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When planning Canadian e-commerce promotions:

  • Carefully examine similarities and differences that must occur between Canada and the U.S. for maximum impact:

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      Timing – note seasonal shifts and holidays unique to each country.

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      Creative/messaging – look to leverage assets, remaining sensitive to cultural and linguistic needs unique to Canada.

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      Offer – offers may need to be somewhat unique to Canada based on the unique- ness of the Canadian assortment and inventory makeup.

  • Coordination of events will require advanced planning and cooperation with the U.S. e-commerce team, and if applicable, store merchants and marketers. Assume at least a 90-day lead time, more for complex events around key holidays. Coordina- tion points include the following:

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      Timing – consider online shipping cut-offs for holidays versus in-store “last minute” opportunities;

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      Messaging – thematic elements, value statements;

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      Creative assets for Web and offline (signage, ad photos/copy, email, etc.);

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      Training of store and call center associates;

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      Redemption of offers, terms and conditions across channels (note that these may need legal review);

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      Coordination of inventory & pricing across channels; and

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      Measuring and reporting results.

  • Online-only Promos: Online-only promotions offer the opportunity for faster turn/flexibility when needed to:

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      Improve conversion;

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      Liquidate slow-moving inventory;

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      Increase basket size; and

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      Respond to competitive activity.

These promotions can be “layered in” to the cross-channel/cross-country calendar. Assume lead times of a few days up to two weeks to identify the offer and set up the promotion. The elements for the promotion would include the following:

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    Identify offer

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    Determine customer segment/target (if needed)

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    Set up and test promotion

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    Creative development

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    Build email, landing page, banner, and online promotional assets

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    Inform/train call center staff and fulfillment staff

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    Set up tracking/reporting

  • A note about holidays – coordination of on-site messaging for shipping cut-off dates around major holidays typically proves to be very complex for most online retailers. This effort must be tightly coordinated with any fulfillment third parties, call center and distribution teams. It must also be consistently communicated throughout the site, as well as throughout the checkout, email and all other marketing communica- tions. Plan for extra time!

Visa e-commerce cross-border handbook for U.S. retailers

Copyright 2010 Visa. All rights reserved.

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