For many of us, the holiday season is all about family, festivities, and of course, the presents. But for your brand, it’s all about the planning.
The way people shop has changed drastically over the last decade and more so in recent years as consumers have become accustomed to shopping online through mobile devices. Shopping is no longer limited to just one store or location. Instead, shoppers can comparison-shop and purchase from thousands of different retailers from anywhere at any time. This trend has put increased pressure on brands’ budgets and required them to get creative with how they promote themselves during this crucial period of time each year.
If your marketing team isn’t ready with some new ideas for how to make your brand stand out in this environment—well, then you’re going to be hurting come January.
But don’t worry! We’re here to help you get started on your holiday planning. We’ve put together some tips for what you should be thinking about, from now through the New Year.
Lower budgets, More obstacles, Smarter shopping
Budget pressures are on the rise. Searches for “good and cheap” grew 40% this year, according to Google Trends data–meaning shoppers are more aware than ever of what they want (or don’t want) from their favorite brands in these uncertain times.
As economic uncertainty rises due to factors such as inflation, rising fuel costs, declining consumption and supply chain challenges, consumers are shifting how they spend their money. Consumers don’t have the same purchasing power as they used to – leading them to make smarter decisions when making purchases this time of year (which could mean cutting back on spending).
Consumers have to be smarter about how they spend their money. With lower budgets in mind, shoppers are looking for ways to make their dollars go further—which means more coupons, more sales, and more ways to stretch their dollars. The best way to meet this need is to understand your audience, who they are and what they want. When you can meet their needs, you maximize your chance of success.
You may have noticed that people are already in the holiday spirit. According to Salesforce research, more than 37% of U.S. consumers plan to start buying gifts earlier this year, with 42% starting before November arrives. That means marketers need to respond by adjusting their strategies accordingly—but how?
As shoppers continue to move online and on mobile devices, marketers can engage with shoppers at any time from any place through email marketing campaigns and targeted ads on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube. If you haven’t already incorporated these tactics into your marketing strategy for this season’s promotion efforts, now is the time.
If you’re ready to start taking the steps necessary to ensure that your brand stays ahead of this year’s holiday shopping trends, then it might be time for you to reach out to a digital marketing agency like Cape & Bay. We’ve been helping businesses succeed online for almost a decade now, and would love the opportunity to show how we can help yours too.
How can you prepare your brand for the holidays?
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and festivities. For brands, they mean something else: opportunity.
It’s no surprise that the holiday season is one of the most profitable times of the year for retailers–Americans are going to spend between $943 and $960 billion in the months of November and December this year–but it’s also a time when brands can stand out from their competitors and make an impact on consumers.
The holiday season is a great time to build your brand’s reputation and increase its exposure. With the right strategy in place, it’s possible for brands to increase their sales by as much as 30%. Here are some tips for developing a successful holiday marketing strategy:
We know it can be hard to get excited about Christmas when it’s still 80 degrees outside. But planning and executing everything ahead of time is key if you want your campaign to succeed over the holidays. You’ll need time for research, brainstorming ideas and developing content before December hits—so don’t wait!
Start with a strategy.
Before you start executing your holiday marketing campaign, it’s important to have a strategy in place. By developing an overarching strategy that includes tactics like content and social media posts, email newsletters, special promotions, events and other activities, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are aligned with one another.
Retailers need a strategy for preparing for the unexpected instead of reacting after something goes wrong. It’s critical that brands stay focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences throughout all touchpoints from initial consideration through purchase conversion across channels.
Use data to plan your strategy.
There are plenty of data points available regarding what consumers are looking at during different times of the year, so take advantage of those insights by planning out how best to reach potential customers through relevant messaging at the right time (and place).
Incentivize early shopping.
You know what they say: the early bird gets the worm. And as we all know, a little incentive goes a long way. But what kind of incentives do online shoppers respond to? The answer is…it depends.
The right incentive for your brand will depend on your budget and what makes sense for your audience. If you have a high-end luxury brand, then offering free shipping might help get people motivated to buy from you. However, if you sell everyday household items like soap or detergent then offering a discount may be more effective.
With early shopping incentives, you get the word out about your brand and build buzz. With about 40% of shoppers starting early, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to reach this audience.
It’s also a great way to build loyalty and customer retention. If you’re offering incentives for early shoppers, they’ll be more likely to buy from you again in the future—and they’ll probably tell their friends about your brand too.
In our digital world, it’s no surprise that more than 6 billion people are using smartphones in 2022. Mobile users are more likely than desktop and tablet users to take action online. As such, it is essential that your brand be optimized for mobile with a responsive website design so you can capture those valuable clicks.
To ensure that your brand is ready for the holidays, here are some tips to optimize for mobile:
- Use a mobile-friendly checkout process that makes it easy for users to place orders
- Use responsive design that adjusts to the size of the viewer’s screen
- Use mobile-friendly shopping cart or a shopping cart that links across devices
Omnichannel refers to the use of multiple channels (like email, social media and messaging) in order to reach customers at their point of need. This means that if a customer is researching products online, they will be able to reach your brand through a variety of platforms.
This year, omnichannel marketing is more important than ever. According to Google, 54% of consumers used 5 or more channels—search engines, videos and social media—to research seasonal purchases within a two-day period.
So what does this mean for you? To start off on the right foot with your holiday marketing strategy, make sure that you’re using all available channels to reach customers and provide them with a seamless experience no matter where they are in the buying process.
For example, Facebook ads can be targeted based on geographic location; Google search results can show ads based on the user’s previous search history; Pinterest boards can be personalized depending on what topics relate most closely to each individual user. Using these tactics allows brands like yours to reach potential customers before they even think about making a purchase.
You should also use a tool like Google Analytics to track the performance of your different marketing channels and make adjustments as needed. This way, you can learn which platforms are generating the most traffic and conversions—and what strategies are working best for your demographic.
Enhance customer experience.
As you’re likely aware, there is a lot of pressure on brands to deliver the best customer experience possible. In order to ensure your business stays competitive and relevant, you need to be able to provide customers with an experience that is personal, engaging and dynamic.
Use social media as a way to connect with customers during this time of year and answer questions about products or send out discounts or promotions on select items based on individual preferences.
Social media is one of the best ways to engage your audience, and it can also be a powerful tool for helping you understand what they want. By monitoring conversations on social media channels and responding to them in real time, brands have been able to get a better sense of how customers feel about their products and services. This allows you to make adjustments when necessary in order to improve customer satisfaction as well as brand loyalty.
We’ve covered a lot of ground
The holiday season is a major time for brands to engage with consumers and optimize their business strategies. But, just like any major change, it requires careful planning and execution to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
When it comes to getting brands ready for the holidays, you could say that we’ve got the gift of experience. If you need help with your strategy or have any questions, just ask.