The special time of the year is right around the corner, the time we all look forward to unwinding with our loved ones and most importantly indulge in heaps of holiday shopping. Although unlike the usual holidays, this year stands apart due to the widespread disruption by COVID-19.
While the world is still struggling to deal with this uncertainty and inching back to normalcy, many holiday traditions will also notice a change and may look different this year as the digital side of celebrating these holidays embraces a new character.
Major Holidays Across The Globe
Holiday Marketing Challenges in 2020
In 2018, holiday season sales for retail and e-commerce surpassed the trillion-dollar mark for the first time ever. Although this year the sales might be slow but having the right strategy and channels might help brands push products via the digital channels.
While in the US and Europe – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas & New Year Sale are widely popular; in South East Asia & India – Diwali, 11:11 [Single’s Day Sale] (November), Harbolnas (December), and Black Friday dominate consumers.
With a change in the consumption pattern, user preferences and overall purchasing power of the consumers, brands need to change their holiday marketing strategies to cater to new needs. Here are some of the challenges due to the pandemic that might hinder the ease of Holiday Marketing :
- Buyers are more value-conscious: Consumers especially millennials have changed their spending habits and have gone from swipers to savers. Consumers will be more value-conscious and less impulsive while shopping.
- Supply chain delivery issues: With lockdowns and movement restrictions across the globe, logistics for retail industries have been hit hard. In April, retail sales in the United States plunged by 16.4%3 due to supply chain issues. Problems such as labour shortages, transportation restrictions, and border closures have added to the plight of prolonged deliveries.
- Reluctance to shop in-store: People are being cautious and extremely particular about going to the store. Digital and online shopping has picked up the pace. Even brands are recognising this trend and offering heavy discounts for online shopping keeping consumers safety in mind.
Bounce Back Holiday Strategies
Holidays usually revolve around emotions and human connection. Brands need to add that extra zing to their communication strategies to get consumers hooked to their products. According to a study by the United Kingdom-based Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, campaigns with emotional content performed twice as well as those with only rational content (31% vs. 16%). As a marketer, you would need to ensure your campaigns are focused on joy, togetherness, and celebrations. Here are a few strategies for brands to adopt:
- Increased relevance of curbside pick-ups : Contactless delivery is the key; customers look forward to brands that take optimum safety measures which eventually also builds the trust. Curb side pick-ups are going to be huge this holiday season to avoid the in-store rush and the waiting lines.
- Focus on mobile marketing – According to Adobe’s 2019 Holiday Recap, 84% of e-commerce growth accounted for in the holiday season in the United States was carried out through smartphones. Focused targeting and location based offers can increase the engagement for the brands and eventually the sales.
- Empathetic Communication: This is a no brainer and a definite must do. Brands need to focus on the emotions and avoid in-the-face marketing and be subtle with the messaging. They need to resonate solidarity with the consumers in these difficult times.
- Focus on Digitization: Adopting digital channels are the obvious choice for retailers. Online retail sales were higher in June compared to the pre-pandemic average in February.
- Reach more users with customized Push Notifications: The average user receives over 65 notifications in a day! Brands have to battle it out and up their push notification game. Don’t let your notifications get lost in the notification tray, stand out with rich & personalized notifications that are hard to miss.
Optimizing mobile marketing strategy well in advance and adopting an omnichannel approach might help maximize engagement to a great extent along with offering great discounts and prices to consumers. Customization and personalization will win big this holiday season. Let the holiday cheer begin!