Early holiday shopping is not going well

Source: Giphy
The big picture: This year, shoppers have been warned in advance about possible supply chain issues. They’ve also been advised to start shopping earlier and avoid potential problems. As a result, customers have been eagerly waiting to start their holiday shopping.
Initially, it seemed that the retail giants were onto something. Amazon and Target announced their huge holiday sales as early as October and Walmart have been rolling out their Black Friday deals every few days since the beginning of November.
So, what’s going on? The sad truth is that shoppers are lacking genuinely good deals and have been left with mediocre discounts and shortages of popular products
Zoom in: Adobe has released the first set of data for the 2021 holiday season; it shows that discounts are indeed weaker, despite retailers offering early deals. For example, electronics were discounted by an average of 13.2% last holiday season; this year, the average is 8.7%. Sporting goods saw a discount of 11.2% this time last year; this year, it’s 2.8%.
But pricing is not the only source of frustration. Adobe reports that "out of stock" responses to October product searches are up by 250% compared to January 2020. In addition, they're up by 325% compared to October 2019.
Despite all of this, the shopping must go on. October 2021 saw an increase of 8% year-over-year: $72.4 billion was spent on online purchases that month. And Salesforce forecasts that US shoppers will spend around 20% more on holiday gifts this year.
Will shortages steal Thanksgiving and Christmas this year? We’ll find out soon.


Litmus introduces new features

Source: Giphy
Litmus, a platform for building, testing, and analyzing emails, announced new capabilities that will boost efficiency and collaboration across the email workflow. The updates, announced on Tuesday, include enhancements to Litmus Builder and Litmus Proof.
Litmus’ State of Email 2021 report states that the priorities for marketers in 2021 include expanding automation capabilities, boosting personalization efforts, and enriching customer profiles. And with the workload increasing, it’s important to find ways to boost efficiency, save time, and produce more emails as well as better results of email marketing channels.
In that sense, Litmus will continue helping marketers with new features that include:
  • Litmus Proof enhancements: In order to have more agile workflows, users will be able to adjust sharing preferences and remove the login credential requirement, all the while keeping the process secure. And with the new, automated daily reminders in Litmus Proof, markets will ensure no email or deadline is missed.
  • New Litmus Builder features: This includes the Subject Line Editor, which will make it easy to write, review, and test subject lines in Litmus without having to update the project name. Additionally, there’s the Focus Mode, which removes distractions by hiding the surrounding navigation and toolbars. Finally, the new Save as Module feature gives the option to quickly and easily add code modules to the Design Library, “bolstering the design system so all team members can create on-brand emails at scale.”
  • Litmus Email Analytics updates: In the light of the data privacy updates, these updates allow marketers to move beyond opens and clicks to measure success and use data from their reliable audiences to gain insights and create better strategies.
  • New Litmus integrations: New integrations with Adobe Journey Optimizer and Intilery will provide users with the ability to build and test emails in one location, eliminating the need to copy and paste code between tools. In addition, the integration with Adobe Journey Optimizer will give users the opportunity to create automated and personalized, customer journey-based experiences at scale.

"Since we share proofs with many different stakeholders both inside and outside our organization, ensuring it's easy for them to provide feedback is a must. Automated daily reminders and the ability to leave feedback without worrying about a login will empower our team to streamline and speed up our review process, get emails to market faster, and drive business results," said Jamie Robertson, Digital Marketing Leader at ADI Global.


The future of eCommerce

Source: Giphy

Beware, beware, eCommerce brands!

The global eCommerce market is rapidly growing and is expected to reach $4.2 trillion in revenue by 2025. Because of the rapid growth and constant innovation, nobody knows what it’s going to look like a few years from now.

Still, there are some signs that can help us predict what’s coming. Logiq, a global provider of eCommerce, eCommerce, and fintech solutions, is exploring the five trends that have a serious potential to transform the future of eCommerce.

  • Omnichannel shopping: Nowadays, the customer journey has so many different touchpoints across several channels and devices. That’s why it’s important for businesses to integrate them all into a functioning, intuitive, holistic shopping experience. Omnichannel strategies can generate an estimated 80% of a business’ in-store visits.
  • AI and AR: Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are transforming eCommerce with functionalities such as virtual assistants, AI-enabled chatbots, personalized shopping, and the replication of the physical world online. Both of these technologies are powerful on their own, but when combined, they leverage each other’s strengths to provide an elevated shopping experience.
  • New Payment Options: Payment is an important component of the online shopping experience. That’s why it will be crucial for stores to provide a myriad of ways customers can pay for products and services to reduce cart abandonment. Some of the options include mobile payments, digital wallets, and cryptocurrency. The latter is especially interesting, as companies are becoming more open to blockchain tech and cryptocurrency as a way to pay online.
  • Visual Commerce: In a world of constant information overload, brands are competing for consumers’ attention. And it’s the reason why visual communication is more important than ever. There’s a wide range of possibilities here: videos, high-quality photography, and augmented reality. According to Shopify, people that viewed a product in AR are 65% more likely to make a purchase.
  • Data-Driven, Dynamic Pricing: Dynamic pricing is when businesses adjust pricing to reflect consumer demand. It is certainly not a new phenomenon, but AI and new technologies have made it more accurate and accessible. And while it’s not particularly good for the customers, it’s popular: Amazon has already implemented it, and other businesses who follow will surely see a boost in revenue.

For more information and a detailed overview, check out Logiq’s report.


Thanksgiving inspiration

Source: ReallyGoodEmails

Thanksgiving is almost here! Have you thought about your Thanksgiving email campaign yet?

The thing is, everyone promotes Thanksgiving sales and offers. And this overburdens recipients at a time when they’re most likely to unwind and enjoy some private time with their loved ones.

So, to stand out from the crowd, consider sending a Thanksgiving card/appreciation email instead of offering a deal. Just thank customers for being a part of your brand and wish them a good time. This is a great way to show them you appreciate them and to inspire their loyalty.

Warm, personal copy and a simple, yet effective, hero image will be more than enough. Check out this Fracture email for inspiration.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Essence of Email Weekly.