Capturing Omnichannel Holiday Shoppers – Leverage The Best Customer Shopping Experience

In Blog, E-commerce, In-Store by Geoff Gebhardt

$1 Trillion. Try and wrap your mind around that. That’s how much was spent by shoppers during the 2016 holiday season. A number expected to increase by 4% to 4.5% during the 2017 holiday season, and over half of that is expected to come from online channels. Imagine being able to capture even 1% of those incremental sales – it’s possible through strategic content and digital asset management strategies.  

Shoppers are rapidly adapting and changing, becoming more technology dependant in their purchase processes, with mobile being the leading screen. Long gone are the days of showroom visits – Amazon broke that mold. So it’s never been more important to provide a seamless shopping experience, understanding that shoppers no longer care, let alone remember, where, when, and how they are interacting with brands, and the stories they provide.

There is serious impact on the changing dynamics of consumer behavior. This holiday season is a major tipping point for e-commerce. It’s the first year e-commerce is forecasted at over 50% of the holiday spend, a jump of over 18% from the 2016 holiday season.

So what’s the implication: Retailers need high quality digital content to fill these platforms so that products can be found when consumers are search and they best represent the physical product when received. Retailers who don’t provide an easy to use platform will lose to those that do. Manufacturers who don’t invest in properly structured, digital content with a single source of truth approach ensuring consistent brand or product experiences won’t be found when metasearch comes into play.

The millennial generation, the biggest drivers behind this growth in digital, are still increasing in buying power and the Gen Zers right behind them are just as digitally focused if not more so. With smartphones permanently attached to their hands their shopping experiences have always focused on mobile first.

Attract Holiday Shoppers With These 3 Steps

There are many tactics you can employ to capture these omnichannel consumers.

  • An increase in ad spend can increase your visibility and reach.
  • Promotions across all channels can give brands a unified image touching consumers on multiple occasions.
  • Seasonal packaging can make products stand out and connect with consumers in new ways.

It is common for many companies to spend a disproportionate amount of dollars on ads during this time of year, and for good reason. According to Kissmetrics, “Through traditional marketing methods, ad impressions typically increase 50% during the holiday season. Click-through rates rise 100%, direct traffic increases 150%, the average order value grows by 30%, and conversion rates go up 60%.”

With consumers shopping more often and buying more during the holidays those extra promotional dollars spent will lead to an increased percentage of the consumers dollars. In-store end caps, magazine ad space, targeted online banner ads, interactive online content, and more can all be used this season to drive additional revenue and create a seamless story that follows consumers throughout their purchase cycle.

Seamless Shopping Means Online and Off

An increase in ad spend is easily justifiable to capture the additional dollars that are being spent by consumers. It is a great opportunity to not only increase sales to your existing customers but acquire new ones who are shopping for products they do not typically purchase.

Creating a promotional campaign that is visible both online and in-store creates a sense of unity that will touch consumers at multiple points throughout their purchase process. The digital shelf is not only driving a majority of holiday sales, but it is also driving foot traffic to physical stores. 83% of consumers reported they will utilize laptops, desktops, and/or smartphones during their holiday shopping this year. That means consumers will have bought online or researched products online before stepping foot in a physical store, and leaves only 17% of consumers who will not be affected by the digital shopping experience. Having that consistency across platforms helps consumers easily identify your products whether they saw them first online and then in-store, or vice versa.

Target has done a fantastic job marrying the digital and traditional channels by using mobile phones to push coupons and relevant ad content to consumers based on where they are in-store. During the holidays when people tend to browse more aisles of the store this creates more opportunity for impulse purchases to be added to consumers’ carts.

Seasonal Promotions, the Power of Nostalgia, and Storytelling

Consumers are spending more during the holidays and are looser with the money they are spending so running a customer acquisition promotion during the holidays can be a very powerful revenue generation tool. Most consumers have many fond memories of holidays past, and using the power of nostalgia brands can attempt to insert themselves into the consumers’ memories. Finding instances that your consumers can relate positive emotion and experiences with makes them psychologically perceive your brand in a more positive light.

Seasonal Packaging Changes

Another way to attract customers to your products is through seasonal packaging changes. According to Nielsen, 60% of product decisions are made at the shelf. Research And Markets said in their seasonal packaging case study that, “Seasonal packaging no longer represents a novel promotional tool but rather a necessary strategy used by the majority of brands.”

“The big picture is that we are in the impulse category, and we have a fraction of a second to get someone’s attention and get them to think about our product and hopefully buy it. Packing plays a very big role in making that successful or not”Robert Swaigen, Vice President of Global Marketing, Jelly Bean Candy Co.

Coca-Cola has leveraged holiday packaging so well, that the their polar bears have become a part of its brand identity. Building on brand and creating attractive eye-catching packaging is what all brands should be attempting to do this holiday season.

Another great example is Nabisco and the Oreo brand. Oreo has multiple holiday season options available: the original flavor, but seasonally colored Winter Oreos for example. Oreo does a great job maintaining brand identity through its different packages. While the color of each package may change drastically, the “Oreo” is always predominantly displayed across every variety. Nabisco has realized the value that seasonal package offers, and has committed a variety for almost every major event or season. This includes Fourth of July Oreos, Spring Oreos, Halloween Oreos, and so many more.

Running these promotions requires high quality images of products for any holiday packaging created. These can be created through in-house means or by utilizing a third-party content provider, like ItemMaster, that speeds up the process and ensures retail-specific content, editable e-commerce descriptions, scale images that help customers understand the size of the item, and of course, mobile-ready images. The holiday season is already upon us so the speed of product activation is vital to make this holiday season worthwhile. We can do it in 6 days or less.

With e-commerce being responsible for over $500 billion in holiday sales and playing a part in the purchase process for an even larger majority, you cannot afford to slack on your digital presence, no matter the channel. Turn to the experts at ItemMaster to learn more.

Read our infographic to learn why good product content is just like preparing Thanksgiving dinner!