Shopping for the holidays this year will look a little different compared to years past. No, it’s not because Aunt Susan isn’t making her fruit cake.
Due to COVID-19, consumers started utilizing online shopping more and more this year. Not only has online spending increased, in general, but holiday shopping began even earlier than normal.
When it comes to your business, it’s vital that you have a digital marketing strategy in place for your customers to shop online. Traditional methods of marketing won’t cut it this year (or in the future).
Over the next few months, consumers will rely on e-commerce businesses for their shopping compared to actually spending time in-store.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted in-person shopping, why digital tactics are necessary, holiday predications you might see this year and digital marketing tips for your business.
The Impact of COVID-19
With the onset of COVID-19, consumers needed to find new ways to shop, communicate and live.
With stay-in-place orders across the country, people had to order products online to be delivered or for curbside pickup to avoid spreading the virus. Believe it or not, the e-commerce world had about 10 years’ worth of growth in the span of three months.
While online shopping did increase, many consumers delayed making large purchases during the outbreak. Some consumers needed to limit their spending due to financial concerns during COVID-19, but others knew that sales would be approaching and purposefully didn’t make large purchases.
Not only did consumers decide to pause purchases, but some online retailers also waited to run promotions. For example, Amazon normally runs its annual “Prime Day” in July. However, this year they opted to run it in October instead – right at the start of the holiday shopping season.
Safety is going to be a primary concern this shopping season, so make sure that you are successfully set up to help customers avoid physical contact and being crowded. This is a key fact in what shoppers will be looking for this year (and moving forward).
Plus, curbside pickup will thrive more than ever during the holiday season and help accelerate shopping much earlier than previous years – especially as we inch closer to December.
Holiday Shopping Predictions for 2020
If you haven’t been convinced that you need a digital marketing strategy or that you need to include an online shopping option for consumers, here are a few stats that may tip you over the edge:
- Nearly 2/3 of consumers plan to begin holiday shopping well before Thanksgiving – with 35 percent beginning as early as October.
- There is expected to be an 18 percent growth in e-commerce holiday revenue for 2020.
- In 2019, mobile sales accounted for 43 percent of all sales. In 2020, mobile sales now account for 48 percent of all sales.
- Advertisers who spend more on Black Friday will see a higher increase in ROI than those who spend less.
Digital Marketing Tactics to Consider This Holiday Season
Now that we’ve covered the impact of COVID-19 and some shopping predictions, let’s discuss some digital strategies to consider.
This shopping season will be extremely different from what we’ve seen before, so it’s important that you adapt and plan for what’s to come.
With the explosive rate of online growth and high conversation rates, now is the perfect time to invest in ads. Consider running a brand awareness campaign so more consumers see your business while also running retargeting ads to keep consumers in your marketing funnel.
Typically, Facebook sees a lot of conversions during Q4. Think Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and general holiday shopping. But, running ads between Christmas and New Year’s is great for advertising because most businesses don’t advertise at this time, meaning a cheaper cost per click (CPC) on ads.
During the holiday season, people tend to spend more time on their phones and social media. What this means is you have a large opportunity to connect with your consumers through your social channels.
Holiday shoppers want real, authentic and informative content just as much as they want offers. Make sure you’re sharing these pieces of content across your channels:
- Updated store hours
- How supply chains are affected (delays in shipping)
- Precautions taken for in-store shopping
You must share more than your deals; share your values. When consumers can connect with your business, it’s likely they’ll become loyal to your brand.
The holiday shopping season is already upon us, but there’s a lot your business can do to keep up with your online competitors. Although online shopping is a lot different compared to year’s past, you still have time to incorporate new strategies.
Moving forward, you need to consider the impact COVID-19 has already made and how this pandemic may continue to affect your business. Consider the holiday shopping predictions and the digital marketing tactic you can put in place.
I know, this may all seem like a blur, but it doesn’t have to be. At RevLocal, we can take your digital marketing off your plate so you can focus on what matters most – your customers.
Let our team of experts create, execute and optimize a digital marketing plan that provides real results for your business this holiday season and all year long!
This blog was written in collaboration with Kyle Fowler, a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist on RevLocal's e-commerce team.