The New Year is knocking at the door and holiday shopping season is about to begin. It is the time of the year, most businesses and marketers look forward to. Well, every year we see some new marketing trends to unfold or play a dominant role. What are the most prominent trends for holiday marketing this year? Obviously, just like all these years mobile will take a lead role. Some offline trends are also in the making to influence marketing this holiday season.
Every holiday season we experience a steep hike in the sales figure and this is not expected to be otherwise by this year end. On both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, online sales are expected to jump up. We can expect mobile online sales to grow more than ever before. All the predictions are positive on this aspect. In 2015, on the eve of Black Friday sales figure picked up to a massive $2.74 Billion and this year many expects it to cross a whopping $3B mark and become the highest ever achieved sales in the history.
While all these expectations sound too optimistic enough to make marketers chuckle with happiness, it is time to take a close of the marketing trends in this holiday season.
Here we are going to introduce 6 most important trends to observe in this year’s holiday season.
1. A more personalized mobile marketing experience
As mobile became an everyday reality marketers need to focus more on offering a highly personalized shopping experience through mobile. A personalized mobile shopping experience is important for both in-store and online shopping.
While for offline store shopping mobile payments will allow more ease and efficient fast paced transactions, personalized notifications will continue to add value for online shoppers over the mobile interface. Thanks to mobile wallet the checkout process in both online and offline shopping have become easier and smoother than ever before.
In the case of online shoppers, highly personalized product video and conversational chatbots can further augment the experience and help serving individual customers in the way they prefer it.
2. Micro influencers of social media will continue reigning
We already know that social media posts and reviews are the biggest influencers for buying decisions. As per the prediction of National Retailers Federation, 13% of shoppers will take inspiration from Facebook for buying something this holiday season while the same shoppers amount to 8% in Pinterest. There is more mind blowing statistics in favor of the influential role of social media for buying decisions. While 51% of holiday shoppers come to social media for dome exclusive gift ideas, 50% get influenced to make their buying decisions for discounts and sale.
So, social media can really move the pile of products from your shelves, right? But is it as simple as posting your products on social pages and getting flooded with sales queries? No dude, it is not going to work in so simple manners. You need to understand a few things. First of all, the teens always get influenced by what their friends are buying and posting on social media. Secondly, niche influencers in various circles can guide the focus on a product range and make it hot overnight. By tapping on these influencers you can easily make an impact that drives sales.
3. Podcast advertising
The popularity of podcasts is continuing to increase and podcasts are deservingly called as the next big avenue after the online video. As a marketer, you should know that 46 million people on a monthly basis listen to podcasts. Your holiday marketing initiatives this year should really take advantage of podcast marketing.
Can you create a podcast for your business? If not, you can at least take advantage of advertising on podcasts. There are a number of Podcast advertising platform options Panoply, Midroll, Triton, etc.
4. Merging the experience of online and offline
If you think holiday shoppers completely left the traditional retail channels and chosen to shop online only, you are terribly wrong. For most buyers still the traditional shopping experience remains lucrative and a report from the U.S. census only confirms that. As per the census data, a whopping 92% of the sales in the last quarter of 2015 happened offline through traditional stores. At the same time unarguably the online sales are growing rapidly and hold bigger promise to draw an audience than their offline counterparts. Between 2011 and 2015 the online sales increased by 47%. So, online and offline sales are going to be effective in unison rather than separately.
Just because most of us remain glued to our mobile screen all the time, even shopping in the real store will have a great push from mobile apps and features, particularly in respect of getting notifications from stores and mobile payment method. Someone entering a store can see the same promotion running online and in apps. This blurring of lines between online and offline shopping can help marketers target campaigns in a new way this season.
5. Marketing segmentation
Just because all customers are not equal, you need segmentation. Segmentation helps in guiding the campaign to the right mobile audience. Do you want to spend your money on promotions to the segment of the audience who are going to peep into the deals and move on? Obviously, no marketers won’t and this is why segmenting your audience as per lifetime value is so important.
You should always treat your loyal customers in a special way and address potential customers who are going to give you quick business conversion as a priority. The brand locals can be offered the best offers and discounts on a priority as there you have the maximum conversion waiting.
6. Push audiovisual experience
Do you know product videos take often an overwhelming effect on the audience if you can utilize them to the fullest potential? Remember, most of the buyers remain undecided about their buying anything and it is often encountering something interesting and lucrative that make their decisions. This is why product videos, big sized catalogs and large lively visuals are so important for your campaign in the holiday season. There is always s push for video marketing and this holiday season it is not going to be any different.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO at Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company and android app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.