How Can Brands be Successful This Holiday Season?

By Caroline A. Berryman, CMMP — Editor-in-Chief

The 2020 holiday season is going to be different this year with shifting consumer behaviours and expectations which is forcing brands to quickly adapt to a new environment. Many have refocused to prioritize online shopping. So how can brands be successful, increasing sales and consumer engagement this holiday season?

Sales started earlier this year and some retailers were ready

Amazon saw an opportunity and decided to launch its annual Prime Day in October instead of July, to help encourage holiday shopping. This was a successful strategy because they achieved $3.5 billion in sales across 19 countries which was an increase of 60% from 2019.

Another reason for the early shopping season is the increase in out-of-stock products and longer shipping times caused by the pandemic.

This year, online shopping experiences will be more important than ever

Online shopping rates are higher than ever. Research is showing that about 70% of Canadians and 75% of Americans plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping online this year, presenting a huge opportunity for e-commerce brands to break into the traditional retailers’ share of holiday sales.

Curbside pick-up is an important channel

By marketing the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store pick-up, retailers are experiencing record-breaking growth. With online shopping playing a major role this holiday season and the anticipated additional constraints on shipping and delivery services, retailers will need to leverage their physical stores as cost-effective and convenient fulfillment centres.

Mobile marketing is an important marketing strategy

Mobile marketing has become an important component of any successful B2C marketing strategy. Increases in mobile time and engagement mean that brands should be shifting ad spend from desktop to mobile wherever it makes sense (including social ads, which are largely viewed on mobile screens).

Connecting brands to their audiences

User-generated photos, videos, ratings and reviews shared by real customers have been one of the most influential forms of content for brands. As budgets are reduced, marketing teams have become smaller, and the ability to produce new visual content

has significantly diminished. For retailers struggling with some or all of these challenges, user-generated content (UGC) can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution. Not only is UGC readily available, and proven to be one of the most trusted, engaging and influential content types, but it also has the ability to connect with people in a way that the content created by brands simply can’t. By its very nature, UGC is real, human and personal.

To break through the online holiday noise, and cost-effectively drive sales in this ever-evolving retail environment, brands need to leverage UGC in every touchpoint across all their omni-channel holiday strategies, including sharing it in organic and paid social posts and ads.

Brands that have well- executed marketing plans that can pivot with the changing environment are the ones to watch now and into 2021. Stay tuned for a follow up on this in 2021

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