Christmas in July is now the norm to plan for a holiday shopping season that kicks off in October. Think that holiday shopping is something to only consider in the fall? Think again.
In fact, both Snapchat and Facebook already put out their holiday guides in June. While this may have been considered too early in the past, the pandemic has pushed the holiday shopping season even earlier, as Pinterest pointed out in the title it gave to its holiday guide last year: Earlier Than Ever Holiday 2020.
Customers did shop earlier last year. Nearly 40% of shoppers surveyed by Radial said they would begin holiday shopping in October, and most of them likely shopped online.
Two thirds of consumers increased their online shopping due to COVID-19, and one quarter of them do 90% of their shopping online. Many of them were lured by the bargains offered during what the Facebook 2021 Holiday Guide calls “Mega Sale Days” or MSD, which have a huge impact on the ebb and flow of holiday shopping.
Think of the marketing momentum that has been associated with Black Friday and then Cyber Monday, and you get a sense of the MSD effect. Last year, Amazon carried some of that into October by scheduling its Prime Day for October 13-14 rather than the summer when it usually runs.
One advantage of early holiday promotions is that it allows sellers to pace themselves and not be overwhelmed by everyone placing their orders in late November. Another is that these orders identify what people are interested in. Registering that interest early on allows sellers to ascertain they will have enough on hand when the real holiday crunch arrives.
This is particularly important in anticipation of more online shopping this holiday season with more consumers relying on eCommerce. The early bird’s success in catching the best bargain applies not just to customers but to the sellers who are geared up and ready for the early shoppers.
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Accordingly, here are some tips to help you make the most of the holiday season, which will be here sooner than you know it:
1. Start planning now
Don’t wait until the fall to start thinking about your holiday marketing campaigns. Facebook identified August through early October as time to prepare for the peak holiday shopping period, which extends from late October through December.
So now is the time to start thinking about your holiday themes, collections, and special holiday landing pages. Use the data you have gathered about what sold well last year to plan what you will highlight this year on your site and in holiday gift guides.
Be sure to get the right image to convey the holiday theme and your store’s unique offerings. Remarkety’s templates make it easy to set it up in advance. Then you can set up a series of emails and/or texts that will be set and ready to go in October.
2. Get ‘em on the list
Now is also the time to promote subscriptions to your SMS/MMS and email list to establish channels of communication and gain more insight into their online behavior. If they get the right incentive, they are more likely to sign up.
Remarkety constantly updates your customer data based on what draws their attention and their clicks, so to make your holiday emails and text most effective, you want to build up the data on what draws responses in the month leading up to peak holiday season.
In addition to telling them on your site or through social media ads that subscribers are given access to certain product offerings or sales before other customers, you may want to offer an incentive to motivate them. An offer for a special coupon code often is just the nudge customers need to opt-in for emails and/or texts.
3. Segment your customers
To get the most return for your communication strategy, you need to be able to identify and connect with the customers most likely to make holiday purchases. Key segments to target include your CLV or VIP status customers — the ones who spend the most on a regular basis — and the ones who have set a pattern of buying for the holiday season.
Remarkety not only identifies those general categories of customers but can leverage data on individual customer browsing and purchase history to generate personalized recommendations. Personalized recommendations always draw more attention, more conversion, and more revenue.
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4. Personalize incentives
Every marketer knows that one sure-fire way to grab customers’ attention and motivate them to complete a purchase by offering a coupon. Online coupon usage has been growing steadily in the United States over the past several years, rising from 126.8 million in 2015 to 145.3 million in 2021, according to Statista estimates.
Unlike traditional or static coupons, dynamic coupons can be personalized with distinctive coupon codes that correspond to specific customer segments. That makes them not just more effective at motivating the customers they target but also valuable in terms of revealing which forms of discounts prove most effective.
Because they are unique to individuals and campaigns, dynamic coupons help identify what pushed a particular customer to convert. Then businesses can apply the promotions that get results for the targeted segment.
What Remarkety does is draw on its vast data to analyze what kind of offers the segment in question has responded to. It may find that 15% off is the sweet spot for one targeted segment. Another may ignore percentage discounts altogether but always start shopping when given a $10 credit. Others may place an order every time they get an offer for a free gift with purchase.
Remarkety has already collected millions of data points and runs the big data analysis to allow you to reap the benefits of machine learning for automated offers that are guaranteed to get the best results. Dynamic coupons reveal which promotions convert your customers, and adaptive marketing can apply the best offer.
Coupled with your automated email marketing program, the savings incentive grabs your customer’s attention and motivates conversion. Remarkety’s stats show that they garner a 76% improvement over the average open rate and an 82% improvement over the average click rate for email marketing.
5. Optimize with omnichannel
Combining data insight with the power of automation, Remarkety can give your campaign the omnichannel advantage, which delivers better engagement, customer retention, average order value and a 250% higher purchase frequency than single-channel marketing.
With an omnichannel strategy in place, your promotions and reminders will get the attention they deserve. Customers that respond to the immediacy of texts will get their texts, and your newsletters or less urgent messages can get read at leisure. Retailers who use Remarkety can also seamlessly link up their SMS to their email and social marketing campaigns to be able to reach their customers on their preferred device and in their preferred channels.
Remarkety empowers you to automate an omnichannel holiday marketing strategy that will bring back last year’s holiday customers and win new ones in 2021. Ready to see if it can work for you? Try it for free or book a demo.