The holiday season is upon us, and the DTC brands are preparing themselves. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving now behind us, it's time to prepare for the next big shopping days: Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Boxing Day (in Canada).
But what does that mean for your business? We've got some tips if you're looking for ideas on how to make the most of this busy time of year!
ATTRACT THE EARLY SHOPPER
People are buying their gifts much earlier this year. During the past two years, they have watched the pandemic impact the holiday shopping season with supply chain issues, price fluctuations, and staff shortages. As a result, they plan months in advance to ensure they get what they need, when they need it, and at the right price. This buyer enthusiasm means retailers can attract savvy shoppers early and distribute revenue opportunities over a longer time. As early as July, Google searches for "Black Friday deals" increased by over 20%.
Target, Walmart, PacSun, Gap, and Ulta have started marketing campaigns or sales earlier than ever to avoid supply chain issues, price fluctuations, and retail staff shortages that could dampen holiday cheer and sales. Nordstrom is pushing shoppers to buy gifts early this year's holiday season. On October 4th, the company released its annual gift guide - nearly a month earlier than in 2019. As of October 2022, Amazon, Target, Kohl's, and PacSun have all launched their holiday promotions, as have Gap and Pottery Barn.
The important point is that shoppers have become more intentional about their purchases and are using online sources more often to help prepare for key shopping moments. In 2022, 24% of consumers in surveyed markets have already started their holiday shopping. With this buyer enthusiasm, retailers can attract early holiday shoppers and prepare savvy consumers for key shopping seasons.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
SEEK OUT OMNIBUYERS
Omnibuyers account for a large portion of the market in the DTC sector, making them important. Previously, they may have bought from you only once or twice a year, but now they make more frequent purchases from you than other retailers in their area. In addition, 49% of them are likely to share their experiences on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter - as per a study by Forbes. Consequently, if you want Omnibuyers as customers, omnichannel marketing represents a growth opportunity for your brand.
Holiday shopping for these people doesn't require much thought. They let their intuition guide them both online and offline, comparing products across multiple categories simultaneously to find inspiration. Last year, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels - like video and social media - to shop. Retailers now have more touchpoints to attract customers as people continue to combine inspiration, browsing, and shopping times.
For example, recently, Lifestyle improved customer retention by 30% using a Dynamic Engagement Strategy. The brand implemented a purchase funnel-based engagement strategy to ensure that the user is engaged at every step of the purchase funnel, eventually driving toward conversion. To analyze user drop-offs at each stage of the purchase cycle, they identified the right segments of their target audience, such as price-sensitive customers, loyal customers, and lost customers. This data allowed them to segment users based on the purchase funnel. Utilizing social media and other channels of communication such as email, in-app messaging, and other smart-triggered campaigns, they targeted abandoned customers.
In the context of DTC brands and their customers, an advocate is a person who promotes and supports your product/service to others outside of your target audience.
During the holiday shopping season, many consumers are seeking alternatives-so why not give them what they want? If you can create advocates who share your products with friends, family members, and even strangers on social media (Facebook, Twitter), then these individuals will serve as brand ambassadors!
Even after the Black Friday frenzy dies down, people with a positive gift-buying experience will likely become repeat customers. Retailers can leverage this opportunity to drive long-term growth and profitability by giving holiday shoppers a reason to return. Therefore, retailers must communicate their unique value and offerings to consumers.
One of the benefits of hard-core customers is that a business can achieve its target reach through inconsiderable motivation. For example, Samsung exhibits hard-core brand loyalty when launching a new phone. Even Apple exhibits hard-core brand loyalty when it launches a new iPhone. Customers associated the brand with high quality, which caused them to recommend similar products to others. Thus, loyal customers who patiently await new iPhones generate about half the buzz.
What is the point if you create content and no one can find it? Your products are only visible to your target market if they're ranked on the first page of search results. Hence, dominating the top of the search results for products should be your top priority.
The specificity of social media perfectly corresponds to the need to build and maintain stable relationships with the community. As a result, depending on your target audience, your clients' social media usage habits and information requirements may differ significantly.
According to the Sprout Social 2019 Index (Edition XV: Empower and Elevate) report, people follow a company's profile on social media not only because of interest in new products or discounts but also want to connect with people similar to themselves and communicate with the brand. The report goes on to show how the world of consumers is changing. When it comes to their chosen DTC/ECom brands, the modern consumer wants a sense of belonging and information about what's happening at all times—the in and out. Thus, demanding transparency, not just in the products but with their chosen brands too.
They have become more educated and discerning about what they do and don’t like. They also want their favorite brands to be quirky, funny, and relatable.
The results will come when your customers notice you are serious about running your social media profiles. Loyal and committed customers will directly translate into sales and profit. What's more, a satisfied consumer is the best possible brand ambassador.
If your competitor runs out of a popular holiday product they've advertised, you can pounce on top search results for branded searches by selling the same item from your online store. Once you discover their in-demand product is no longer available—and so are all other sellers' inventory spots—you should double down on paid ads to attract buyers before anyone else does!
When a customer searches for that competitor's product and finds it out of stock, you can strategically show up as another option the customer might consider.
Timing is everything when it comes to successful holiday promotions. Make sure you plan ahead and start promoting early. Cyber Monday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, so if you wait until the last minute to promote your products or services, you’ll likely miss out on potential sales.
Likewise, if you start promoting too early, people may still need to be in the mood to shop. The key is to find a happy medium – start promoting around 1-2 weeks before Cyber Monday. This will give people enough time to forget about any other promotions they’ve seen and get them excited about your company’s holiday offer. So, don't forget: planning is key!
Shoppable touchpoints are the latest technology in the eCommerce industry that lets you convert every possible customer touchpoint into a point of purchase. Thus, resulting in increased holiday sales.
Several tools can be integrated with any medium, creating an easy path to purchase in an eCommerce store. Swiping up, clicking on a video, viewing display ads, posting on social media, and clicking a link to a blog, for example. With a single click, customers can add the product to their shopping cart, whether on the product detail page, the where to buy page, or the compare prices page.
The holidays are a critical time for brands to engage with consumers. The key is to be present and get the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
The way people shop around the holiday period is now evolving. Brands should broaden their marketing strategies to incorporate these new behaviors, so they don’t miss out on valuable customers — both within and outside peak holiday shopping times.
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