Holiday marketing is tricky. In 2020, as many states went into lockdown and consumer habits changed, e-commerce’s popularity skyrocketed. Even if you’re a military spouse-owned business that always leveraged e-commerce to run a business as you PCS’d, you’ve probably noticed the game has changed recently.
Many economic forecasters expect to see a substantial amount of online holiday shopping this year, especially as many consumers are likely to stay home. They expect these folks to use the money they’d normally spend on air travel, gas, and hotels on the friends and family on their Christmas lists. And if one study from RedPoint Global is accurate, nearly two-thirds of shoppers will go totally online for their holiday shopping in 2020.
While this may sound like good news to you if you’re an online retailer, you need to know how to take advantage of this trend. If times are changing, businesses need to change with them. So let’s take a look at what your potential customers are looking for!
You have to start holiday marketing and preparation early, and thanks to COVID, probably earlier than you’d like.
Obviously, any shopper knows that holiday marketing begins before the sunscreen and beach towels have gone off the display shelves. Every year, people complain it happens earlier and earlier.
But your ads aren’t the only thing you want to start thinking about months before the holidays. This year, you need to think about how you’re going to get your orders out to customers. If you use a fulfillment center, make sure your inventory is up-to-date, and that you have an efficient system in place to keep track of what’s in stock.
Think about how you’re going to communicate with your clients or customers if you run out of a top-selling item. Will you offer any specials or discounts?
Get up close and personal with prospects.
This year, turning prospects into leads is especially imperative, since you will have so many competitors reaching out to the same people. Without the personal attention of an in-store sales clerk, online shoppers expect your site to find a way to treat them like an individual.
In your customer service, your holiday marketing, and the sales experience you provide, think about how you can offer a personalized experience. One way to do this effectively is to construct a customer persona. Look at your website analytics, your newsletter data, and your social media insights. Then, build a profile of your typical shopper.
These profiles will help you better target your marketing as well as create a memorable, authentic customer experience.
Keep your content relevant this season.
According to RedPoint Global, their study on online holiday shopping behavior found “70 percent of consumers say they will exclusively shop with brands that can demonstrate that they personally understand them this holiday season.”
That means this year, your marketing and the online shopping experience you create is make-or-break.
Consumers can get very frustrated, especially during a busy holiday season where they are drinking from an advertising firing hose. That means your customers will appreciate it if you don’t bombard them with irrelevant offers and content. Your customer profile can come in handy here, as well. Make sure your social media posts, newsletters, and website reflects the desires and needs of your average customer.
Provide a helping hand to your customers.
In an uncertain time, many of your customers may have less money to spend, so they will be more careful with their dollar. A streamlined, personalized customer experience all the way through the sales funnel is key to surviving and thriving during the holiday season.
Show your existing customer base and your prospects alike that you understand this has been a tough year for them. Let that understanding permeate your marketing as well as your business operations and procedures. Your customers will appreciate (and remember) that you made their holiday shopping experience a little easier!