We all know that person who starts their Christmas shopping just a little too early, right? Well, it seems the jokes on us; around 40% of US shoppers start their Christmas shopping as early as Halloween and an even bigger proportion of UK shoppers (53%) plan to shop in November. Katherine Cullen, from the National Retail Federation suggests a key reason consumers behave this way is to ‘spread out their spending’ as we all know just how pricey Christmas gets! PwC’s report reflects the importance of retail shopping, but equally the undeniable rise of online shopping.
Read on to get some insights into your consumers buying habits around the festive period, and a round-up of our recommended digital channels for your retail or ecommerce business.
Showrooming vs Webrooming
It’s fair to say, for its convenience and ease, online shopping is dominating sales in 2019. The graph pulled together by PwC exemplifies how significant it is to have a strong online presence, including an optimised website and strategic Social campaigns in place. An interesting point to consider is where your shoppers are going to make those final purchases. Showrooming and Webrooming are two key ways shoppers are finding you and eventually buying from you.
- Showrooming: shoppers browsing in-store, to then make the final purchase online
- Webrooming: shoppers browsing online first, to then make the final purchase in-store
Obviously, in either of the above scenarios there is a chance that your customers may be swayed by competitor offerings. With competition high, it is more crucial than ever to ensure your USPs are visible to your customers. 72% of UK shoppers prefer to compare prices online prior to shopping in store; this is the ideal mindset for PPC (Pay-Per-Click) shopping campaigns that will later motivate an in-store purchase through grasping the consumers awareness at a crucial part of their purchase journey.
Flip that scenario and a customer is searching online whilst simultaneously being in the store as well (which Facebook suggests 59% of us do). If the customer is simply browsing, a strong presence on PPC Shopping means you can capture this user and maintain their attention to your brand, or even better, take them straight from your competitors grasp!
According to OpenBravo, 47% of showroom-shoppers don’t want to pay for shipping and 37% prefer the option to return to the store from which they purchased from. Maybe your ecommerce platform could benefit from reduced shipping costs, or an efficient and smoother returns policy? Knowing these shopping habits and overcoming any barriers will reveal some tips to creating a brand your customers won’t forget.
As we creep into the Christmas period, conducting SEO research could also set you ahead of the game, seeing which keyword phrases are working for you and checking out the competition. For further tips on optimising your website, check out our 15 Reasons Why Your Site Is Not On Google, to push those website visits.
Eyes Open for (Early-bird) Deals
In conducting analysis into Christmas consumer buying habits, a key point that arose was just how savvy the consumer is becoming when scouring for the best Christmas bargains. Even in the retail side of Christmas shopping, premium-lined brands are becoming increasingly unpopular for the cost-conscious Christmas consumer. Be sure to offer some competitive deals and promotions to secure repeat purchases and stand-out against competitors. Planning along-term strategy will aid you in offering competitive prices for your ever-smarter consumers.
There is a major correlation between your customer service and brand loyalty, and focusing on these aspects will hugely impact your sales this Christmas. Building great relationships along with creating a good online presence can help your brand way past their initial purchase. It’s estimated that your customers have a 27% chance of making a second purchase after the first time they buy from you, and following that, a 45% chance of shopping from you a third time. The essential way to tackle this will involve planning; planning your strategy well in advance will allow you to establish strong brand awareness in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Scheduling Facebook Ads or Instagram posts can increase revenues because your potential customers will think of you first, thus pushing your conversion rates and maximising profits.
Our team have a variety of strategies that will work for you, to get your Social presence primed and ready for the festive period. Maybe you’re an ecommerce cosmetic brand who could roll out a seasonal advent calendar with samples to entice your customers to come back to you? Or perhaps you have a retail store that could have an impressive Christmas tree with baubles filled with incentives for a lucky shopper? There’s plenty of ways to boost brand awareness.
So whether its overcoming barriers of online vs in-store customer buying habits, conducting SEO research, or creating a great Social campaign, get in touch today to see those sales figures increase and see a brilliant return on investment (ROI) for your business this Christmas.