The holiday season is the most beautiful time for many consumers and businesses alike. It’s a time of joy, celebration, and generosity but also a time of fierce competition and high expectations. As an eCommerce marketer, be ready to make the most of this lucrative opportunity and stand out.
But how can you do that in 2023, when the current landscape has changed consumer behavior and preferences and the holiday shopping season is starting earlier than ever? In this blog post, we will share some holiday shopping trends, tips, and best practices to help you plan your eCommerce marketing strategy for the holiday season of 2023 based on the latest trends and insights from experts.
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Start Your Holiday Shopping Season Campaigns Early
One of the critical holiday shopping trends for the holiday season 2023 is that consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than usual. According to a Q3 Sprout pulse survey, 75% of marketers publish holiday content earlier in 2023 compared to 2022. This is partly because consumers want to avoid shipping delays, stock shortages, and health risks due to the changing and volatile times across the globe. It’s also partly due to the influence of major online retailers like Amazon, which announced a second Prime Day in October, creating a new peak shopping event before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As an eCommerce marketer, be prepared for this shift in consumer behavior and launch your holiday marketing campaigns early. This means creating a holiday marketing strategy that covers all the important dates and events from October to December, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve.
Create engaging and relevant content for each customer journey stage, from awareness to purchase to loyalty. For example, you can use social media posts, blog posts, email newsletters, webinars, podcasts, videos, infographics, quizzes, contests, gift guides, and more to attract, educate, persuade, and delight your audience.
“The holiday season is a time to connect with your customers emotionally and show them how much you appreciate their loyalty and support. You can do this by creating personalized and relevant content, offering exclusive deals and rewards, and providing exceptional customer service.” – Neil Patel, co-founder of NP Digital.
Highlight Your Shopping Options Based on Category
Another trend for the holiday season of 2023 is that consumers are more omnichannel than ever. They use online and offline channels to research, compare, and buy products. According to The 2023 Sprout Social Index™, 52% of consumers used social more in the past two years than in the previous two, significantly to help them discover new products and services. At the same time, only 14% of U.S. shoppers say they will not shop in-store this holiday season, as they seek convenience, immediacy, in-person experience, and product trial.
“The key to successful holiday marketing is understanding your audience and their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Segment your customers based on their purchase history, browsing behavior, location, demographics, and psychographics. You also need to use data and analytics to measure and optimize your campaigns and improve your ROI.” – Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko.
Highlight your shopping options based on category and customer needs. Offer flexible and convenient options such as buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, same-day delivery, free shipping, easy returns, and contactless payment. Optimize your website and mobile app for speed, usability, security, and personalization.
You need to leverage social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube to showcase your products in action through shoppable live streams, stories, reels, videos, and posts. You should use tools like Google Shopping, Google My Business, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Merchant Center to increase your online visibility and conversions.
Provide AI-Powered Customer Care
A third trend for the holiday season 2023 is that consumers expect personalized and responsive customer care from brands. According to The 2023 Sprout Social Index ™, 76% of consumers notice and appreciate when companies prioritize customer support, and another 70% expect companies to provide personalized responses to customer care needs. However, during the busy holiday season, it can be challenging for brands to deliver quality, individualized responses to customers at scale.
Provide AI-powered customer care to give your customers a competitive edge. Use chatbots, virtual assistants, and conversational AI to automate and streamline customer service processes.
You can use tools like Sprout Social, HubSpot, Zendesk, and Salesforce to manage and monitor customer interactions across multiple channels and platforms. There are other tools to help you engage and retain your customers, like MoEngage, AppFollow, and Nudgespot, with personalized messages, offers, and feedback.
Showcase Your Authenticity and Purpose
A fourth trend for the holiday season 2023 is consumers looking for authentic and purpose-driven brands. 62% of consumers want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability, transparency, and fair employment practices. According to another study, 43% of consumers are likelier to buy from brands that share their values and beliefs.
Showcase your authenticity and purpose in your holiday marketing campaigns. Your mission and brand story must be compelling and authentic. Highlight your social and environmental impact and initiatives. Partner with influencers, celebrities, nonprofits, and communities that align with your brand values and goals. Create content that educates, entertains, inspires, and empowers your audience. Encourage user-generated content, reviews, testimonials, and referrals from your loyal customers.
“The holiday season is a great opportunity to showcase your brand personality and values and to build trust and loyalty with your customers. You can do this by creating engaging and entertaining content, partnering with influencers and charities, and telling your brand story and mission.” – Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs.
The holiday season 2023 is an excellent opportunity to boost sales, profits, and customer loyalty. However, it also comes with many challenges and uncertainties due to the changing consumer behavior and preferences.
To succeed in this competitive and dynamic environment, start your holiday marketing campaigns early, highlight shopping options based on category, understand marketing ideas that are in trend, provide AI-powered customer care, and showcase your authenticity and purpose.