What Consumers expect from brands this holiday season
“The 2020 holiday season will reward omnichannel retailers. Instead of the recurring and seasonal demand cycles retailers are used to, in the wake of COVID-19, brands must contend with consistent high demand for ecommerce year-round.”
As mentioned in part 1 of this series, consumers will experience a holiday season like never before. There are countless questions in regard to what traditions they’ll be able to uphold, if family members will be able to visit, and how they’ll spread holiday cheer in new ways. Brands are facing questions and concerns of their own – inventory concerns, creating safe store layouts for in-person shoppers, and how to spread their campaign across the various channels consumers are now shopping on.
As your brand works through these questions and begins to brainstorm advertising tactics, keep in mind that 80% of consumers expect, want, and prioritize brands that put them at the forefront of their shopping experience. With emerging technology, consumers want to feel heard, engaged with, and that ads are tailored to them on channels they prefer to use. The solution to meeting these needs? An omnichannel marketing strategy.
Omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses the customer experience on each channel – desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others you might use – and how customers transition between each channel as they make purchases.
It’s important for brands to understand where consumers start their search, what drives them to make a purchase (ad-type, incentives, channels), and where they are actually purchasing the product – are they buying in store? Online? Via social media? You need to know what point the consumer is at in their buying journey so you can serve them the most relevant ads – remember that personalization is key to snag those holiday shopping dollars!
Omnichannel marketing will allow you to track your consumer from the first time they interact with your brand, through all touchpoints (whether in-store or online) through to the point of purchase (again, whether in-store or online). So let’s take a look at the most popular channels and preferences at each of these stages in the customer buying cycle.
Where are consumers browsing for holiday gifts?
What drives consumers to make a purchase?
As “free 2-day shipping” powerhouse, Amazon, continues to dominate the e-commerce world (45% of all e-commerce sales to be precise), it is important to take a note out of their book this holiday season.
If your brand can afford it, the holiday season is a great time to offer free shipping incentives. There is a strong uptick in “free shipping” searches come mid-December. If that is not in the budget this year, offering discounts for ordering before a certain date also resonates well with consumers (and helps alleviate last minute order on your end). All in all, consumers are looking for the best deal – 42% of consumers indicated they purchase from the website with the lowest cost. In your ads, online, and on social its important that you clearly showcase why your brand or product is the best deal for consumers this holiday season.
Where are consumers shopping?
Shoppers are buying online (more on that to come in our next post). However, they aren’t necessarily opting only for delivery. This is where brands need to be nimble in their offerings. Consumers want the option to buy online and pick how they gather their products: delivery, pick-up in-store, curbside pick, and drive-through pick-up. The brands that are able to differentiate their point of gathering will reap the rewards. Salesforce indicates that brands that allow for these options will see a 90% increase in digital sales from the previous holiday season.
As more consumers diversify where they’re shopping, leaning more on e-commerce, understanding the preferred channels for each stage of the buying journey allows you to better place ads on different digital channels. Placing awareness ads throughout specific site lists, and then re-targeting that consumer via social media with an incentive offer while tracking whether they make a purchase in-store or online will allow you to follow up with suggested products “Enjoying your new jeans? How about a matching top to go with it!” All of this will allow for more personalized shopping experience for each consumer drawing positive sentiment for your brand and in turn, more sales.
Interested in learning more about how e-commerce and online shopping will define this holiday season. Read part 4 of our holiday season blog series here.