Everyone is hoping for a happy and joyous holiday season as 2020 winds down. But it’s certainly going to be different than consumers and brands have ever seen before.
Consumers will likely expand their purchasing beyond traditional holiday shopping time frames, buying early and exploring online and in-store experience options to bypass inventory outages and possible delays. Beyond new purchasing methods, consumers are also more receptive to new brands; a 2020 RetailMeNot holiday survey found that 35% of consumers are more willing to try new stores and brands.
What do these attitudes and approaches mean for the brands and retailers marketing to holiday shoppers? It’s an opportunity to attract and engage new customers. It’s also an opportunity to meet the needs of shoppers who want to maximize their budget and feel safe. Brands and retailers that can market themselves as affordable, safe, and convenient buying experiences can rise above the otherwise saturated landscape.
To be the go-to brand or retailer for shoppers this holiday season, your approach needs to incorporate these three marketing pointers:
1. Keep it simple. As social distancing remains a recommendation for the foreseeable future, consumers will want convenient, cost-effective, and contactless shopping experiences. Right now, 75% of holiday shoppers would rather have purchases shipped to their homes; meanwhile, 14% prefer in-store shopping, while 11% prefer buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS).
Consider these trends and incorporate them into your consumer experience. For example, add or highlight any nontraditional delivery or pickup options — curbside and BOPIS are essentials right now, and they can be critical to converting new and longtime buyers.
In addition to more uncomplicated retrieval, make it easier for consumers to pay for their purchases and deliveries. Yes, 56% of holiday online shopping enthusiasts worry about receiving their orders on time. But in this climate, try to emphasize free shipping over fast shipping to provide value to consumers operating on tight budgets. Market your brand as one where consumers can cross items from their to-do lists with minimal hassle.
2. Highlight your deals. With holiday spending potentially down across the board, how can brands entice new consumers and boost revenue? The answer is offering discounts and deals that prompt people to want to spend without feeling like they’re breaking the bank. Forty-seven percent of shoppers say getting a deal or discount will spur them to make more holiday gift purchases.
And those discounts can apply to more than just the actual products. Fifty-eight percent of buyers say free shipping will influence them to spend more money with a brand, while 43% say they would spend more due to sales and discounts throughout the holiday season. Meanwhile, 38% of buyers say free returns would make a difference.
3. Promote the in-person experience. Marketing your brand’s values, discounts, and products shouldn’t be subtle, especially during the holiday shopping season. That said, strike a balance between marketing a safe experience and a traditional one for those who want to venture into stores.
Although in-store won’t be the preferred method for holiday shopping this year, 24% of consumers surveyed by RetailMeNot say they’ll split purchases between online and offline shopping. Promote the safety, convenience, and enjoyment of your in-store experience with as much vigor as your online and distanced offerings.
Appeal to people who want in-store excursions by advertising weekday deals on their preferred brands and products. For consumers who might be worried about safety and crowded stores, highlight the safety measures your store is taking — or tie those deals to nonpeak hours so people can shop with minimal contact.
Consumers are a dynamic bunch, especially during the holiday season. Their needs and wants can shift quickly, which is particularly true during uncertain times in which they want a sense of comfort and normalcy. Develop your marketing tactics with this in mind during the holiday season to appeal to consumers and help them have an enjoyable and relaxing season.
Need more insights on what’s making consumers tick right now? Download our “2020 Valassis Consumer Intel Report” for more details.