In determining what potential customers are looking for during the holiday season, the National Retail Federation (NRF) gathered data from last year’s holiday sales and determined that the most sought-after attribute was a price discount or product promotion.
The research also pointed to the desire or quality merchandise, selection, free or discounted shipping, convenient location, quick payment option, easy returns, helpful customer service, easy-to-use website or mobile site and layaway services. Most of these are very straightforward things that customers clearly want all year round.
However, there are some other interesting insights to consider in your holiday marketing campaign planning this year:
- Video gift guides combine the consumer love of videos with the kind of help shoppers crave during the holidays when they are struggling to figure out what to buy each person on their list. You can post these video gift guides on your own site as well as your social media pages and sites like YouTube. Consumers love watching these videos on their smartphones and tablets as they spend any free part of the day or evening on researching their holiday shopping ideas.
- Mobile in-store searches are on the rise because people still like to touch many of the products so it’s important to provide them with a way to do this easily so they can find what they are looking for and complete the sale. Consumers want to be able to have multiple ways to buy a product they’re looking for over the holidays based on their own schedule. That could mean they want to know that they have a choice to buy it online, start the purchase online and then pick it up in the store, or research it online and go buy it in a brick-and-mortar location.
- Customers want you to know them better than the competition does and maybe even more than they know themselves by sending recommendations and tips that match their previous shopping and purchase behavior. This means that you need to have the tools in place to collect and analyze this available data so you can then use it to personalize their holiday shopping experience with you this year. Companies like Amazon and Zappos have been gathering and using this type of insight to provide the best experience for clients for a while – so customers now expect it.
- Memorable holiday shopping experiences will help customers remember you the whole year round plus it can go a long way to you winning other customers in the process. Whether it’s in-store or online, make the experience fun and emotionally engaging. After all, the point of holiday shopping isn’t to get a headache but to actually enjoy the process of picking out special gifts for loved ones and the special people in your life. You can create online holiday stores, use holiday graphics, and create fun contests or games that can be a diversion from the shopping experience.
- The holidays are definitely a hectic time with more to do than the rest of the year, so help shoppers by making life as easy as possible for them. With minimal time and a lot to do, you can help customers by offering a fast, simple shopping experience so they can find what they need, get great shipping options, and good value so they don’t have to keep searching. Reassess your website to make sure it is as user-friendly as possible so shoppers can get to what they need from any device and clearly see how to browse and buy. You may want to consider adding other features like a digital wallet so they can speed those purchases with saved address and payment information.
With these needs in mind for the holiday shopping season, start looking at what you have now and what you might need to change in order to fulfill what these potential customers want from their shopping experience this holiday season. Gifting them with what they want will mean great rewards for your brand.
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