The holiday season is upon us, and if you haven’t begun mapping out your campaign strategy, now’s the perfect moment to kick-start your preparations.
Even though cautiously optimistic, consumers will prioritize winter holiday spending and leave room in their budget for gifting and celebrations. It’s predicted that November and December sales will reach $1.07 trillion, which is up 5.4% from the previous year.
62% of consumers are excited to resume in-person events and eager for connection this holiday. This can also extend past personal experiences and into shopping and celebratory events. Brands should inspire shoppers as they seek more less-disrupted holiday plans and communicate this feeling in messaging.
Consumers want excellent customer service and to finish shopping as soon—and as painlessly—as possible. Two thirds of consumers agree that good customer service is a rarity these days, giving retailers an opportunity to leverage speedy, top-notch service as a differentiator.
Return policies will play a role in where consumers shop and should be communicated clearly. Having a positive return experience is critical for more than three quarters of shoppers. They are less likely to shop again with a retailer or brand after a bad one.
A mindful approach to gift-giving will take center stage. Consumers are likely to shift their gift-giving strategy to favor quality over quantity as consumers look to reduce excess and focus instead on gifting something truly meaningful.
Consumers are treating themselves to a nice gift, too. Nearly half of adults (46%) bought something for themselves last year and expect to do so again this year. “One for you, one for them” could be an interesting brand message or holiday promotion.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Panic Saturday:
Nearly half of consumers plan to shop pre-sales, Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year— including higher income individuals. Brands are now “reinventing” the holiday promotional calendar to creatively extend sales (i.e., second Amazon Prime Day in October, Target Deal Days, Walmart shifting Black Friday to Mondays).
Brands should take advantage of these extended days to advertise their own promotions, as well. Scoring the perfect deal during the holidays has become a fun and social pursuit, as consumers pride themselves on finding a deal well-earned. Consumers also want added value — for example, including gift cards with purchase when a certain amount is spent. Late-season shoppers will still take advantage of “Panic Saturday,” which is the Saturday before Christmas.
Late shoppers tend to skew younger and male, with nearly one in five Gen Zs waiting until a week before the holiday or later to do most of their shopping. This could be a great opportunity to focus messaging on last minute gifts for mom and dad.
3 Key Opportunities for Brands:
1. Cut through the clutter: be clear with promotions. No-frill deals and discounts should be front-and-center as consumers remain intentional with their spending. Brands should also use customer data to push personalized deals based on shopping history.
2. Take an omnichannel approach. Most consumers are spreading their shopping around— they want to shop efficiently however and wherever they choose: i.e., social, in-store, onsite. They’re also actively comparing brands/prices online while they shop.
3. Leverage nostalgia. Consumers are eager for ways to escape their stress and focus more on the moments that matter. Retailers and brands that leverage nostalgia and promote the warmth of the season will resonate with weary shoppers in need of a holiday pick-meup.