Experts predict that the 2019 holiday season will see US retail spending growth reach $1.035 trillion. How you market to shoppers during the jolliest time of the year is critical to a successful season. We’ll lay out five marketing tips to help you reach the 2019 holiday shopper and get a share of this year’s profit.
Today’s holiday shoppers divide their time among multiple channels. Over two-thirds of shoppers expect to buy online and in-store. Consequently, your marketing must prioritize converting consumers on any channel. Here are some omnichannel marketing tips to help you reach consumers before 2019 comes to an end:
Geo-fencing: Send foot traffic to your store by presenting nearby shoppers with in-store event invites, customized seasonal offers, and coupons through your mobile app or SMS.
Retargeting: Use omnichannel retargeting to remind people about products they browsed but didn’t purchase. To nail this strategy, ensure you have a single customer view and segment your campaign to target different people.
Leverage new technologies: Integrate visual search to help customers find products they see in-store, and if possible, utilize so consumers can try out gifts through your app before making a purchase. When implementing new technologies ahead of the holidays, run several tests to ensure they’re running smoothly.
In addition to shopping for friends and family, consumers are likely to take advantage of holiday promotions and give themselves the gifts they’ve been craving all year. In fact, 78% of consumers planned to shop for themselves during last year’s holiday season. Use these tips to help consumers treat themselves at your store:
Self-gifting campaigns: Launch a holiday campaign for customers looking to treat themselves. Revolve messages around “little luxuries” or “affordable luxuries” to emphasize ideals such as self-care and healthy indulgence.
Gift cards: Last year, 51% of shoppers planned to buy a gift card for themselves during the holidays. Encourage self-gifting by offering bonuses such as discount coupons with gift card purchases, and promote gift cards as a way to earn extra loyalty points.
Offer recommendations: Self-gifters are open to recommendations on how to pamper themselves. Lingerie brand Savage X Fenty offered self-gifters a holiday guide to inspire purchases.
Offer personalized recommendations based on a shopper’s past and current purchasing behavior, and if you can, include items such as liquor, books, clothing, shoes, and fragrances in your recommendations.
Leverage User Generated Content
Deciding which brand or product to purchase online is a headache for 39% of holiday shoppers. To drive sales and make holiday buying decisions easy, leverage User Generated Content (UGC). Based on peer to peer reviews, shoppers heavily rely on recommendations from real people to inform their purchasing decisions. Below are some UGC strategies to incorporate.
Reviews: Help holiday shoppers make informed purchases by allowing consumers to add detailed reviews to your product page. To increase transparency and professionalism, allow negative reviews, respond to reviews within at most two business days, and allow consumers to vote on which reviews they found helpful. Lastly, use a rating summary so shoppers can quickly grasp the overall sentiment toward a product.
Questions and Answers: Add a community-driven Q&A section to your product page to remove any doubts consumers may have about purchasing a product. To solicit community answers, reward users who submit a product review.
Meet Mobile Shoppers on Their Phones
It’s well-known that consumers are increasingly shifting from desktop to mobile. Last year alone, mobile-first shopping grew by 25%. Since the strategies that work for desktop shoppers may not be adequate for mobile shoppers, use the following to entice mobile shoppers.
Video ads: Use mobile video campaigns to capture attention and engage consumers. Keep your videos under 15 seconds, optimize for sound off, and feature a clear call to action.
Deliver a seamless mobile experience: Increase your website speed by reducing page weight and removing automatic image carousels. Optimize all facets of the shopping funnel on mobile, make product information accessible, and accelerate your checkout process.
Leverage your mobile apps: To drive conversions on your mobile app, send personalized app-only deals to users and create a sense of urgency by using in-app features such as countdown clocks.
Additionally, use deep linking to take users to the right product page and facilitate easy payments with one-touch checkout.
Help Last-Minute Shoppers
Not all consumers complete their holiday shopping on time. Last year, 70% of shoppers confessed they still had shopping to do the week before Christmas. Here’s how to pick up those last-minute shoppers:
Be available offline: Drive last-minute shoppers to your store location through Google local inventory ads that showcase product inventory and store information. Extend your store hours, help shoppers save time by enabling checkout from anywhere in the store, and set up a gift-wrapping station.
Offer gift guides: Create zero-hour gift guides to help time-pressed shoppers choose the perfect gift. Scrutinize sales data and trends to know which products to include in your gift guide, and categorize your guide based on product type and price point. Nordstrom’s 2018 guide, for example, featured curated and unique ideas for under $100.
Offer fast delivery: Last minute holiday shoppers are 78% more likely to purchase gifts from retailers that offer same-day delivery. Partner with carriers to handle time-sensitive demands and ensure they deliver reliable service, enable real-time tracking, and use delivery notifications to keep shoppers updated during the shipping process. Consider offering low priced or free same-day fulfillment.
Many shoppers enter the holiday season confused about where to buy gifts. How you market to holiday shoppers will determine if you’ll be getting a piece of this year’s holiday pie. Influence purchase decisions by offering ‘how-to’ content and product recommendations on YouTube, and enable product discovery with Instagram Stories and consumer holiday catalogs. Have a successful and happy holiday season!