Part 1: What to Expect This Holiday Shopping Season

At Big Marlin Group, we want our clients to be prepared for the upcoming holiday season in order to take advantage of the best marketing strategies that fit their needs and goals. We hope that the following series of holiday blog posts help inform and influence your marketing strategies for the upcoming holiday season.

The month of November just began and we are already discussing holiday shopping trends. The truth is, if you haven’t at least started preparing your marketing efforts for the holidays, you are already behind. According to a survey from Fluent, most customers begin holiday shopping by Halloween. However, 70% will finish their holiday shopping in December, with only 20% starting their shopping in December. Much of that December shopping occurs during mid-month and the week before Christmas. Don’t worry though, there is still time to influence your customer’s decisions.

In order to craft a solid holiday marketing strategy, it’s important for business owners to understand their previous holiday sales & transactions as well as the anticipated trends and behaviors. Also, remember the emphasis on traditional shopping days like Black Friday are lessening as transactions can happen anywhere thanks to the rise of mobile.

Here are some of the holiday shopping trends we expect to see this season:

1. Online Shopping

The upward trend of online shopping is expected to continue to grow and spread across many markets. According to Adobe Digital Insights Holiday Shopping Predictions, there may be a slight shift in people’s motivations for shopping online. In 2015, customers were focused most intently on free shipping and great deals, whereas in 2016 the focus is on convenience of online shopping. Not having to wait in lines or deal with traffic are pushing consumer to online shopping. This is something to consider when thinking about your marketing campaigns for the holidays. However, free shipping has always been a big motivation for customers to shop online and will probably continue to be an influencer. Gift guides are also a huge presence online and videos versions are even more beneficial for catching your customer’s attention.

2. Mobile Conversion

Mobile has been playing a major role in many business’ digital marketing strategies. In fact, many marketing firms are predicting that mobile will overtake desktop for the first time in terms of driving visits to a website during the holiday season. An important factor that business owners need to consider is the ability to not only drive those customers to your website, but having the ability for them to convert. According to Adobe’s Holiday Shopping Predictions, mobile traffic will only drive 34% of revenue for holidays. Adding to that, it is thought that desktop conversion rates are almost three times those of smartphones. Which shows that even more mobile devices are being used, it is mostly for research and identifying what products and brands peak their interest. Business owners need to focus on getting customers to convert on their websites in order to take advantage of the rise of mobile.

3. Research

With access to websites at consumer’s fingertips, researching the best deals and products is something becoming almost standard before someone purchases a product. Customer’s only want the best and when they are buying online they seek out reviews and ratings to help determine the quality of the product. Google reports that shopping queries with “best” have increased by 50% in the last year. As a business owner, identifying your competitors and understanding where your products or services rank compared to theirs is important. You can then show customers what makes your version worth their time and attention.

4. Targeting Mix to Influence Customers

The shift to online shopping and mobile research definitely has positive effects on brands and companies, but all of the research can lead to information overload which may cause shoppers to feel stressed, unhappy and confused with all of choices. The ability to have your product be seen by a customer multiple times when they are performing research may leave a lasting impression. From mobile to desktop, to gaming consoles and on-demand streaming, as a business owner your ability to market across multiple channels can influence their opinion. Don’t forget about traditional marketing channels such as direct mail and email marketing! In all, keeping customers informed, helping to guide them where possible and making things exceedingly convenient while provided the best possible experience as a whole.

If you are a business owner that is contemplating using a marketing agency, think about how much time it takes to stay abreast of the current trends in your industry. Why not hire an agency that generates new leads for you at a lower cost because of their expertise and experience in the market? Contact us today, we are here to answer your questions!

Data from: Fleunt (What’s Trending & Who’s Spending: Holiday Shopping 2016)

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