surprisingly, sales of flowers and gifts grow, too — and they get even stronger in the days leading up to Easter. Likely, what we’re seeing here is that the spring cleaning phenomenon is real. As the weather gets better, remodeling, cleaning, gardening, and other home projects start to take priority.
If you’re interested in building effective Easter marketing strategies, it’s important to think about the shopper’s journey as the day gets closer. Planning ahead and launching a marketing campaign a few weeks out can help capture additional impressions, conversions, and sales.
Here are four top tips to help you get egg-stra Easter sales this season, from the first search all the way to the purchase.
1. Ensure your campaign fits the distinct purchase cycles of the day.
Easter was two weeks earlier in 2017, but it always falls on a Sunday. Most online shoppers place their orders a few days before the weekend. According to our US data, sales of flowers and gifts went up by 106% four days before Easter 2017. Additionally, there was almost a 50% uplift in sales for home improvement, gardening, and interior design goods on the days leading up to Easter.*
Whether several weeks out or the weekend before, consider using a retargeting tool to connect with shoppers at each touchpoint while maintaining competitive CPCs throughout the Easter 2018 sales cycle.
While shoppers might not buy right away, those who visit your site are often researching for a purchase they’ll complete further down the line. Retargeting helps drive them back to your site for items of interest by delivering personalized offers as the big day approaches.
2. Start marketing early and ramp up your efforts on key days before Easter.
Easter 2018 is going to be competitive, but ramping up your efforts early to reach shoppers can help. You may want to run uncapped retargeting campaigns on key days to capture last-minute shoppers. Conversion rates in the flowers and gifts category climb up by 20% higher than usual in the days leading up to Easter.**
Make sure that you have high brand awareness on search results and cart pages across any potential shopping destination. A commerce marketing solution like Criteo Sponsored Products can help you gain that kind of visibility.
3. Optimize your site and app for increased mobile purchases.
Mobile shopping remains steady on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend before Easter 2017, the shares of sales from smartphones and tablets in the US rose 80% and 70%, respectively.** Furthermore, shoppers are still buying via mobile on Easter itself. Desktop sales may see a big drop on the holiday itself, but shoppers can still be reached on their smartphones and tablets.
There’s no downplaying how important mobile shopping has become, especially when it comes to those last-minute purchases. As our data has shown before, mobile shopping is on the rise around the world, so be sure your strategy is optimized to take advantage of these purchases. Gifts like flowers and chocolates are often a more spontaneous, last-minute decision. Placing them on responsive landing pages makes it as easy as possible for people to convert.
4. Market to each shopper (not the device).
In an age when people are being inundated with digital noise, personalizing content — what shoppers see, where, and when — is key. And it starts with data. A shopper may begin a search for a necklace on his laptop. Or maybe he visits the store and browses on his smartphone.
By connecting your offline shopper emails to an online CRM — and matching those audiences — you can ensure that you deliver personalized offers to shoppers at each touchpoint in their journey.
Don’t put all your eggs in one Easter basket.
Our research shows that shoppers start considering Easter purchases a few weeks out. But that doesn’t mean they’re buying right away. We know that three out of four shoppers are omnishoppers, constantly switching channels and websites to find the best deal.
By building an effective retargeting campaign, you can make sure that you don’t lose those potential customers when they leave your site and visit somewhere else. That way, as the big day approaches, you can stay in touch for when they’re ready to make that purchase.
Learn how to make the most of your marketing efforts with the Easter timeline below, and download the full Easter research here.
*Criteo data from a representative set of retailers (Flowers and Gifts & Home Improvement/Gardening/Interior Design). Indexed online daily sales in the U.S. Base equals average daily sales Index of 100 from Jan 2-8, 2017.
**Criteo data from a representative set of retailers (Flowers and Gifts). Indexed online conversion rates in the U.S. Base equals average Index of 100 from Jan 2-8, 2017.