Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a four-part series that provides companies with smart ways to engage online consumers in new markets during the holiday shopping season. Read part two here. Read part three here. Read part four here.
We’re highlighting holiday shopping in this post, but make sure to download the free accompanying Spain: Market Insights and Campaign Opportunities report via the sidebar below. This document reveals additional Spanish holidays, and ways to best serve Spaniards throughout 2017!
This year’s holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and retailers are already developing their year-end online marketing and sales strategies. Their ambition, of course, is to propel their holiday conversion rates and revenues to new heights!
But the smartest retailers have already ensured year-over-year growth by expanding into new domestic and global markets online, and serving shoppers there in their preferred languages. These companies know that engaging new customers in authentic ways can really move the needle on holiday sales.
Take Spain. More and more companies are expanding into this thriving online market. For starters, it’s a less competitive market than its larger neighbors Germany and France—which bodes well for savvy first movers. Further, its economy is growing faster than most in the European Union. The country has an Internet penetration rate of over 80% … and more than 40% of these consumers shop online. (They spent an average of $1,520 USD last year on e-commerce sites.)
The secret to winning in Spain and other global markets is communicating with these consumers in ways that resonate with their unique shopping habits and cultures. This often proves elusive for most expanding companies.
This article—and the accompanying free Spain: Market Insights and Campaign Opportunities report; see our sidebar for more information—should demystify the nuances of serving customers in Spain during the holiday season. If your company is looking for ways to boost its holiday profits and reduce conflict between its worldwide online marketing and offline local marketing initiatives, you’ve come to the right place.
Firstly, we recommend downloading our free Spain: Market Insights and Campaign Opportunities report via the sidebar. This document provides a list of popular holidays celebrated throughout the year in Spain, along with practical ways to authentically engage Spaniards on those days.
However, let’s shine the spotlight on 2016’s holiday shopping season, and how companies can guide their tactical and strategic marketing efforts in Spain—and win big among new customers along the way. (Note that the dates provided below can change from year to year.)
For years, Black Friday was regarded as an exclusively American sales holiday (much like the day that precedes it, Thanksgiving). But times have changed. A recent survey revealed that nearly 85% of Spaniards now know what Black Friday is, and nearly 55% plan to make purchases during the sales event.
This jibes with our own findings, gleaned from operating translated and localized websites for the Spanish market. Last year, one of our retail clients implemented a Black Friday campaign on its Spain website. Local awareness—and the retailer’s savvy promotion of the sales event—led to 105% higher sessions that the site generated the Friday prior. This was the highest number of sessions the Spanish site received during Q4.
Further, conversions during the campaign hit a Q4 high: they grew by 140%, compared to the Friday prior. Revenue surged by nearly 470% during the campaign, too. In fact, Black Friday generated Q4’s highest revenue, for a single day, on the site.
As with Black Friday, the online-exclusive sales event of Cyber Monday is also gaining traction among Spain’s e-retailers. A recent study estimated that Spain’s online sales between Nov. 27 and 30 would be in the region of €1.2 billion.
Reviewing the 2015 sales performance of a retail site we operate for the Spanish market, we found that sessions and revenue rose on Cyber Monday. Sessions grew by 12% (compared to the day before), nipping at the heels of the site’s traffic surge seen on Black Friday. The revenue generated during Cyber Monday was the third-highest during Q4.
Unlike in other countries, Christmas is not a huge commercial holiday in Spain. Christmas Eve and Christmas are often celebrated with a traditional dinner, not gift-giving. In fact, gifts are exchanged in early January. (Learn more about this tradition in our free report, accessed via the sidebar.)
This can throw a spanner into the marketing machinations of many companies. However, businesses can adapt to this market-specific tradition by considering these key elements:
Campaign Length: Spaniards won’t exchange gifts until January 6. Technically speaking, your brand can run its holiday shopping campaigns until the end of the year.
Profit Margins: Most retailers launch special discounts and promotions during Christmas week to mid-January to increase sales, and reduce inventory. Since consumers in Spain shop differently, smart brands can run their holiday campaigns at full price until end of December. This will increase their profit margins.
We recently examined the holiday 2015 sales performance of a retail client’s Spanish website, reviewing sales data from two weeks before Christmas week and two weeks after. Sales were indeed higher during the timespan following December 25.
Spaniards usually begin their New Year’s Eve celebrations indoors with family and friends. In some towns, it’s not that unusual to see empty streets before midnight.
We don’t recommend investing robust time and resources into a New Year’s Eve marketing campaign for Spaniards. Instead, we suggest using this day to better position your brand in-market, and enhance your brand awareness and loyalty.
Deploying simple creative changes on the local website—wishing Spaniards a happy new year, for instance—won’t cost much (if anything), and will boost the emotional connection between your brand and customer.
Also known as Epiphany, Three Kings’ Day is a big deal in Spain. Many celebrations revolve around the holiday. This is also when folks exchange their holiday gifts. Here’s what to consider for the holiday:
Pay Attention: We’ve found that foreign brands often don’t know about the importance of Three Kings’ Day for Spaniards, and therefore don’t capitalize on the marketing opportunities the holiday provides. This is a misstep.
Stop Campaign: In Spain, retailers begin their weeks-long “Rabajas” sales the day after Three Kings’ Day. Be mindful of this from a promotional perspective. You can also take advantage of this cultural knowledge by publishing content on-site that congratulates Spaniards on their local holiday. This can improve the emotional connection between your brand and your customers—and perhaps give you an edge over your international competitors.
Spanish retailers offer massive discounts during two weeks-long sales events called Rabajas (or “deep sales”). The first occurs just after Three Kings’ Day. Discounts during Rebajas typically begin at 30% off, but can increase to 70% off by the event’s conclusion.
It might be tempting to conclude holiday-related marketing and discounts after New Years’ Day, but that’s a missed opportunity when operating in Spain. Spaniards expect retailers to offer deep discounts during Rabajas. If you’re not catering to these expectations, your business will lose to local competitors. Plan your discounts accordingly—and make sure your campaign and inventory can keep pace during the weeks-long event.
This post has been a useful deep-dive into some noteworthy Holiday 2016 shopping events, and how to engage Spaniards with authentic in-market campaigns. But this post scrapes the surface of MotionPoint’s familiarity with Spanish holidays and buying habits.
Want to learn more? Download the free Spain: Market Insights and Campaign Opportunities report via the sidebar above. You’ll discover several important 2017 holidays in Spain, along with tips on how to engage Spanish consumers online.
And be sure to contact us with further questions about Spain or other global markets your business way want to serve. We can help you identify ways to communicate effectively, and authentically, with new customers around the world.
Omar El Ali is an online and offline marketing professional with hands-on applied experience of marketing tools and tactics, and a successful track record of driving the growth of brands, products, and sales. Before joining MotionPoint, Omar worked throughout the Middle East with internationally-acclaimed brands such as BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Ferrari, Maserati, KTM, Ducati, Triumph, Aprilia and FashionTV.
MotionPoint helps world-class brands grow by engaging and enriching the lives of new customers in markets around the globe.
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