Early holiday shopping - kicking off with Amazon's October Prime Day event and competing promotions - is going to be the new normal going forward. With advertising budgets spanning over elongated shopping periods, now is the time for to marketers figure out how to capture and hold consumer attention over the upcoming holiday period.
In this blog post, we will outline the current holiday marketing trends and provide simple tips and tricks to kickstart your holiday marketing plan and maximize ROI for your business.
The 2023 Holiday Season
Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, consumer spending for the holiday season in 2022 reverted to more typical levels following two years of outsize pandemic-era growth. This is will continue to grow, with retail sales predicted to increase by 4.5% in 2023. (eMarketer)
Below are the US holiday season sales, by channel for 2022 and 2023:
With this in mind, let's discuss the holiday trends that will inform your campaign strategies this year.
Retail Growth is Going Back to Normal
The past few years have seen pandemic gains and fluctuating growth rates between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce channels. The 2023 holiday season is likely to resume more typical growth patterns of low single-digit growth for in-store and double-digit growth for ecommerce.
Consumers Will Remain COST CONSCIOUS
While inflation is predicted to go down, consumers will still remain cost conscious in their holiday spending this year. With consumers looking take advantage of early sales and deals, it's no surprise that retailers are starting their holiday marketing campaigns sooner than usual.
The Holiday Season IS PULLING FORWARD
The advent of Amazon's October Prime Day event, the holiday season has grown to encompass Q4. Retailers must now plan for a second major promotional tentpole and spread their marketing budgets over an elongated shopping season.
The "Holiday Hammock" is Here to Stay
With October Prime events likely to continue, the holiday season can be visualized as a hammock with two (tent)poles of heavy spending, bridged by a period of slower spending in between.
Now that we have an understanding of the what to expect for the upcoming holiday season, how can you develop a successful marketing plan to meet and exceed your business goals?
5 Simple Tips to Get Started on Your Holiday Plan
This year, your ad campaigns have to give consumers a reason to spend. By investing in fast-growing and effective marketing and growth opportunities now, you can gain an advantage over your competitors once the holiday season arrives. Here are 5 simple tips to consider to get you started:
1. Define and Know Your Audience
Who is your target audience? It’s important to take the time to think about who you’re trying to reach and what type of message will resonate with them. What are their needs and wants during the holiday season? What are their interests? What type of content will they be most interested in during the holiday season? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of who your target audience is and what type of message will resonate with them.
2. Invest in Cross-Channel Marketing
An integrated marketing approach is your best bet to reach buyers no matter where they’re spending time this season. Think of investing in pay-per-click ads, SEO optimization for your content and placing display ads within relevant websites online.
3. Develop Retail Media-Powered Connected TV (CTV) Campaigns
Brands benefit from ad-supported CTV inventory powered by retail media networks like Amazon Ads and Walmart Connect. Knowing how to efficiently reach the right shoppers with these high-impact ads—and subsequently retarget them with digital ads—can produce outsize gains in holiday conversions.
4. Offer Buy Now, Pay Later to In-Store Shoppers
Cash-strapped consumers will look for ways to stretch their dollars during the holidays. These shoppers will be ready to use BNPL at brick-and-mortar locations, meaning retailers can capture incremental purchases by providing in-store payment alternatives.
5. Build Brand Loyalty
With consumers looking for the best deals out there and growing competition, it is important to build brand loyalty and communicate your value to your audience. Offer exclusive content to your best customers to keep them happy, show them you care and build loyalty so they stick with your products for the upcoming holiday season.
By planning ahead and getting your campaigns running early, you can get ahead of the competition, secure leads and generate sales for your business. There is no better time to start planning for your holiday campaigns!