This holiday season is set to be like no other in recent history. The way consumers shop, and brands position themselves, becomes more relevant than ever. It’s vital for brands to create content that sets them apart online, as more consumers will be shopping online, or buying online to pick up in store (BOPIS), than they will be shopping in store. This being the case, brands should ensure their websites are optimized to provide the best user experience possible, their marketing efforts are dialed in and relevant, and their brand stands out amongst the masses. Here are some important factors to consider when positioning your brand and products to your customer base.
Important website functions that will help with user experience:
- Page speed: Ensure website page speed is as fast as possible. This will be critical to user experience and ensuring customers are able to browse and place orders quickly and efficiently. (Page speed can be checked here.)
- Ensure the messaging and imagery on-site matches messaging being presented in all marketing efforts across all platforms and mediums. Message alignment is incredibly important, as it creates brand recognition, recall, and increases the likelihood they will purchase initially or again.
- Ascertain any promos or deals running are front-and-center on the site and any promo codes are easily accessible and able to be copied to paste at checkout.
- Have an online chat feature that is easy to access for customers who have questions, or complaints. Customer service is crucial during the holidays.
- On product pages having all relevant product data, specs, images of multiple angles, reviews, etc. easily viewable. This is relevant and important information that people look for when viewing products on a site.
- Use your loyal customers and influencers to promote products and encourage people to buy. This shows brand loyalty and confidence and will instill those sentiments among other potential buyers if done well and in alignment with other branding efforts.
- Start promoting sales early. Consumers love deals and anything that will save them money, and if a customer is loyal to a brand and they see a sale for that brand, they are more likely to buy, and buy more if they can get more for less.
- Promotion of offers like free shipping on all items, or over a certain amount spent or free expedited shipping for the holidays if ordered by a certain date. In 2020, this will be especially important with more online purchases occurring than years prior.
- Create gift guides promoting similar products often purchased together, or products that are in a certain price range. This will encourage consumers to purchase more items and will help with gift ideas if they are struggling to find gifts or are needing to shop on a budget. These types of guides are useful in all types of marketing promotion.
- Retailer recommendations are one of the areas that consumers have indicated they use to help inform purchases. Any products that are similar should be listed on product pages to encourage purchases and inform consumers.
- If your brand does not sell products partnering with a brand that does and offering a promo code or discount offer for their products will help brand loyalty for both companies.
- Use influencers to help get your product in front of audiences that are potentially unreachable through other channels. Consumers tend to take recommendations from people they are familiar with and trust.
This article discusses, in detail, 5 of the most important of these factors going into this unprecedented holiday season. Other factors that drive purchase decisions include:
- Impulse or self-gifting options.
- Gift card promotions, buy a certain amount, get an amount free, or a free gift card with purchases over a set amount, etc.
- Encourage consumers to build a wish list, including your products to share with friends and family.
Internal steps to take that will help smoothly execute all holiday marketing efforts:
- Create a calendar with all holidays and their sales promos on it.
- Ensure a strategy is in place for customer service.
- Make sure all employees know the sales, promos, and offerings.
- Encourage employees to promote holiday sales or offers on social media platforms where applicable.
Another important time is after the holidays when returns will be at an all-time high, this season with more of them occurring online it’s important to have an easy and efficient return policy with potentially offering free returns for a period after the holidays.
Holidays should be an enjoyable time for consumers, and the better their experiences are with companies and purchases, the more likely they are to have that enjoyable experience. Tap into the emotional and tonal aspects wherever possible to promote comfortability and trust amongst consumers and watch your sales soar.