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Key consumer trends that will impact your digital marketing this holiday season

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Holiday shopping

It’s that time of year when it starts to get a little chilly outside, the holiday spirit flows through the air and the festive feel brightens up the short gloomy days. However, just like most aspects of 2020, the holiday season this year is understandably going to be impacted too.

With the change in consumer buying behaviour this year, it seems more crucial than ever to have the right approach in place to target and engage your consumers.

To do this, you will need to create an agile digital marketing approach that can adapt to the changes of consumer behaviour on a day to day basis, especially during this holiday season. The approach should focus on creating unique and personalised experiences across the consumer buying journey. A survey by Capgemini and Sapio Research was carried out across 6,588 consumers from UK, US, Germany, France, Netherlands and Scandinavia which shed some insights into the change of consumer behaviour this holiday season. These trends should help you to think about ways to reach consumer’s during such a difficult period.

1. Some people have saved money over the past few months for the holiday season, but make sure you don’t forget about those that haven’t.

Multiple lockdowns have restricted people’s going out habits meaning that 59% of people have been able to save a little more than usual, of which 34% have done so deliberately. However, the ability to save has been greatest for those on higher household incomes. It’s vital that you not only build a strategy that targets these households, but also understand the trends that exist with those in lower income households. To target these audience groups, it’s important to collect, not only third party data, but also first party data. Through this you will successfully be able to track customer patterns at both an individual and group level. It’s important to then analyse and leverage the insights you have generated, in real time, over the holiday period. This will help you to drive relevance in your communications and offer more targeted and timely experiences to your customers.

Deploying data-driven tactics across the marketing funnel will provide you with the necessary steps to reach new and existing customers.

2. Out of all the products out there, essential items seem to be the ones in demand this holiday season

52% of people are more likely to purchase essential items, rather than luxury goods. That includes buying for themselves as well as gifts for family and friends. This could mean that stocking fillers are likely to be filled with everyday clothing essentials or electrical items, rather than expensive fragrances and designer handbags.

Cutting through marketing insights and identifying the key trends amongst consumer needs and wants will help your brand and its category to be more innovative and inspirational. Adapting to an agile marketing approach will enable you to act quickly to your customer’s responses and feedback. For instance, if you release a campaign across your social channels at the start of December, but didn’t quite get the response you expected, you can then use the insights generated to act quick, and update that campaign in flight. Understanding marketing insights at a segment/individual level will also aide with personalisation.

3. Consumers will prioritise the price of products when deciding whether to make a purchase

Usually, some consumers are happy to pay that little bit more for something that will be delivered quickly, while others prioritise buying items that are sustainable. This year 46% of consumers say that the price will play the key factor in what they purchase. Consumers are after a good bargain and especially those that may have had a lower income than usual. They are also expecting to grab a better bargain by shopping online, rather than instore.

Online shopping continues to grow, and with all that’s happening this year, buying online now seems like the ideal option compared to ever before. 49% of shoppers expect to shop online more this holiday season than previously. With lockdown enticing people to spend more time on virtual platforms, social commerce (s-commerce) is a great way for brands and retailers to attract more leads and generate more sales. In particular, beauty and grooming brands should do well this holiday season, as Instagram is already a source of inspiration for beauty and grooming amongst many audiences.

As well as this we have seen some brands already start to offer virtual one-to-one online shopping, such as Ralph Lauren. These shifts in commerce, have definitely helped brands offset price worries, in favour of convenience.

4. A third of consumers will research online prior to making an in-store purchase

Although e-commerce is on the rise, this doesn’t mean that the high streets will be empty this year. 33% of shoppers will go into shops but only when they know what they are buying. Optimising the right SEO strategy to engage your target audience and leveraging your data and insights could add to that personalised buyer journey. Utilising tools such as Google Analytics, you can understand browser history which can enable you to tailor your SEO to customers, not only at the top of the funnel, but towards the bottom of funnel through retargeting and abandoned cart tactics.

It’s therefore vital, that this holiday season you can create seamless online to offline experiences for customers. For instance, give customers an opportunity to check in-store availability online, with the option to reserve a specific product, and pick it up when suitable for them. This can deliver convenience, ease and most importantly can ensure some level of safety.

Looking at these key trends, and the marketing efforts that brands can push out, it’s important to strike the balance between reaching and converting your consumers, whilst being sensitive to their needs, especially in times like this. However, every brand will have a different digital marketing approach; so, for this holiday season be agile, leverage data and the digital commerce space effectively, and ensure there is a unified commerce experience between online and offline.

If you’re interested in how Capgemini Invent can help you with digital marketing in the new year, and boost post-coronavirus recovery, then get in touch. Happy holidays!

Pritesh Joshi, digital marketing consultant, Capgemini Invent

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