9 Tips for Your Holiday Retail Marketing Strategy

Nov 17, 2020 | 4  min
author Kati Fredericksen

The holidays are right around the corner. Do you have a marketing strategy in place to prepare for – and see success from – the 2020 holiday shopping season?

2020 has been quite the year and we can only assume the holiday shopping season is going to look a little different this year as well. With pandemic concerns, online shopping options will likely be at an all-time high, which means your holiday digital marketing strategy will need to be top-notch to attract your customers and compete with the other online retailers this season.

Take a look at our 9 tips for your holiday retail marketing strategy.

1. Update Your Google Business Listing

The buying behavior of holiday shoppers has definitely changed since the pandemic; more shoppers are buying locally and/or buying online this year. Searches containing “available near me” have grown by 100% since the pandemic and “curbside pickup” searches have grown over 3,000%. With that being said, it’s important that your Google business listing has the correct product information and is easily accessible. 

Update the following information on your Google listing to reflect COVID-related buying behaviors:

1. Store location
2. Business hours
3. Health and safety updates
4. Curb-side pick-up offerings
5. Important business changes on a store by store basis related to COVID
6. In-store availability
7. Special promotions

Google has plenty of COVID-related resources and updates to help you realign your google profile this season.

2. Mobile and Cross-Device Navigation

77% of shoppers are saying they’ll browse for gifts online instead of in-store and 66% of shoppers are planning to do their holiday shopping online this year. This means two things for your holiday retail strategy:

1. Shoppers are using their devices as a research tool
2. Shoppers will be purchasing from multiple screen sizes

Buyers are using their phones to heavily research, compare and inform themselves so make sure you keep the mobile experience for your customers in mind. To maximize this phenomenon, retailers should create “favoriting” tools, wish list functions, and any easy to use bookmarking features. These functions will create channels to allow shoppers to retrace their steps when returning to your site on different devices.

3. Think of the Influencers

Depending on what segment of the industry you are in, your persona groups (or target audience) can really expand during the holiday season. For example, shoppers visiting on behalf of others create a unique opportunity to really leverage an influencer strategy. It may be beneficial to sit down with your team leading into the holidays, brainstorm who your persona influencers are, and craft a specific strategy around how they will be involved in the holiday buying season.

4. Campaign Focus 

With so much going on around the holiday season, it is absolutely crucial to come up with a campaign to tie your efforts together. This will not only help you keep things organized from a messaging perspective, it will drive more targeted and meaningful results in your holiday efforts.

Here are a few tips to set up a successful campaign:

1. Set SMART goals to help align your efforts and measure your progress.
2. Integrate your efforts across multiple channels: organic search, paid search, email marketing, social media, website, blog, white paper etc.
3. Automate your tasks to save time when marketing via multiple channels.
4. Measure your efforts to see if you’re meeting your goals, and adjust accordingly.

5. Brand Experience 

If you’re going to diversify your channel strategy, you’d better make sure it’s seamless and consistent. Creating a seamless brand experience this holiday season hinges on a consistent look and feel. If you have a cheery holiday email that includes distinct design elements, but users then see a social post that is completely different, you have a problem. The same goes for your storefront, whether brick-and-mortar or digital. Consistency is key during the holidays – you need to ensure that all levels of the buying process are creating a distinct experience for your customers.

6. Strategic Content

As mentioned before, shoppers are using the Internet to research products before they buy. Create content to inform, educate, and equip potential purchasers to buy this holiday season.

Use your blog as a quick resource guide to educate those in the early to mid-stages of the buying process. Create content around why your product matters, how it solves problems, and don’t be afraid to compare it to the competition. Creating a holiday keyword strategy is important, as well. Utilize pre-purchase lingo, keywords, and phrases that will be relevant this holiday season.

Premium content is a great way to create an on-the-go resource for buyers in the research process. Create value by offering content such as checklists or guides that answer big questions and show the value of your products, or offer an open-ended resource like a downloadable tool.

7. Start Immediately

62% of shoppers said they will start their shopping earlier to avoid items being out of stock. With statistics like that, you need to be prepared for holiday retail action before the snow falls.

8. Experience for Loyalty

According to a Google study, 70% of shoppers said they are open to buying from a new retailer. This means that brand loyalty is up for grabs in the retail world. Creating a great shopping experience from research to checkout is crucial in keeping customers coming back and can be an incredible differentiator for you amongst your competitors.

9. Get with Video

User reviews are a big deal – during the holidays, reviews will be researched, read through, and utilized more than any other time of the year. The best way to cut through the noise of customer reviews and create authoritative content that actually speaks to consumers is through video. Customers who can watch a product being opened, used, talked about, and put in a real-world scenario are much more likely to purchase that product.

Need help?

Is it time for the holidays yet? All this holiday talk is making me want to throw the beard on and sit near a fire. The good news is that there’s still time to get your holiday strategy together and execute on this crucial time of year for retailers. Looking for more about what to do next? Need help coming up with a solid creative holiday campaign? We can help – contact us today to learn more.

2021 Digital Strategy Consultation

Updated: Feb 03, 2021

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