4 Marketing Moves to Make Now for a More Prosperous Holiday Shopping Season
In planning for another hectic holiday shopping season the temptation for most small to medium-sized retail businesses – whether they operate online, offline or both, is to play things as safe as possible and repeat whatever it was that seemed to work last year. However, the truth is that companies that don’t innovate and ‘move with times’ will get left behind, and what was a ‘hot marketing technique’ twelve months ago may now be almost obsolete. Digital marketing really does move that quickly these days.
But is the biggest shopping season of the year really the best time to experiment? A great holiday shopping season marketing campaign requires a lot of time and resources, and you want to make sure you’re not investing in – or building a marketing strategy – around a fad.
On the other hand, taking a smart and careful leap is necessary for growth. The Internet – and especially the social media sphere – is filled with endless opportunities for people to critique their experience with your brand. And so with all of this in mind here’s a look at some of the ways you can innovate this holiday season without taking too much of a marketing risk.
Stand Out From The Crowd With a Live Promotion
The busy holiday shopping season – especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday – requires shoppers to ‘live in the moment’. Led by the likes of Amazon, retailers offer deals that expire rapidly, which doesn’t give people much time to contemplate a purchase. But they do tend to get caught up in the excitement and go for it anyway.
Unfortunately, changes in algorithms across nearly all social media platforms have resulted in feeds that show you old (relatively speaking) content. These changes, however, have come alongside Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Instagram Stories. These new opportunities for immediate audience interaction are also less saturated than a platform’s traditional feed. Looking at these factors, your holiday shopping campaign is a great time to invest resources in one or more of these tools.
Should you decide to tackle a live promotion, keep in mind: While the “here and now” aesthetic is meant to feel scrappy, you should still take the time to create a plan for its execution. For example, if you are reporting live from a brick and mortar store, how can you use that frantic, yet exciting energy to direct social media users to your online store? Execution is half the battle, and it begins long before you start broadcasting.
Hire A Chatbot For the Season
Even during the heady holiday shopping rush, there are consumers who need – and truly value – some form of brand customer service interaction while they are making their purchasing decisions. But if you are going to be very busy (which hopefully you are) then providing that yourself can be hard. This is where a new kind of seasonal retail hire can help; the chatbot.
Chatbots can help really boost efficiency in customer service support, and meet the potential customer where they are comfortable: in their inbox. However, if you’re going to launch a chatbot for the holidays, you must first make sure it works. You’ll want to start building it, like, now. Fortunately, there are lots of easy to use – and inexpensive – resources out there to help you do just that.
Audit Your Online Store’s Mobile Experience
In 2017, mobile shoppers exceeded desktop shoppers on Thanksgiving Day. Takeaway for this year: You cannot afford to provide a subpar mobile purchasing experience.
This starts with your website. Now is the time to test everything – mobile speed, mobile search, mobile checkout. Even if you are fairly sure you optimized for mobile adequately recently just check one more time, a lot of holiday sales may depend on it.
Keep Brand Loyalty Building In Mind
In the holiday shopping season, it’s easy to simply focus on nabbing those immediate sales and forget about trying to make a lasting connection between your brand and those new buyers who are showing up to take advantage of your sweet seasonal deals. However, come January customers may be harder to come by, so a little brand loyalty could go a long way.
One way to build brand loyalty even during the busiest season of the year is to try to ensure that your customers’ shopping experience during this busy time is as seamless as possible. All too often a spike in shoppers means an increase in technical issues too. Make preparations now to try and ensure that your website – and physical store if you have one – is ready to handle the traffic surge.
Brand loyalty is created when you take care of customers—and when they respond positively to your social media content. To draw them into your social channels, incentivize them to follow your accounts with promotional deals. To make sure you keep them hanging around after they make their purchases, plan a healthy mix of engaging, entertaining, and useful content to post before, during, and after the holiday rush. In other words, resist the urge to simply promote during the months of November and December only to disappear as soon as the New Year’s ball drops.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.