Top Industry Experts Share Insights and Tips On How To Design A Marketing Plan For Your Customers Around The Holidays
Promotional windows must open up beyond single shopping days, e.g., Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in response to consumer behavior as always-on shoppers. The data point I’ll be very interested in seeing post-holidays is how millennials spend their money. Are they in fact spending more on experiences and less on tangible “owned” goods? Rent the Runway’s new subscription service is one to watch next year. The “closet in the cloud” is the perfect metaphor for this tech native, share-leaning generation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more “in the cloud” services offered in 2018 and beyond. For example, the fully furnished apartment may see a renaissance as a new generation doesn’t feel the urge to “own” or be tied down to stuff. I also think nonprofits will benefit this holiday season as the consciousness of consumers has been raised exponentially this year on a national and international level.
Attracting shoppers during the holidays has become increasingly difficult in such a competitive landscape. After getting consumers to your website, navigation should be effortless and the customer journey needs to be as frictionless as possible. A seamless flow to the checkout can be facilitated by enabling customers to log-in with social media accounts. In addition, once a customer has checked out, tokenize their details so when they log-in again they can simply click-to-buy. A good shopping experience needs to be easy, effortless and exciting.
This holiday season, brick and mortar locations will put more emphasis on creating memorable in-store experiences that get customers “wanting” to come to the stores versus “having” to go to the stores. Brands will focus on creating “Instagrammable” experiences that win out over basic online transactions, by capturing “moments” in-store. For example, PetSmart has done this by offering free pet photos with Santa on certain days during the holidays.
We will also see retailers increasingly leveraging mobile and beacon technology to connect with smartphones in new ways this year. For example, they might connect to a smartphone to use it as a digital map in store to locate items on their shopping lists. Target is incorporating this into their app and will have it rolled out to half of their stores before the holiday shopping season.
Last year the conversion rate on Black Friday was nearly 70% better than average for November 2015. Growing rates of advertising expenditures and people shopping online let us assume that this year’s Black Friday will break yet another record. Personalized retargeting is an important tool that can personalize advertising messages as accurately as possible during Black Friday. With AI technology and deep learning algorithms driving retargeting, marketers can display creatives with the most desired products for each individual customer.
Black Friday is a major opportunity for retailers and brands to focus on providing their consumers with a seamless omnichannel experience, bridging in-store customer service and promotion activities, online customer service, and immersive digital experiences that will extend beyond Black Friday into Cyber Monday.
In-store traffic may be down this year, but there will still be a considerable group of shoppers that will still be in line on Friday to shop in-store. What we will see more of is shoppers that will be dipping into all channels spanning Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Online shoppers are going to be actively researching and shopping interchangeably between online and stores, so retailers will need to be prepared to deliver engaging experiences across all channels, online, mobile, and in-store. Retailers that optimize their marketing and sales experiences for both in-store and online consumers will walk away the big winners this holiday shopping season.
We predict we will see more cyber monday promotional tactics on black friday, given the rise of convenient, cost-free shipping and in-store pick up, which could impact retail sales on black friday, shifting promotions from “sales today”, vs “weekend sale”.
Store foot traffic may decline for the same reasons, and will put a premium on outbound communications, even location-based targeting, for those shopping out-of-home. We will also see more shopping at small local stores vs. malls for specialized items, while big box will continue to suffer the competitive price tear downs we’ve seen from years past.
More than ever before, consumers can also expect to be marketed to across channels. By digitally surrounding their customers through email, text, social and more, marketers achieve a greater reach. And because existing customers are already familiar with the brand and its products and services, it takes fewer impressions to drive actions and ultimately revenue.
Come the holiday season, hordes of new devices get unpacked, consumption picks up, as well as advertising dollars being spent on install campaigns. Acquiring users is only the beginning of the app lifecycle and to keep the ball rolling marketers must establish efficient communication with their users. Top apps typically see double or triple their historical download rates, and app downloads see a 150% increase on Christmas Day alone. For Holiday app installs the conversion to churn ratio is skewed. If you think the Holiday season is the time to up your UA game, you have only one part of the puzzle. Without a strong retention and re-engagement strategy to back it up, customer acquisition remains incomplete.
In previous years, we saw retail traffic spikes on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with Saturday and Sunday being somewhat lower in traffic. Cyber Weekend 2017 saw strong traffic numbers every day since Black Friday and continuing well into the week, proving that digital is the primary shopping destination and bigger than just isolated promotions.” “It’s really positive to see more brands adopting a personalized approach this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As one of the biggest global retail events of the year, competition to attract customers is fiercer than ever before.
With the amount of customer data available – from mobile, offline, desktop, to more emerging data sources such as Internet of Things – brands have the insights needed to deliver tailored customer experiences that cut through the noise and make a real impact. However, much of this insightful data is held in disparate silos, limiting its usability, so not all companies have been able to embrace the full potential it can offer. And as the number of data sources continues to grow, gaining a complete picture of the customer has become more challenging.