For many retailers, the last few months of the year are some of the busiest. Between stocking up on holiday products, decorating your stores, and finding ways to target new customers, the list of tasks seems endless. No matter how busy you get, holiday marketing should be one of your biggest priorities to help break sales records.
While some aspects of holiday marketing will be different this season, others will remain the same. “Like last year, shipping delays and sold out items means most consumers want their shopping to be done well before December,” Matthew Furneaux, Director of Location Intelligence at Loqate, said. “Preparing early will be crucial for retailers this year, considering that 21 percent of consumers have already gotten a head start on their holiday shopping.”
Web Push Messages are Gaining Popularity
A new report from Omnisend analyzed over 10 billion emails, nearly 25 million SMS, and 20 million web push messages to understand how consumers engage with brands across different direct communication channels and found that web push messages are beginning to gain steam. Conversion rates for web push messages are an astounding 36 percent, meaning one of every three shoppers who click on them make a purchase.
“Web push messages are for computers. They are the little boxes that pop up when you first enter a site,” explained Greg Zakowicz, Ecommerce Marketing Expert at Omnisend. “It is interesting because they were around two years ago, but no one was really using them, but last year they really took off. In the first half of the year in the report, the number of sends for web push messages floored me. I did not think there would be that many — the acceleration was so huge.”
Email Continues to Drive Sales
Email is one of the most used tactics for holiday marketing for retailers since it allows brands to send coupons, reminders, and information on new products, but that may change soon. Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection — announced earlier this summer with its iOS 15 update — is attempting to eliminate metrics and data associated with email. In this update, Apple Mail users may hide their IP addresses, locations and additional data from senders, preventing brands from pulling information like open rates and location. Apple said that “Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user.”
“Digital advertising has become more crowded and less effective. At the beginning of the year, this change shut down the traditional advertising conduit and has become a much less useful channel,” Mike Provance, CEO of 3×3, said. “In some regards, the only way to deal with it is to give shoppers a reason to want to be tracked or share their information with you. Take that core information you have, with email or phone, and continue to ask questions and have conversations with the shopper to build something and become knowledgeable about who they are and what they like. Use that to create better targeted advertising with specific opportunities and new specials with products they like.”
Consumers Prefer Email & Text Promotions
Patrick Gillooly, Marketing Director at Constant Contact, says consumers are more receptive to direct outreach. While social media ads and organic posts may be cheaper and easier for brands to share with their audiences, they often occur when customers are not in a buying mode. Emails and texts can be personalized, are easily searchable in an inbox, and appear in a setting where consumers are more likely to be purchase-oriented. It is easy to simply scroll past a promoted ad, but if you have captured your customers’ attention with a text or email timed to when they are primed, they will have to think twice before walking or scrolling away.
“Many brands have an abundance of internal data that allows them to determine browsing behavior, view purchase history, and offer complimentary products,” Furneaux said. “This holiday season, it is important for brands to build campaigns based on accurate data, supported by segmentation, in order to drive personalized communications, which we all know lead to better response and conversion rates.”