There are only 15 days until Thanksgiving, 16 Days until Black Friday, 47 days until Christmas, and 54 days until New Year’s! Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner, and it is the perfect time to connect with consumers in a meaningful way.
Many holiday shoppers have already started the process of researching gift ideas, and now is the time to get ahead before the holiday rush. Deloitte’s 2017 Holiday Retail Survey revealed that, for the first time ever, people plan to spend the majority of their holiday shopping budget online.
Plan And Launch Your Campaigns Early
It’s never too soon to start planning your content and generating awareness early. Consumers start researching holiday gifts as early as September, so it is key for marketers to have their holiday campaigns ready and optimized well in advanced.
Research by the National Retail Federation finds that more than half of consumers began research for holiday gifts in October or earlier, yet only 33% actually made a purchase within that time frame. The fact that over half of consumers are already researching gift ideas in October or earlier is enough of a reason to make sure that your products or services are already at the top of consumers’ minds early in the season.
According to Deloitte, “Eighty percent of people expect the majority of their shopping to take place in late November onward. But decisions about where they’ll shop and what they’ll buy will be largely pre-determined by digital interactions that are occurring now.”
*Deloitte’s 2017 Holiday Retail Survey
Get Visual With Gift Guides
Curated holiday gift guides are an effective way to get consumers in the holiday spirit while showcasing your products. From stocking stuffers to finding the perfect gift for the foodie in your life, the amount of choices can be overwhelming. It is important that your gift guide is visually appealing, mobile-friendly, and categorized for a specific theme or audience.
Consider categorizing your gift guides such as “For Him,” “For Her,” or “Top 10 Gifts Under $100.” It can also be helpful to curate your gift guides towards a more niche audience such as “Top Tech Gadgets.” Remember that not all shoppers are the same, so ensure that you are custom tailoring your gift guides towards your target audience.
According to a recent study by Arkadium, about 78% of people will continue to read an article that uses visuals. When honing in on millennial audiences, that number rises to 85%. When it came to returning site visitors, the study found that 82% of millennials will return to news sites that use visuals regularly. Providing visually appealing gift inspiration to consumers is an effective way to boost awareness, increase brand engagement, and drive sales.
When it comes to holiday shopping, consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices instead of making a trip to the nearest mall. Smartphones have become a core aspect of the holiday shopping process.
According to eMarketer, “A big driver of ecommerce will be the continued growth of mcommerce sales—particularly smartphone commerce, which will rise by an estimated 57.8% in 2017 overall.”
A positive user experience is key to ensuring consumers are engaged with your brand. Your site should be adaptable across all devices. To keep consumers from abandoning your mobile site, make sure that it loads quickly and is easy to read and navigate. Google offers an easy way to test the mobile friendliness of your webpage. Last year, mobile sites received 56% of retail traffic across Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Retailers with mobile-optimized sites ended up with an average of 10 more mobile clicks than sites that were not optimized for mobile.
Incorporate A Variety Of Promotions
Holiday shoppers are always looking for a great deal. Start by mapping out your promotional calendar and deciding which events between Halloween and New Year’s you want to participate in. Ensure you are scaling your campaigns at the right times and days by getting in front of popular shopping events, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A study by Retail Me Not reveals that shoppers interests in deals increases by 21% on November 7th. The earlier you start testing your messaging and campaigns, the sooner you will be able to make improvements and optimize the results.
The chart below reveals the types of promotions that consumers will take advantage of, with free shipping topping the list.
According to Deloitte’s 2016 holiday survey results:
- 77% of respondents are influenced by coupons and promotions.
- 56% go online to find better prices, coupons, deals, etc.
- 43% plan to use store coupons.
- 33% of transactions involve coupons and promotions.
- 54% of holiday shoppers think they should still get free shipping after December 17th.
- 63% of consumers no longer consider 3-4 day shipping to be “fast.”
- 38% would not pay extra for next day shipping.
Now get out there and “sleigh” your holiday marketing!
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