With only a few short weeks separating us from the most anticipated shopping weekend of the year, we want to make sure you are fully prepared to have the most successful holiday season to date.

As a publisher, it’s never too late to fine-tune your marketing strategies. Here are a few items to keep in mind as Cyber weekend draws nearer:

  1. Focus on mobile
    According to Rakuten Marketing Affiliate mobile data from Q4 2017, 52% of traffic and 33% of orders came from mobile devices. We expect this trend to continue, meaning this holiday season, shoppers will drive a significant amount of holiday traffic via mobile devices. As a publisher, you need to make sure your site is optimized for speed and functionality during this busy season. 53% of mobile users will abandon a mobile site if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load. You want your users to perceive your page as fast and responsive, otherwise, you risk the chance of losing visitors and their business. For more information on how to evaluate and improve your mobile site before the big rush, read this blog post by Rakuten Marketing in partnership with Google.
  2. Be prepared for high consumer spending
    According to eMarketer Retail this holiday season, total retail sales in the U.S. will increase 5.8% to $1.002 trillion. This is the first time holiday sales will cross the $1 trillion mark, predicting 2018 to have the strongest growth since 2011. Rakuten Marketing research found that the average consumer in the U.S. spends the most money on their child and their partner, spending $325 and $270 on average, respectively. Customers are going to be ready to spend, and publishers must be ready to offer optimal promotions and personalized product offerings to capitalize on another strong shopping season.In order to target these heavy spenders, a publisher needs to provide a customized message. In a recent Rakuten Marketing global survey, 80% of U.S. consumers say advertising is valuable when it aligns with their needs or interests.  An affiliate network can provide publishers with the data to help them target specific consumers, making it easy for affiliates to personalize and present the most appropriate offer or promotion to a new or returning customer. Utilize the personalization tools available to plan your placements accordingly and actively prepare your site for the inevitable surge in visits from eager consumers.
  3. Promote more than just free shipping
    Today, free shipping is necessary. NRF survey data found that 94% of shoppers will utilize free shipping options at some point during the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean free shipping is the only method desired. In fact, 11% of shoppers will use same-day delivery options this year, and 16% will use an expedited option. Half of all holiday shoppers will use online to in-store pick up where available from retailers. Rakuten Marketing data shows that 15% of US shoppers are looking for gifts for 11 or more people in their lives. Additionally, 64% aren’t prepared to make on-the-spot decisions. Even though consumers are beginning their shopping earlier and earlier, having a last-minute shipping option is still important for those indecisive shoppers. Make sure to discuss shipping options with your advertiser partners so every type of holiday shopper is accommodated.

While these tips are not the only ones to ensure your Cyber Week is a success, it is important to understand changing trends and consumer demand. By taking advantage of this information, you will put yourself in the best possible position to enjoy a profitable holiday shopping season.

Visit our website at www.rakutenmarketing.com/affiliate to see how Rakuten Marketing can help you prepare even further.