Everyone looks forward to the holidays, but this year, we may all be in need of a little extra holiday cheer. Uncertain of how things might unfold, many are planning smaller gatherings and going online for the bulk, if not all, of their holiday shopping. In fact, 59% of consumers plan to shift more of their holiday shopping to online retailers compared to last year. It's the perfect opportunity to create new traditions and explore the beauty of flexibility.
This is also a good time to get your holiday marketing campaign underway. Take advantage of shoppers' desire to get started early to avoid shipping delays. Let your special promotions and deals work their magic now to give consumers something to look forward to.
Read on to discover six tips for successful holiday marketing in 2020.
1. Start Planning Now
The holiday season comes earlier and earlier every year. Many stores and online retailers have been selling Christmas trees and ornaments since August. If you are yet to get started with your holiday creative, the time to begin is now. Diversify your effort for maximum impact. Your media partner can help you get commercials and other marketing materials produced and placed asap.
2. Your Marketing Needs to Match the Times
Things are different this year and your holiday marketing should reflect that. Because of COVID-19, consumers are not rushing into stores as they did in years past. For the first time since its existence, Black Friday may be more of an online shopping extravaganza than an in-person event.
Many large retailers have already announced that their stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day to give employees the chance to spend time with their loved ones. Mention in your seasonal creative what you are doing to keep employees and customers safe. Special store hours, limited availabilities, social distancing, and other measures your business is taking are appreciated by shoppers.
3. Provide Customers With Alternatives if They Can't Shop In-store
Many people won't feel safe shopping in-store for a while. In order to not miss out on sales, you must give consumers additional opportunities to take advantage of holiday deals without feeling pressured to go inside.
Implement curbside pickup where customers can order what they want in advance and then have products either delivered to their cars or waiting for them in a no-contact situation. Free or low-cost home delivery is another good option that many people are currently utilizing.
If your customers can't come to you, you have to find a way to safely get your products to them.
4. Set Clear Expectations for Shoppers
Be transparent about what shoppers can expect this holiday season when patronizing your business. Delayed shipping can affect both your in-stock availability and the ability to have something delivered by Christmas Eve.
If you don't expect to have a product in time for Christmas, be transparent about it. An up-front approach with your customers about turn-around times will help solidify the relationship you want to have with them all year long. It will also help to prevent additional stress.
5. Have Information Readily Available
Use your website as a resource for information that consumers need to know. Consistently update it to keep it current. Topics to cover are holiday hours, unexpected store closings, and pop-up sales. You should also include instructions for post-holiday returns and exchanges.
Having a human available for customers to interact with by telephone has never been more important than it is right now. Beefing up your customer service efforts can help to avoid unnecessary frustration for shoppers.
6. Keep Things Positive
Your marketing campaign should bring positivity and light to your customers. Times are different and stressful, so an ad that brings a smile to someone's face is a welcome change. Holiday lingo helps put customers in the spirit of the season.
If you can support a cause with your marketing, all the better. This will increase your sales while promoting brand loyalty and engender warm holiday feelings all around. The Believe Campaign hosted by Macy's Department store is an excellent example of spreading holiday cheer among those in need. Cause marketing is admired by the public and puts you ahead of your direct competition.
If you've been dragging your feet on getting your holiday marketing creative launched, all is not lost. Meredith Gulf Coast has the experience and expertise to increase the exposure of your brand during the biggest sales season of the year. Contact us to get your campaign underway well before holiday shopping is in full swing.