A Look into 2020’s Q4 Holiday Shopping Trends: Is Your Marketing Strategy Up to Snuff?

If you haven’t guessed already, this holiday season is about to look a whole lot different than what you might be used to; both from a consumer side and from a sales and marketing side.

So, this begs the question - is your holiday marketing strategy up for the task?

We, at SLT Consulting, have already taken notice of the immense desire to expand in ecommerce from new and existing clients across the many industries we serve such as health, beauty, apparel, and more. This is why we dug into holiday shopping trend reports from sources like Facebook, Google, and Practical Ecommerce (to name a few) so we can bring you the facts and the most important tips and takeaways for you to be sure you have a successful holiday season.

So let’s get right to it because, at this rate, you may already be a few steps behind.

First, We Start With a Flash From the Past

In our pre-pandemic life, we saw plenty of online shopping happening. When we look at last year’s Cyber Monday’s statistics, Adobe Data reported that $9.2 billion was made up in online sales alone.

Nine point two. BILLION.

Now, because of this seismic shift where everyone of all ages had to adapt to a more digital-reliant lifestyle, it may be safe to say that we could surpass this in 2020 but it’s also safe to say that 2020 is just full of interesting surprises.

So, what’s really making us feel like this is going to be the biggest, “digital-first” holiday season? Well, here are some of those facts we mentioned we pulled for you.

According to Google:

  • Based on their research, 73% of U.S. holiday shoppers say they plan on doing more online holiday shopping this year compared to last.

  • Last year, data showed that shoppers went into Black Friday and Cyber Monday with already having completed more than a third of their shopping.

  • And by late August of this year, 1 out of 4 shoppers said that they’ve already started their holiday shopping.

Now with that insight in mind, think about this. Google also reported that as consumers continue to increase shopping online, they are also discovering brands they’ve never heard of before. It was said that 30% of consumers have purchased from brands they’ve never bought from before. FACT. Another notable statistic is that search trends for “best affordable” have seen a 60% lift since last year. This leads us to the trends and predictions we’re being sure to take note of, and so should you.

Trend #1: Holiday Deals Will Start as Early as October

According to interviews done by Washington Post and Media Post sales are likely going to start fast and furious to get ahead of any inventory or delivery issues. Remember, when we said you might be a few steps behind? Don’t worry, while you focus on making sure your supply chain can handle inventory, our team of marketing strategists can methodically plan your holiday marketing strategy across social media, search engines, email marketing channels, and more. Not to mention, develop messaging and creative, as well as how you can most appropriately work in that “best affordable” nudge into your keyword game plan, and thensome.

Trend #2: Delivery Times Will be Affected

This is a big one, and it goes beyond your distribution centers. Remember the toilet paper fiasco? Not only should you plan to manage your inventory very closely this year, but you should also be prepared to announce anticipation of delayed deliveries and clearly communicate this to your customers even after they’ve purchased from you. Most businesses are still not running at a 100% capacity due to the pandemic - that especially means supply chains and merchandise warehouses. Keep your customers informed to help avoid refunds. According to a survey done by Shopify Plus, company executives agree now more than ever marks the importance of focusing efforts towards customer experience meaning flexible return policies, and constant communication to customers about shipping delays and stockouts. So while you are still focusing on inventory management, our team can also help set up website banners and the appropriate email automations to manage customer expectations.

Trend #3: In-Store Shopping Will Start Online

Think with Google shares a survey that says 67% of shoppers said they plan on consulting online whether or not an item is in stock before going in to actually buy it. That’s if they even want to step foot into stores. Now, with a few months of perfecting contactless delivery and curbside pickup, Practical Ecommerce predicts that curbside pick up will see an increase of 50%! And with contactless delivery, Shopify Plus also made the discovery from surveys they conducted that 67% of ecommerce companies plan to sell through third-party online marketplaces such as Google Shopping and Amazon. Both of which the consultants here, at SLT Consulting, are very familiar with.

So What Does This All Mean For You?

  • It’s time to rev up your brand and online presence among new potential customers using a clear brand voice and specially targeted awareness campaigns.

  • Have a look at your email marketing strategy. Does it have or even offer an automation system that allows you to meet favorable customer service communications?

  • How do you plan to get in touch with those who don’t know you are there? Have you thought about how you will remarket to them once they’ve arrived or purchased for potentially a long standing relationship that exceeds past the holiday season?

  • Plan out your holiday marketing strategy now. It’s not too late to start but if you’re creating an Omni-channel marketing strategy to increase your digital presence (which you should be) then you’ll need to get a move on messaging, audience segmentations, and creative ASAP to be in line with competitors who might already have theirs awaiting the launch button.

  • To avoid chargebacks, get in line with your supply chains, and keep a close eye on your inventory. Also, be sure to have automated emails set up to keep customers notified of delivery updates while you’re at it. This might save you thousands in refunds.

  • Be sure you’re thinking mobile-first. With mobile purchases on the rise, you’ll want to remove any points of friction that might lose a potential customer. For example, having one too many steps before checking out, or one too many fields in your lead gen form to start.

  • Look to the experts, you have a lot on your hands with managing inventory, customers, and your own family holiday adventures and zoom dates. Hiring a marketing team that will properly strategize, monitor, and optimize a well-rounded marketing strategy will make all the difference in this year’s one-of-a-kind holiday season.

What to Read Next?

Be sure to get access to Facebook’s 2020 Holiday Package packed with mobile and ecommerce growth insights among the different generations, creative thought starters, how to build your brand, and more.

Klaviyo also has an Ecommerce Holiday Marketing Hub with access to holiday marketing crash courses, email automation must-dos, and benchmark reports.

Need Marketing Help?

SLT Consulting can assist. With over 200 years of combined marketing experience, our Google, Ecommerce, Social Media, and Email Marketing experts can help research, develop, and execute your holiday marketing strategy. Learn more about our services or contact us to talk through your specific business goals and how we can help you.

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