The holiday season is arguably the most popular shopping time of the year. But no matter what your business is, sales aren’t guaranteed.
To help increase your chances of a high-sales season, it helps to know how your customers spend and what influences them to buy.
In this infographic, we’ll help you do that by showing you some holiday marketing trends that have been observed over recent years. Hopefully it will help you get a little leg up over your competitors–and boost your sales this holiday season.
Recap: Holiday Marketing Trends
To recap, here are the holiday marketing trends you can expect to see this holiday season–and how to capitalize on them.
- Trend: Online purchases generally rise until the week before Christmas.
How to Capitalize on Trend: Cater to last-minute shoppers. There are 72% more searches for gift cards the week before Christmas than there are the first week of December.
- Trend: 40% of online shoppers are now mobile.
How to Capitalize on Trend: Make sure your site is user-friendly for mobile users.
- Trend: When it comes to clothing purchases at least, 26% of US adults are influenced by email ads, while just 21% are influenced by broadcast TV ads.
Similarly, 19% of adults surveyed are influenced by Internet ads, while 13% are influenced by cable TV ads.
How to Capitalize on Trend: Take advantage of email and Internet advertising, but keep in mind that the medium of advertising should depend not only on your buyer persona, but also the type of product or service that you sell.
- Trend: Many people, especially younger shoppers, price compare.
How to Capitalize on Trend: Price matching is a powerful way to not only increase sales, but also increase transparency and brand loyalty. If you don’t already do it, start now.
- Trend: 87% of consumers check online reviews for purchases they plan on making both online and at brick-and-mortar businesses. And during the holiday season, 49% of shoppers will check reviews more often, compared to other times of the year.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: With each sales that you make, encourage your buyer to leave an honest review. You could even offer a small freebie in “exchange” as an incentive for your customers to post reviews.
- Trend: Timing is everything. Customer-themed campaigns sent out two weeks before Christmas day boast higher open rates compared to non-themed emails. Meanwhile, Christmas-themed campaigns sent out within the first two weeks of December have lower open rates.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Open rates will of course depend on a number of factors, so take this trend into consideration, but don’t assume that the same will be true for your business. As with everything else, test and see what time of month (and day) works best for your brand.
- Trend: People want flexibility and freedom of choice. 69% of consumers prefer gift cards to tangible, wrapped gifts.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Gift cards offer recipients the freedom to choose the product or service of their choice. And for eCommerce stores that rely on shipping, providing buyers with electronic gift certificates can keep people purchasing right up until the day before Christmas.
- Trend: 85% of consumers are encouraged to make a purchase after receiving emails that contain coupon codes. And 73.1% of consumers say that sales and discounts play a role in their holiday shopping decisions.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Entice first-time buyers by offering coupon codes with discounts in your emails. Reward your high-paying customers with larger discounts.
- Trend: Personalization is everything. 78% of people expect email promotions to come with offers and recommendations that are tailored to them. Personalized emails increase click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Examine your buyers’ previous behavior and activity and determine their interests. From there, personalize your emails so that they are catered to your consumers’ unique tastes. If you do this, you are more likely to appeal to your consumers in the long-run, gain their loyalty, and increase your ROI.
- Trend: Email conversion rates are 40 times the conversion rates of social media (Facebook and Twitter).
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Take advantage of email to boost your conversions, and when sending out your holiday emails, ensure that they are a combination of coupons and discounts, entertaining content, and personalized product suggestions.
- Trend: 87% of shoppers would take free shipping over fast shipping. 47% of holiday shoppers claim that free shipping and shipping promotions influence their purchasing decisions.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Even if it means increasing the price of your product a bit to compensate, it’s worth it to provide free shipping for your customers. People are more likely to purchase a more expensive product with free shipping than a slightly cheaper product that has a cost for shipping.
- Trend: For most people, holiday shopping is a stressful undertaking.
How to Capitalize on the Trend: Make it as stress-free as possible for your consumers by guiding them through the buying process step by step. Provide them with exceptional customer service, answering any questions they may have and making returns and exchanges as easy as possible for them.
If your buyers have pleasant memories from the shopping experience, they will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
Understanding how your buyers are feeling throughout the sales process and what motivates them to buy can help immensely when it comes to your sales. So take advantage of these holiday marketing trends this season…and use them to boost your sales.
This infographic was originally published on January 21, 2016, and has been updated for consistency and accuracy.