‘Tis the season for shoppers to spend big! Marketers and retailers should keep an eye out for trends coming up to the holiday period. With a mobile messaging platform at their fingertips, marketing campaigns can directly connect with consumers.
This year’s holiday shopping season begins with Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday and doesn’t finish up until well into the new year. 65% of holiday shoppers report being more likely to shop with businesses they can message, according to Facebook’s Holiday Marketing Guide 2019. Ensure you grab your customers’ attention using an SMS API gateway to amplify your message and add a personal touch.
You can expect brands to have more of an emphasis on the customer journey online and in-store, drip sales campaigns, loyalty and referral programs, a personal touch with messaging, and incentives to review products and take a survey this season.
The earlier, the better
Even though it’s the longest shopping season in the year, did you know 2019’s season is shorter than last year? According to Bloomberg, this year’s shopping season is shorter than last year as Thanksgiving falls on different dates every year, but Christmas is always December 25. In 2018, 43% of shoppers started their holiday shopping in November or earlier, with nearly 1-in-10 finishing their holiday shopping by late-November.
But, don’t discount the duration that consumers shop for though—44% of consumers who buy in January cite that ongoing seasonal sales are their main reason for their spending in the first month of the new year.
What to expect
The 2019 holiday season brings with it specialized and intuitive marketing trends that no business should overlook. In terms of discounts, product launches, customer engagement, promotion analysis, mobile marketing, and the globalization of local shopping days, watch the following trends are becoming more prominent as the season approaches:
- Urgency – ‘limited time offers’, free gift with purchase, threshold sales, and flash sales bring with them a sense of urgency. These deals are time-restricted and usually only include limited stock, taking advantage of shoppers’ FOMO (fear of missing out).
- In-store shopping – as CX becomes more and more significant, shopping in-store has gained traction in recent times. Year-round online transactions tend to be so seamless that at no point does the customer have to interact with the brand except for purchase confirmation, and even the payment methods are becoming more seamless. Brick and mortar stores fulfill the needs of customers who want the full in-store experience, such as seeing the physical products and encountering customer service first hand.
- Customer retention – trust is essential for retaining customers. Exclusive events for VIP and loyalty members and referral programs tend to increase confidence in brands and profitability. Studies show that recommendations and reviews via word of mouth are much more likely to lead to long-term, loyal customers.
- Reviews and surveys – better your business by asking for your customers’ opinions. Understanding and addressing pain points assist in exceeding expectations and building a reputation for a customer-focused company.
- Mobile messaging – whether it be SMS or OTT messaging, or both, engage with recipients and send timely alerts. Over the long holiday period, notifying customers of up-to-date promotional content is essential to the success of the marketing campaign and profitability.
- Local events are getting global recognition – shopping days were once exclusive to the area. Still, nowadays, with the globalization of business, sales events are going international with popularity growing each year.
- Timing – sales and promotions are becoming more flexible. It’s not uncommon to continue discounts past their closing date if analytics shows that they are performing well. Or cutting a sale short if it’s not performing. Flexibility is becoming more prominent within marketing strategies, allowing brands to have a competitive edge. Adding, extending, or cutting particular promotions due to the response from customers enables a brand to provide the best value.
Holiday Marketing Trends 2019:
Facebook’s Holiday Marketing Guide 2019 contains valuable insights for retailers and businesses to keep in mind coming up to the holiday season rush. The guide includes exceptional statistics to consider, such as:
- CX is a high priority – 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere if they are not satisfied with the customer experience.
- Stories are the new window shopping – 69% of people find Stories on Facebook and Instagram a great way to become familiar with new products or services, with 62% becoming more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
- In-store shopping has increased – in the past year, 42% of American holiday shoppers said they shopped in-store for ambiance, and 27% said they shopped in-store to spend time with family.
- Shopping events are going international – sale days such as 11:11 in China, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the USA have expanded between 2017 and 2018. Shopping on Singles’ Day (11:11) in China grew globally by 25%, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday grew globally by 9% and 15%, respectively.
- Messaging fuels brand loyalty – Facebook messenger recorded 20 billion messages between people and businesses in 2018. 65% of holiday shoppers prefer spending with companies they can message, with global holiday shoppers messaging businesses to find out particular information, for example, 48% ask about product details, 43% ask about purchasing a product, and 37% ask for store information.
Bulk SMS is the perfect way to reach out and engage with consumers throughout the holiday season. Keep your customers up to date with personalized mobile messaging campaigns and two-way texting.