December 19, 2018

Strategy #8: Master the Holiday Sale Stages

By Matt Tilley

The retail industry earns around 40 percent of its annual revenue during the holiday shopping season. And holiday shoppers are different from other buyers in that they have much more to purchase and way less time to do it.

That’s why holiday shoppers gravitate towards mobile devices to do their holiday research on the go. In fact, according to a 2017 Facebook study, mobile-first researchers grew by 14 percent from holiday 2016 to 2017 and mobile-first shoppers (people who do most of their shopping on mobile devices) grew by 20 percent.

So, what’s the biggest factor influencing holiday purchases? 83 percent of customers say it’s deals, with 53 percent of holiday shoppers reporting that coupons are a prime factor in determining their holiday purchases. Yet customers are driven by coupons and promotions in different ways depending on what shopper profiles they fit into.

Let’s talk about the phases customers go through en route to making their holiday purchases and what promotional marketing levers to push to activate them.

Phase 1: Researching Gift Ideas
The inception phase is where your potential buyer is highly influenced by coupons and promotions, so you want to get your message out there and make sure it sticks. Keep in mind that 84 percent of consumers reference coupons to create their shopping list before they make a purchase. So, it’s during this research phase that you have the opportunity to activate customers by streaming value-based holiday marketing messages.

 

Phase 2: Online and In-Store Browsing
This is a great time to influence impulse shoppers by creating excitement around your brand. During this phase, you can activate customers with promotional messages throughout their purchasing processes – be it by providing banner ads online, or by placing tear-off coupons within their line of vision in-store.

 

Phase 3: Buying the Gift
It is important to understand that converting holiday customers isn’t a one-step process. It begins long before checkout with consumer research and continues when you implement a targeted omnichannel marketing campaign and monitor the performance.  You can still influence customers with your message in the final lap of their journey by tweaking your campaign where necessary to capture their interest and ultimately inspire them to convert.

 

Phase 4: After the Purchase
Post-purchase campaigns can help you ensure that no shopper gets left behind after their initial holiday purchase. This is your big chance to turn one-time customers into long-term loyal fans. Whether it is actually retargeting your holiday customers with print and digital marketing, or simply going back to them with new ideas and deals, continuing the conversation will certainly result in more sales and a bigger return on your holiday ad spend.

Get your marketing message in front of holiday customers at every phase of their shopping journey to build trust and increase conversions.

 
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