This will be a very unique holiday season, to say the least. With a large part of the population being conditioned to stay-at-home and thus shift their normal spending habits– how should brands be pivoting now, ahead of the holiday season?
Consumers are expected to be doing a larger portion of their spending online. In fact, Barron’s predicts an 80% increase in eCommerce holiday spending in 2020 compared to 2019. Therefore, brands should be focusing much of their time and energy making sure their online consumer experiences are streamlined and innovative. Brands should be taking a hard look at their current website, making sure is it both compelling and SEO friendly. Digital advertisers should be buttoning up their holiday season ad plans now, with a large focus on search and display to stand out from the saturated e-commerce market.
Consumer messaging will also look a bit different this year and brands need to be extra careful to not come across as tone-deaf across their platforms. Now more than ever, brands need to be listening closely to their key audiences, compiling first-party data that can be used to create their highly-customized content strategy. Think about the very different lifestyles your audiences are currently living this year and make sure to meet them where they are. If you are selling electronics, discuss why your product is the best for connecting with distant loved ones. If you are selling educational resources, discuss why your product is the best for teaching at home. Transparency will also reign, so be very proactive and upfront with your consumers about any shipping delays or product inventory issues to prevent a crisis and protect your brand image.
Brands should also use this holiday season as an opportunity to capitalize on consumers buying more items and experiences they anticipate will be useful in 2021. Sell the excitement of what is around the corner, provide your target audiences with practical support during this time of need, and share some holiday spirit in a time where spirits are significantly down.
No one can predict what the rest of 2020 will look like. While digital marketers may need to manage many uncertainties in Q4, it is clear that the industry as a whole is seeing immense growth this year. As consumer buying behavior shifts heavily online, refining your brand’s online presence, creating a tailored content strategy and allocating significant ad spend to eCommerce are all key for a successful holiday season.