Kicking Off The Holiday Season 

‘Tis the season to reach in-market shoppers, attract new customers, and build relationships with buyers that last into next year and beyond. It may not have the same ring as the original Christmas carol, but it’s a time for celebration whether you are a shopper or a seller. After a restricted and stressful holiday season […]


  • ‘Tis the season to reach in-market shoppers, attract new customers, and build relationships with buyers that last into next year and beyond. It may not have the same ring as the original Christmas carol, but it’s a time for celebration whether you are a shopper or a seller.

    After a restricted and stressful holiday season last year, consumers anticipate making up for lost time with more shopping and gift-giving in 2021.

    According to the 2021 Deloitte Holiday Retail survey, consumers and retail executives have adapted to the next normal. The report highlights four key insights; spending is up YoY, digital remains strong even as health- and safety-related anxiety lowers and consumers return to experiences. Average holiday spends increased to $1,463, up 5 per cent YoY. High-income households are driving the uptick in holiday spends. In-store shopping regains some lost ground, but digital adoption is now a holiday habit. Consumers continue to seek out conveniences, with 73 per cent choosing standard delivery. The only concerning insight is that the supply chain is facing a crunch delivering to the high expectations. Shipping delays and stockout concerns are prevalent, with 64 per cent of retail executives worried about not receiving inventory on time and 75 per cent of shoppers concerned about stockouts.

    Here are a few suggestions to kick off your holiday marketing campaigns;

    Curate personalised lists for gifting ideas

    What shall we get mom this year? Etsy, the online eCommerce website that connects buyers and sellers of unique handmade goods, receives  a lot of traffic during the holiday season. To help people find that perfect gift, Etsy creates a fun holiday gift guide. The guide displays picks from Etsy editors, best-selling items and products from top-rated shops. It’s important to call out how this is a unique holiday campaign created to help shoppers find the right gifts for their loved ones.

    Create journeys for bargain hunters

    Studies show that the region of the brain associated with dopamine production, aka the feel-good hormone, is activated while shopping for deals. Bargain hunters do their homework before committing to a purchase. These shoppers actively seek out deals and compare prices at other retailers. Pointing them in the direction of your holiday promotions is key. Create a sense of urgency around your seasonal promotions with tactics — such as using an online countdown or sending email reminders to let them know your special prices won’t be around forever. The value in a bargain buyer is repeat business. Drive them to return to your online store by getting them excited with the dates of the next clearance event or loyalty points to accrue toward free products and services.

    Double click on the festive cheer

    Digital can never deliver the exact same appeal as a physical store. This is especially true during the holiday season. There is a reason why retailers carefully design stores with merchandise roadblocks and tactile displays. Consumers want to touch and feel products before they buy. Restaurants where one can smell the baked goods wafting out of the shop are more likely to lure in hungry guests.

    Marketers must try to replicate these experiences as much as possible within the digital realm. Colours play a role in influencing our moods. According to studies, waitresses wearing red receive 14 to 26 per cent higher tips than waitresses wearing any other colour uniform. Similarly, retail therapy can be a thrilling and irresistible experience for shoppers. Use warm colours and images of festive themes to tap into these emotions. If you’re investing in pay-per-click (PPC), focus on creating ads that feature a holiday touch in the ad copy or image.

    It creates the same impact that peering into a decorated holiday store window would.

    Show rather than tell

    American luxury fashion design house Kate Spade released a shoppable Christmas video called The Waiting Game starring Anna Kendrick. The video showed the host showing off her shopping haul, which consisted of Kate Spade products. Viewers can shop by clicking on the items displayed in the video directly. The goal was to let customers indulge their holiday shopping needs in the most convenient way, by seeing and buying.

    Reducing the steps in between the consideration and conversion stage nudges consumers to close the deal quicker.

    Capture last-minute shoppers

    Think With Google reported in 2019 that, on average, US consumers still had  53 per cent of their shopping to do in the final weeks before Christmas. The biggest concern for last-minute shoppers is if the gifts will arrive on time. Marketers would do well to play on their anxiety and win them over with expedited shipping guaranteed to deliver on time.

    However, it doesn’t mean that this segment will extend their budgets.

    Brace yourself for fewer sales of your higher-ticket listings. Consider lowering prices to get rid of as much stock as you can before the new year. It may help you to increase your budget or bids on pay-per-click (PPC) ads in the final stretch of the year.

    Use social proof to suggest items

    Did you know that people are 6x more likely to purchase a product if the page includes pictures from social media? According to a study by TrustPilot, 98 per cent of customers could identify at least one type of social proof that increased their likelihood to make a purchase. Incorporating social proof in the form of photos, reviews, or stories can instill confidence in shoppers making a purchase. Social proofs like ratings and reviews or awards the product has won are one of the most impactful tools. It helps buyers make a quicker decision about whether they want to buy or bank the item. The user-generated content of your products or services helps set customer expectations and reduce cart abandonment rates.


    Your current customers can be your most lucrative in the long run. According to Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, who invented the Net Promoter Score (NPS), increasing retention rates by just 5 per cent can raise overall profits by 25 per cent to 95 per cent.

    Don’t forget about your customer post the holiday season. Think of a powerful post-purchase strategy to engage new subscribers and buyers acquired during the fourth quarter. Since transactional messages often have the highest engagement rates, this is the place to pull out all the stops. After imparting order or transaction details, you can serve up relevant, highly personalised product recommendations to drive cross sells and upsells. Try a call to action to engage with your brand on social, invitations to write a review or join referral and loyalty programs.

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