The holidays may still be a few months away, but consumers are already gearing up for the holiday season. They are searching for deals and checking them twice across different screens (small and big). Given that the marketers should always be proactive to win over their customer base, we have come up with the 5 key trends to make the holiday season a little more joyful and successful for you!
1) Mobile is becoming “The ultimate shopping tool”
For today’s constantly connected consumers, shopping never sleeps. Whether we need to make an everyday purchase or research a big-ticket item, we reflexively turn to our devices. This happens several times throughout the day when we’re making purchase decisions. (What’s the best choice? Can I afford to buy this? Is it worth it?) These critical moments are important moments for both- the consumers and the brands. They’re opportunities to connect, especially on mobile. Statistics reveal that 93% of people who use a mobile device for research go on to make a purchase. Moreover, 40% of Black Friday‘s online shopping was on mobile (Custora, 2014). This is where responsive marketing comes into picture. Mobile engagement will be paramount to holiday success. Your products need to be easy to find and purchase across screens. Make sure consumers are always seeing the latest, context-relevant information. Companies have to make sure that their online channels, websites and pages work on all gadgets- big and small and that consumers do not face compatibility issues while loading a page on their mobile screens!
2) Holiday shopping mostly begins long before Black Friday
Over the last years, Black Friday has transformed into Grey Friday; the big shopping day’s sales began to dilute a bit as retailers began their promotions and deals early to which consequently the consumers also responded (some even ditching their family dinners to shop). Henceforth, we’re starting to see a shift away from “tentpole” events such as Black Friday. Retailers are stretching Black Friday deals and promotions across November in order to move the focus from one big day of shopping to say, a week long campaign. This change helps companies to cater to shoppers (29%) who will start holiday shopping before Halloween. Thus, one has to ensure that your brand is top of mind for the consumer and you can achieve this by being present throughout the research period and at the time of purchase.
3) Holiday shoppers are turning to YouTube videos readily
Video content is becoming a crucial way to market your products and brands. These videos are not only the ones uploaded by the companies and brands to advertise their products but peer reviews, ratings and feedbacks are marked as the biggest influencers in video content marketing. Video content is considered more influential and creates a better impact. Many companies are turning to video marketing by placing intuitively created videos on their websites and across many different channels. The success stories of videos that have gone viral are legend. A recent campaign from Volkswagen, for example, saw a trio of its videos viewed a combined 155 million times. One tip we can note here is that one needs to engage viewers and they will further share the video with others. They will spend longer on your website and more time interacting with your brand. With online video quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, small businesses that fail to include it in their internet marketing strategies will do so at their peril. By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. For any social media campaign, any SEO exercise, video is without doubt one of the best tools in the kit.
4) In-store traffic is down, but the spirit of spending is up
In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that foot traffic to stores in November and December plunged from 38 billion in 2010 to 17 billion in 2014. But the fact that consumers may have made fewer visits to retailers, that doesn’t mean overall sales were down. So, although fewer people shopped in-store, those who did bought more, adding value to each visit.
Foot traffic to stores may have declined, but the value of those in-store visits is on the rise, and many shoppers are turning to smartphones while shopping. Providing detailed information through mobile can help them figure out what to buy (and what else they may need).
5) Deck the halls with deals
Today’s shoppers are putting more hours into research, and that means brands have an opportunity to get in front of them and influence behavior. Be there when they are researching (think search and display ads) and remind them throughout the process with remarketing. Taking advantage of responsive marketing can be one powerful tool to attract customers. For instance, as winners were announced at the Oscars, Google Play delivered real-time congratulatory display ads that drove people to buy or rent the winning movies on Google Play. The aim was to create hyper-relevant, real-time marketing that added to the on-screen action.
To show a positive presence when the customers have thought of you is a very important step of a successful marketing strategy. The other thing that should be highlighted is that online shoppers are value conscious. They want the best deal and, whenever possible, free shipping. These two factors will significantly drive their purchases.
So, which one of the above mentioned trends will your company capitalize on?