Whether online or in-store, consumers have so many choices nowadays, brands have to work much harder to gain and keep their interest long enough to make it to the point of purchase, with short attention spans and the quest for a better deal providing constant challenges.
And never is it more important to beat those challenges than during the holiday shopping season.
So how do you get online browsers to seal the deal at your website, and in-store browsers to head to the register instead of just showrooming?
By applying the right strategies for the right demographic, at the right time, in the right place.
Let’s start with the where. Over 90% of shoppers from Millennials to Baby Boomers will do at least part of their shopping – roughly half – online this season. Learn more about THAT here. Amazon, Target and Walmart are set to see the most online shopping, but 58% of shoppers remain undecided, or plan to spend less at stores they bought from last year. Opportunity!
What’s influencing consumers’ decisions on where to spend?
- Word of mouth – 66% of all shoppers will rely on the opinions of family and friends as paramount in deciding what to buy.
- Social media – mostly young users (Millennials, 15% of whom plan to spend more than last year, by the way) will use social channels to make decisions. Most older shoppers (70%) won’t use social media at all to inform shopping decisions.
- Mobile – roughly one-third of all shoppers will use mobile devices to call, text and email to get input from friends and family while in-store, and to browse online for coupons and deals while out-of-store. The search for low prices will happen both in-store and out.
Brand websites and online reviews will also factor into decision-making.
When will they shop? Mostly in November (40% of all consumers). Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest shopping days of the year, not surprisingly, but Christmas Eve is also a big one.
What does that mean for retailers? You need to act quickly to sway undecided shoppers while they’re primed for the majority of their shopping. Of note: those who browse online won’t necessarily shop there, and the same goes for in-store.
So how do you capture consumers’ attention? Here’s how:
- Eye-catching and informative displays in-store, coupled with killer customer service
- Online reviews and social testimonials posted near merchandise (in-store), along with codes to text or scan for immediate mobile coupons
- Price matching if you can
- Loyalty programs – 80% of shoppers say that the ability to earn and use loyalty points and perks is at least somewhat important to their holiday shopping strategy. Incentivize behaviors like social sharing and turn customers into brand advocates to get that word-of mouth
Check out our 2014 Holiday Shopping Season report for all the details to use in your omni-channel approach. Be as savvy as your shoppers, and you’ll not only end the year with a bang, you’ll set your brand up with a slew of loyal customers as you head into 2015.