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.
As the holiday season approaches, the wheels inside the heads of marketers no doubt begin to swirl. How can you, as a business owner, capitalize on this period when many eager people live with their wallets open but may get turned off by excess sales calls and emails? Not every marketing approach is suited for this time of year, but there are certainly a few sure to entice customers while giving your sales a boost. Read on for some tips.
“Act now!” This is a tried-and-true marketing tactic that can encourage people to buy — and quickly! The gist is that you make a really attractive offer (like a 40 percent discount or free expedited shipping), but only make it available for a short time. This type of perceived scarcity can be all a potential prospect needs to buy your product. Make it even more effective by narrowing the sale to, say, a 48-hour window, and offer this type of incentive sparingly throughout the holiday season. In fact, don’t run more than three of these types of promotions or you’ll run the risk of not being seen as reputable.
As we near closer to 2017, people will continue to experience more and more stress. Planning for holiday festivities, travel and gift giving translates into a lot of added pressure for consumers already strapped for time. Do your part by making transactions as easy as possible. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, consider taking the steps now to accept Apple Pay. What if you only have an online presence? Look into partnering with Stripe, which also offers customers a one-click purchasing option. Bottom line: Don’t let cumbersome transactions stand in the way of a potential purchases.
It’s no secret content marketing can be effective in business. However, the trick is to adopt a strategy that creates value for customers and prospects alike. As we approach the holiday season, consumers are looking for anything to make their lives easier. So, what can you do to cultivate energy around your products or services and create raging fans in the process?
Take a page out of other successful companies’ books by creating a guide to give direction to shoppers. For example, Tire Buyer created a buyers’ guidethat provides shopping tips for those looking to get the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with the least amount of hassle. So, what’s the main takeaway here? Tirebuyer is proving how timely content can be useful and relevant to consumers, as they and other similar-minded companies can tie all sorts of great advice into holiday themes. Remember, get creative and make sure to offer substance.
Many businesses are all about the sale, followed by upselling. Bought the cell phone? Great; how about a new phone case and car charger, too? This is fine for certain business models, but there’s a different approach that works even better this time of year. Instead of merely upselling, think in terms of “pairing.” This will take some extra time on the front end, but ultimately delivers more convenience to customers (and should offer more revenue, too).
Companies can achieve this strategy by cobbling together gift baskets of similar, complementary items and charging for the basket as a whole. Or, another idea might be to revamp your store layout (or digital layout) and place items near one another that are similar in theme or function. Either way, this idea allows you to connect the dots for customers about which products should be purchased together.
As you gear up for one of the busiest times of the year, remember to start planning out your marketing ideas now. The more thought you put into strategically incorporating the ideas above, the more return you’ll see in terms of sales. Cheers to a holiday bonus!