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As is probably apparent, the holiday season is likely to be affected by the Coronavirus. The usual last-minute shopping worries, crowds of people rushing to malls and the standstill lines of consumers waiting to purchase items are likely to diminish as COVID-19 regulations will still be in place with recent spikes around the world.

In response to this, digital use has kicked off as one of the most convenient ways people are now shopping; with just a click of a few buttons, items can be shipped and delivered in less than a week, even the next day in some instances. Now with the upcoming holiday season, this trend will only continue its growth as companies adapt to improving customer experiences and integrating them into their eCommerce sites and physical stores. This article will touch on how your own eCommerce site can utilise new approaches and help with sales over the next few months.

Consumer Behaviour & Holiday Sales

The percentage of foot traffic is without a doubt going to drop this year, specifically around the holiday season compared to last year's recorded stats. In response to this, businesses are having to grow their digital presence to keep up with sales and reach their audiences from a different perspective. It’s even been recorded that 66% of consumers are planning on shopping more locally, which could give great advantages to small businesses if they prioritise the need for an eCommerce site.

For other companies, despite the size of your business or whether your brand serves local communities or not, having a holiday marketing plan during the pandemic will help your company stay afloat amidst the chaos.

How To Prepare For Holiday Marketing 2020

No one expected a holiday season like this. The pandemic, eCommerce evolving, and consumer habits being forced to change has created a whole new concept for businesses to tackle when marketing themselves. Many companies will be unsure of what their marketing strategy during the pandemic needs to be, which is why the list below will help get brands ready for the season and the new problems it brings with it.

digital presence

Digital Presence

If your company has not yet taken advantage of creating an eCommerce site or utilising social media platforms, now is the time to get active. Specifically for local businesses, having a digital presence will help attract communities to your business and bring awareness to your presence throughout the holiday season. Below are some approaches to help grow your online presence:

  • Create a Platform: Create a platform that your consumers can use to either shop or browse your in-person store. It’ll also help to be aware of which platforms your audience gravitates towards, to then create an account with that specific platform for the best chances of visibility.
  • Advertisements: It may be smart for your business to create an advertising and marketing budget to help extend your brands reach. Different ad approaches could be PPC, social media promotions, email marketing, etc.
  • SEO: Your business should be incorporating SEO-keywords and phrases into any and all content to help gain attention and ratings on Google. Depending on your industry, the research you need to undertake will indicate the specific SEO terms you will need to use across your platforms.

OmniChanneling

Omnichanneling is the process of using your in-store, eCommerce sites, and social media platforms in unison to attract customers to your physical locations. One example of this would be using your eCommerce site to offer consumers curbside pickup options once the product is bought online. Overall, omnichanneling is a great method to create convenience for both your business and its consumers.

Engagement

One of the most successful methods of bringing users to your site is by engaging with your customers regularly and directly. Whether it be on your social media platforms, responding to customer reviews, or answering consumer emails, these are all great ways to create effective and efficient customer service that users’ will appreciate.

Discounts

People this past year have not been wanting to spend outrageous amounts of money on materialistic items, meaning that your company should offer discounts or a flash event such as an eCommerce sale 2020 to attract consumers and generate conversions.

CX

Customer experience, or CX, is one of the key factors at producing sales and gaining traffic on your platforms, as well as bringing users into stores. There are many methods to go about creating great CX but, first and foremost, your business should be focussing on website functionality, social media shopping, safe in-store regulations, and great customer service while consumers are shopping. Below is a further explanation of each element to focus on:

social shooping

  • Website Functionality: Users should be able to navigate through your site swiftly, not having to wait for pages to load and be able to find things quickly. Consumers are likely to lose trust for your brand because of the lack of efficiency the site provides.
  • Social Media Shopping: Consumers prioritising the need for fast and efficient options while they are browsing, setting up shoppable posts on your social media accounts will provide your audience with this solution.
  • Safe In-store Regulations: Your shop is likely to turn people away if your store is not following current regulations. People want to feel safe when they are shopping, so your store should be enforcing store capacity limits, prioritising cleanliness and hygiene, as well as offering curbside pickups where possible.
  • Customer Service: Whether it’s digital or in-person your company should prioritise great customer service. Consumers are looking for personalised experiences when they are shopping, so at minimum, providing customers with this is key.

Retargeting

Through retargeted ads, your business has a 98% chance of reaching consumers that did not convert once browsing your site. This is a great approach to add to your marketing strategy during the holiday season to help consumers reduce their browsing time and make purchases quickly with minimal thought.

Post-COVID, reopening stores can be difficult. But with the use of online marketing methods, your business can work at increasing traffic and revenue to both your physical and digital stores.

Conclusion

Overall, eCommerce holiday planning and marketing will need much of your company’s efforts but the outcome is surely worth it. Your brand’s digital presence will be necessary for promoting both in-store and online platforms and as the holiday season nears, it’s never too early to start implementing different approaches.

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