The holiday shopping season is one of the “most wonderful times of the year” for retailers, and for good reason. The National Retail Federation reports that in 2019, holiday sales reached an all time high of $730.2 billion, a 4.1% increase from 2018.
However, the holiday season for 2020, like many things to occur this year, looks to be a bit different than those we’ve known before. With the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic still undetermined and health and government authorities continuing to advise the public to socially distance as much as possible, today’s retailers are forced to rethink their traditional holiday shopping strategies. For example, more consumers are opting to buy online instead of visiting a store, but still want that special, only-at-holiday-time flair that defines every retail experience this time of year.
For this reason, digital marketing and virtual experiences will be critical in driving sales for the year. As we enter the early holiday season, here are three tips to keep in mind to bolster your digital marketing activities:
In an effort to encourage customers to shop online in order to avoid crowded stores or long lines, major retailers like Target, Best Buy, and Macy’s have all said they expect a longer holiday shopping season with spaced out sales and specials this year. In fact, Home Depot announced it will be extending its Black Friday specials for two months, rather than just a one-day affair.
Suffice to say that in 2020, it’s not too early to begin your holiday shopping promotions. A recent survey by Retail Brew even indicated that nearly 20% of retailers plan to start holiday discounts before Halloween.
This year, consumers aren’t willing to walk into overcrowded stores or wait in mile-long lines to take advantage of holiday shopping deals. To both preserve the health and wellness of your customers and match their preferences for this year’s shopping season, be sure to start your sales promotions early across both in-store and online shopping channels.
In light of the pandemic, many consumers have turned to e-commerce to conduct their shopping needs, and this trend is expected to continue as the holiday shopping season begins. Salesforce predicts that “30% of global retail sales will be made through digital channels this upcoming holiday season.” In 2019, online sales were valued at $167.8 billion of the $730.2 billion season total, or 22.9%.
With an influx of online shopping anticipated to occur this season, retailers need to make their customer security protocols a priority. One effort retailers can make to improve their security standpoint is to upgrade their network security solution, which is especially imperative if members of your marketing, customer service, or sales teams are working remotely.
With new cyber breaches constantly in the news, data security and privacy is top of mind for today’s consumers; they want to be sure that the retailers they shop with protect their personal information with the utmost security. Preparing your security stance ahead of time will ensure that your company doesn’t run into these concerns.
Since the pandemic began, large, in-person events became off limits for many brands and organizations. In response, virtual events have quickly increased in popularity, allowing marketers to build a community around their business, cheer people up, and drive customer engagement.
This same strategy can be utilized throughout the holiday season in order to drive traffic to social media channels, e-commerce pages, or simply compete for brand awareness during the year’s most popular shopping time.
During your virtual holiday event, you can introduce a new product, share a holiday initiative you’re working on, or host a Q&A related to your industry. Take advantage of the many live streaming options available today, whether it be on social media platforms like Facebook Live or standalone services like Dacast.
Although this year’s holiday season looks much different than in years past, you don’t need to sacrifice your customers’ holiday shopping experience. Take the above tips into consideration to rise above this year’s challenges and crush your seasonal goals.
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