After a quick breather, we’re back with part two of our 2020 holiday marketing series and we’re ready to talk all about generating leads, making sales, and creating long-term brand loyalists.
(Psssst…in case you missed part one, you can find it here.)
Let’s get started, shall we?
LEG 3: LEAD GEN & SALES
6. Serve It Up Curbside
As we already mentioned in part one, many consumers are already feeling pretty wigged-out about in-person shopping this holiday season. Recent research shows that 49% of consumers are more interested in buying online this year when compared to 2019, and over a quarter of those same consumers said they’re not interested in shopping in-store at all. That’s why now more than ever, giving consumers an option to shop (or at least browse) online will be key in a year like 2020. Does this mean brick-and-mortars will be left out in the cold this holiday season? Hardly.
With the emergence of curbside pickup, many stores are now able to offer a perfectly feasible option for consumers to shop their favorite brick-and-mortar stores. What was once a temporary fix to stave off plummeting revenue thanks to COVID is now a retail staple in today’s crazy world. In fact, many consumers now prefer curbside over more traditional shipping methods because it still gives them that immediacy in receiving a product. Plus, when surveyed, 33% of consumers said they would be doing some or all of their holiday shopping online and picking their orders up curbside.
7. Give the People Options
Even if curbside isn’t feasible for your business, there are still innovative ways to give consumers that extra sense of safety while delivering the goods more quickly. Keep your store inventory up-to-date on your website and social channels so that consumers know exactly what you have in-store. Consumers will be more apt to venture out for a visit to your store if they know they can find exactly what they want quickly, without spending any extra time browsing. Another option would be to have items pulled and waiting at the register for customers. That way, all they have to do is pay and leave with their item. Safety plus instant gratification is a sure win for everyone involved.
If you’re able to accept payments online, be sure you keep the shopping and checkout processes as simple as possible. Implementing things like one-click buying and providing consumers an option to receive instant in-stock alerts on your most popular products are sure ways to take the hassle out of shopping. It may seem small, but with so many buying options available to consumers, even the smallest conveniences can help your brand stand out. (And if the thought of converting your entire website to an e-commerce platform sounds overwhelming, fear not—there are options out there to quickly and easily add a buy button to most major website platforms.)
8. Accurately Track ROI
The ability to effectively track return on investment (ROI) is the pinnacle of most business’ marketing efforts, and in a year like 2020, it’s even more critical. But wait, you may be thinking, hasn’t tracking ROI always been important? Yes, yes it has. However, in uncertain times (and we’d definitely classify 2020 as uncertain), watching ROI like a hawk is one of the only sure ways to keep your business running.
Why is that? While there are a number of things contributing to the heightened importance of tracking ROI, a lack of predictability and an accelerated rate of change are up there at the top of the list. Consider this example: while e-commerce sales have historically seen year-over-year growth of anywhere from 10% to 30% throughout the last decade, e-comm revenue saw a 50% spike in just one month earlier this year. That’s a stat retailers cannot ignore.
With even less margin for error than ever before, thanks to lower profits and tighter budgets, making sure every dollar is being allocated to effective channels has arguably become the single most important task for any marketer this year. Luckily, as brands shift their focus to driving online sales and building out ecommerce capabilities, the data we have available to us for attribution is much more abundant and accurate.
LEG 4: ADVOCACY & RETENTION
9. Leverage Actionable Insights from Data
While we’re on the subject of data, let’s talk for a minute about fostering positive, long-term relationships with consumers through intuitive data interpretation. First of all, with omnichannel brand interactions happening more and more, having the simple ability to track consumers’ behaviors across all stages and touchpoints of the buying relay race is essential.
Even more important than having a means to collect and compile data, though, is gleaning valuable insights from said data. Fortunately, in today’s age of technology, there are many analytics tools to help marketers and business owners alike collect and interpret data, and some platforms—like Google’s new rollout of Google Analytics 4—even identify and alert you to trends and areas of opportunity, taking much of the guesswork out of interpretation for anyone who isn’t a data analyst by trade. Ultimately, honing your ability to predict consumers’ needs and pivot your strategy to respond to each one (seemingly) on an individual level will position your brand as positive, convenient, and helpful in the eyes of your target audience, which will almost always leave them wanting more.
10. Keep Customers Long-Term
Okay, so you’ve implemented the tips you’ve read here and in part 1 of this series, and you’ve come out on top after this year’s holiday shopping season. Now what? While short-term success can bolster a struggling company’s bottom line, we at iFocus are in the business of cultivating long-term relationships between our clients and their customers. More than ever before, consumers have innumerable options for making holiday purchases right at their fingertips, and many consumers will likely spend inordinate amounts of time debating where and how they want to spend their holiday dollars.
Once a consumer ultimately decides to choose you for some of their holiday purchases, it’s important to let them know how much it means to your business. Show shoppers their value to you (and we’re not just talking about dollars, here) by sending them thank you emails, or even throwing a small thank you card into their purchase’s packaging. Gratitude is a powerful marketing strategy, and one that’s often forgotten in an industry that traditionally stops at the point of purchase. As Maya Angelou so famously said, “…People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
WRAPPING UP YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING STRATEGY
We know we’ve packed a lot of information into this series, so let us wrap it up and put a bow on it by leaving you with this: rapidly changing consumer behavior requires innovative thinking and agile, multi-channel marketing strategies. The only thing predictable about 2020 thus far is that it’s unpredictable, so be flexible. Use current data, rather than historical trends, to respond to consumers’ needs in real time and determine what’s working and what’s not. Lastly, throw a little empathy in with your holiday marketing plan. We’re all human here, and everyone’s on this crazy ride together. Let consumers know you genuinely care about them in the way you advertise to them, as well as in the ways you thank them when they support your business.
And as always, your favorite team of marketing nerds is always ready and waiting to answer questions and offer strategic advice when it comes to assembling your 2020 holiday marketing plan. Contact us today to finish 2020 with a bang and prepare for the new year to come.