Three Ways Brands Can Prepare for the Holiday Season

By Jay Revels | 07 Sep 2016

With the Christmas shopping period fast approaching retailers need to start preparing to ensure they make the most of the holiday season.

For retailers, November and December can account for up to 20 percent of annual sales. To make the most of every opportunity in the lead-up to the holiday shopping period, Australian retailers need to be prepared with marketing incentives that will resonate with customers.

According to mobile usage data, consumer research for end-­of-­year shopping starts as early as October. In fact, on average, 62 percent of consumers use their smartphones to research holiday shopping options, accelerating as early as three months before and peaking after December 25th, around New Year’s Eve.

To take advantage of the increase in retail sales and the surge in mobile usage during the holiday season, brands would be wise to consider strategies that develop customer loyalty in the months prior.

Here are three ways that brands can build momentum, boost visibility, and grow their customer base in the lead­-up to the holiday season.

  1. Learn about your wider audience

In addition to marketing to your engaged audience, make use of the coming months to become top of mind for new and potential consumers assembling holiday wish lists.

Learn more about your wider audience by leveraging tools such as Facebook’s Audience Insights to better understand the interests and demographics of these potential customers.

From here, your audience can be segmented based on demographics and geography. Along with these segments, you can develop campaigns around behavioural targeting to audiences such as digital buyers or mobile early adopters, outside of your already highly developed database.

  1. Invest in video

Video continues to be one of the most engaging ad formats, particularly among mobile users.

Ensure this year’s marketing budget is able to meet growing demand for video content. The most important factor when determining an appropriate ad format is practicality, taking into account which will allow your brand to best showcase your products and services.

Videos must be visually compelling, as many users will view the ad on ­the ­go on their mobile with the sound likely off. Make sure your video can tell a compelling story in a short amount of time, with or without sound, and can grab shortening attention spans within ten seconds, making use of captions where required.

Popular examples of online video ad templates are Facebook Carousel Video Ads and Facebook Canvas Ads, which offer an immersive brand experience.

Combine the impact of the video ad with a click-­through link and CTA button using Video Link Ads. Another compelling and efficient format for video ads are Carousel Ads, which allow brands to showcase multiple products in a visually captivating way.

  1. Look beyond the immediate goal

The holiday retail surge doesn’t end immediately after Boxing Day. Research suggests 65 percent of consumers plan to keep shopping after Christmas. Brands should use this post-­holiday period to nurture the relationship with customers acquired before and during the holiday surge. If successful, brands can look at ways to convert holiday ‘browsers’ into repeat buyers.

Through the use of lookalike modelling to expand on existing purchasers, brands are also able to build demand among affinity groups to drive traffic to the website, and to continually increase their total buyer base.

By leveraging your brand’s reach to prospects identified as valuable outside of the immediate shopping timeframe — with a view to retaining them — you can enjoy the benefits of engaged customers and a larger database come Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter come 2017.


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