3 Tips for Ensuring Holiday Season Readiness
Ah, at last, the time is here. Black Friday and Cyber Monday preparations are in full swing around the PMG offices, but on the flipside, eMarketer states that over 60% of people actually feel that Black Friday is overwhelming with so many sales and so little direction on where to begin. Of course, the question for marketers has become: How can brands overcome this challenge and ultimately succeed on such a competitive day?
We don’t have all the answers but we have found that these three tips are a great starting point to learning how to capture consumers’ attention during the busiest and most ‘ad-saturated’ weekends in America.
People are getting a jump start on their holiday shopping with 54% of consumers planning to have their holiday shopping completed before Cyber Monday, and some of the biggest brands have taken notice and adjusted strategies to account for this (case in point: Walmart launched its first round of deals more than two weeks before Black Friday). If you want to start advertising your sales early (pre-Black Friday), we recommend incorporating a sense of urgency and newness into your messaging and ensure that copy and brand messages aren’t facing (early) wear out, especially on social channels.
While declining, many Americans look to both brick and mortar and digital shopping experiences to complete their holiday gift lists. 35% of shoppers will shop both online and in-store, meaning that brands need to be conscious of different shopping preferences. Whether it’s shopping solely online, offline or a blend of both (like picking up an online order in store), people don’t want roadblocks or inconveniences and are expecting a seamless (Amazon-like) experience that brands should strive to provide. To do this, start by making sure your holiday hours are correct across brick and mortar property pages, that landing pages are optimized for different device types, and that your shipping and return policies are easy to understand and are accessible on your website.
To personalize the shopping experience for your customers even more, we recommend digging deeper into your CRM data to truly understand if any specific customers prefer one shopping method over the other then tailor social messaging accordingly. Convenience is king so make it easy for people to shop the way they want to shop.
If Prime Day provided a peek into the future, we’re in for a huge Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Amazon.com. Even with its intermittent site issues, Amazon drove over $1 billion in sales for small and medium businesses in just 36 hours on Prime Day 2018. Retailers need to take notice as easy checkouts, fast and free shipping, and rock-bottom prices are the name of the game with Amazon.
Suggested Reading: Navigating the Amazon Ecosystem
While worthy of its own blog post, one question we field from clients a lot is, “how can more traditional retailers differentiate themselves [in the Amazon era]?”, and to this we say, always put the customer first. Focus on what value, benefits, and brand experience you can provide people that Amazon can not.
And last but not least, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are particularly important to your bottom line, don’t forget about the rest of the year. There is plenty of shopping that will be done after Thanksgiving weekend so don’t lose steam (or all of your budget) by focusing only on the BFCM holiday weekend, and remember to stay on top of things with proactive budget planning and reserving funds to capitalize on those last-minute shoppers.
With plenty of hype, increased holiday spending budgets, and consumer confidence at an all-time high, this is sure to be a great holiday season. The competition is fierce, but so are you and we wish you the best of luck!
Want more specifics heading into the holiday season? Check out all the insights we’ve uncovered on 2018’s Black Friday Cyber Monday here.
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Suggested Reading: Black Friday Cyber Monday Consumer Trends and Predictions
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