There is no doubt that the holiday shopping season will look different this year. COVID-19 has caused a major shift in how consumers purchase their everyday necessities, let alone retail items. Between safety concerns and store closures, there has been a shift to online buying. According to eMarketer, analysts predict approximately 150 million new shoppers worldwide will be buying online in 2020. What does this mean for the 2020 holiday season? How should you shift your marketing strategy to capture the increased search volume and make this your best holiday season yet? Let’s find out.
Utilize a full-funnel, multi-channel digital marketing strategy These days, consumers are experiencing FOGO (fear of going out). We’re nervous about shopping in store so we want to spend as little time there as possible (if at all). This means that users are doing all their research and decision making online. By the time they get to the store they already know what they are going to buy. The in-store experience has been reduced to merely a transaction point.This means that you MUST be visible along your target audience’s path to conversion. From the generic search of “best gifts for mom” to the ads on the social platforms they frequent and beyond, each channel and each interaction provides a way to remind users that you have what they want this holiday season. Repetition is the mother of retention. If you want consumers to buy your product, show them why and then remind them over and over again.
Keep paid search and shopping campaigns a primary focus That said, keep paid search and shopping the cornerstone of your efforts. With the shift to online shopping, the first touchpoint in most e-commerce transactions is paid search. Whether users are starting their shopping with a generic search for luxury handbags or they have already zeroed in on a brand or style, they typically start with opening their favorite search engine. Be visible during that first interaction and make the best possible first impression. Ensure your messaging is strong, showcase any promotions that are active and speak to the convivences you are offering this holiday season.
Convenience will be a big selling point this holiday season The need for and use of contactless shopping has been a major shift in buyer behavior this year. According to eMarketer, 52% of the U.S. population will use buy online pickup in store options in 2020. All brick and mortar stores should offer this convenience to their customers. Although it may be an investment in an infrastructure change, analysts believe this will be a permanent behavior shift.Aside from contactless shopping, ensure the online transaction process is seamless and simple as the older (at risk) population will be shopping online more this year than ever.Last, free and fast shipping is a convenience that shoppers have come to expect from top brands. If possible, offer promotions on shipping. According to RetailMeNot, 81% want retailers to offer expedited shipping for holiday shopping.