Brace yourself – the holidays are coming, and with the increase of social media marketing and mobile optimization, businesses need to get an early start to rise above the noise of the competition and drive sales before consumers reach buyer fatigue. But don’t get overwhelmed just yet. With a little preparation, you can drive online traffic to your brick-and-mortar location, increase overall sales, and gain loyal customers who will come back for more after the holidays are over.
Here are four trends we expect to see in the 2018 holiday season:
1. Shoppers will buy early then burnout
The beginning of every holiday season is exciting and energizing. However, for most consumers, the thrill can wane quickly as finances thin and searching for products becomes tiresome. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are prime opportunities to gain online sales, 70% of people surveyed globally still made purchases in-store during the holidays. Studies in the 2016 and 2017 season showed that sales slowed after Cyber Monday as buyer fatigue set in. Capitalizing on the early shopping days will be paramount for both online and in-store sales.
2. Mobile-first shopping
Mobile shopping continues to increase as consumers research products, compare prices, and contact businesses through social media channels and email. While shoppers are still visiting the physical locations of businesses, foot traffic in U.S. retail stores fell 7.5% in November and December 2017 while m-commerce sales were up more than 40% in Q4 of 2017 (comScore Inc.). eMarketer expects total U.S. retail m-commerce sales to grow an additional 32.7% in 2018. For 59% of mobile-first shoppers, ordering online for in-store pickup is also preferable to avoid long lines and crowds. Businesses that can respond quickly to consumer inquiries and provide mobile-first promotions that help drive foot traffic into the store for pickup will help increase early sales.
One trend that is especially prevalent among millennials is personalization. From the products to the discounts and promotions, consumers want a personal offer. While adding elements of personalization may not be easy or cost-effective for many businesses, shoppers are especially keen on customizing gifts for loved ones around the holidays, even if it costs a little more. Businesses can also use tools to generate personalized discount codes for shoppers who abandon their cart, refer a friend, or purchase in-store. Geo-fencing technologies can be triggered by shoppers in the proximity of a store’s location and offer a limited-time promotion to drive consumers into the store. Adding a personalized touch to your overall marketing strategy will set you apart from the competition.
4. Plan Ahead
Scheduling your promotions, marketing campaigns and content will help lessen the pressure of the holiday rush and allow you to focus on sales and increased engagement with consumers. Create a content calendar and align your promotions and campaigns with the big-hitting holidays as well as the prime shopping days. Have your personalized discount codes and coupons ready to integrate with a geo-fencing strategy to pop up when consumers are at or near your location. With a well-thought-out plan that incorporates the trends we’ll see this season, you’ll be able to generate the sales from mobile-first consumers as well as foot traffic before buyer fatigue has a chance to set in.
Contact The Light Digital for help creating an effective holiday strategy for your business.