Each year (as consumers) it feels like the holiday marketing season creeps into our lives a day or two earlier. Holiday lights are turned on a little sooner (and brighter) and the dreaded (or beloved—depends on who you are) holiday playlist is set on repeat.
As marketers—and consumers—we get how daunting and exhausting this can feel each year…
That being said…2021 has not been “just another year.”
While most have been focused (understandably) on anything but the upcoming holiday season, pivots in purchase behavior, supply chain interruptions, and shipping delays are shaking up the necessary approach to this holiday season.
Availability Will Overshadow Brand Loyalty
With so many consumers transitioning to the wonderful world of online shopping, one thing is likely: This increase in E-commerce purchasing will diminish availability, causing shoppers to seek out new sources when it comes to checking off that gift list.
Yes, the competitive landscape online is vast, but there has never been a better time to welcome new prospects and nurture past customers to your digital storefront.
As consumers we love convenience, but we love availability more. In many cases, we won’t remain “brand loyal” and wait for a week for a product to become available if a competitor can supply it tomorrow.
In a report from Google, more light has been shed, not only on consumers’ savviness when it comes to finding products, but also their desire to purchase from smaller, local retailers.
Google reported that 67% of customers plan to check online to see if a product is in stock, 66% plan to shop at more local small businesses, “near me” searches have increased 100%, and nearly 50% plan to use a curbside pickup. The TLDR version is that your local customers want to shop with you! And they’re going to check to see if what they want is in stock—and offering curbside pickup can’t hurt in the slightest.
This all boils down to yet another reason to be sure your E-commerce site is as up to date as possible, product availability is clear on your site, and you offer your customers a way to shop quickly and safely with same-day pickup options.
Getting a Jumpstart on the Holidays
It’s clear that holiday shopping is not going away in 2021—rather, the process for finding, researching, and purchasing has shifted rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some actionable steps you should take so you’re prepared to capitalize on this E-commerce shift.
- Streamline the e-commerce experience.
Google’s 2020 Retail Shopping Guide states that 76% of those shopping with their mobile devices are more likely to make purchases from sites or apps that have a simplified purchasing process. Think one-click purchasing, a wide range of mobile payment options, and a frictionless shopping experience without hidden charges that may leave shopping carts abandoned.
- Update content, images, and video creatives.
While, yes, this applies to nearly every digital marketing strategy, for the gift-giving season, this is exponentially important. Most consumers are buying for loved ones rather than themselves, so your products need to entice and convince shoppers that this gift is worthy of being beautifully wrapped and given to Mom or Grandpa.
Create overview videos (or review videos) on YouTube, and don’t forget to add these to your site. Use updated images on landing pages and your homepage, and start promoting for your holiday season…yesterday. (Don’t worry—there’s still time…but start now!)
- Nurture last year’s customers.
One of your greatest assets—if you have been in business for more than a year or two—is your current book of customers. Even if you have a basic CRM, it should be part of this year’s strategy to proactively reach out to customers you have done business with in the past. Give them front-of-the-line passes to your holiday promotions and drive them to your updated E-commerce storefront.
You Still Have Time!
This year has been a challenge—and we’re not at the finish line just yet. For most traditional retail brands (and E-commerce brands), the holiday season accounts for a huge portion of annual revenues that sets the stage for next year’s strategies and success.
Focus on the opportunities that are still within your grasp as your customers flex the E-commerce purchasing power at their fingertips.
Stay strong, stay healthy, stay productive, and if you need any help along the way, we’re here to help.