A holiday is a win-win situation for both consumers and brands, that comes around a couple of times per year and is missed when it’s gone — until the next one comes around, that is. Year 2018 was critical for retailers because it was estimated to account 30% of annual sales.
In general, 80% of holiday shoppers turn to the Internet before they make a purchase and one-third is influenced by promotions particularly in emails and meta descriptions. What is more, millennials are expected to spend more than 60% of their holiday budget online. Building your strong online presence during holiday season and preparing your website for the incoming traffic should be on top of your list.
Looking at the round up from last year, it has been estimated that UK shoppers spent £7 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018, rising from £4.5 billion in 2017. In general, men intend to spend more than women, at £234 compared with £206. According to Cosmopolitan, the best fashion sales in the UK during Black Friday were seen at ASOS, Topshop, & Other Stories, Mango and many more.
A holiday season for retail marketers is all year round, there is no time for rest! The real goal for every brand is maximizing sales during holidays. The key to success is identifying the essential dates, plan ahead and create campaigns months in advance. Luckily, we’ve put together a Retail Holiday Calendar 2019, the UK edition:
- Valentine’s Day (14th February)
- London Fashion Week (15th-19th February)
- Mother’s Day (31st March)
- Easter Weekend (19th-22nd March)
- Father’s Day (16th June)
- Halloween (31st October)
- Black Friday (29th November)
- Cyber Monday (2nd December)
- Small Business Saturday (7th December)
- Last day for one-day delivery (23rd December)
- Boxing Day (26th December)
Now let’s have a look at the important holiday shopping statistics and marketing strategies that will help you plan better this year.
1. 64% of Black Friday shoppers have been searching the internet for deals ahead of the day.
Consumers want to get insights of the deals and know what to expect a few days ahead in order to prepare and be faster than other keen sales shoppers. Dropping your adverts even a week before can help you increase the number of sales, because people will simply know about them ahead.
2. 95 percent of retailers agree that deals and discounts are more effective at driving purchase decisions during the holidays than at any other time of the year. (RetailMeNot)
It doesn’t necessarily have to mean being overly promotional, because it can result in several unsubscribing customers or unfollows on your social media platforms. It is good to find a balance in between, be a bit more generous during holiday season and offer something different than competition.
3. Advertisers should not wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to launch their campaigns—the highest click-through-rates happen in November. (ZypMedia)
Launching your marketing campaigns at the beginning of the month or a few weeks before the event is a way to go. With this information you can plan ahead and be ready to surprise the audience with an early release before the two biggest retail dates in Novmeber.
4. More than 50% of all online orders included free delivery.
Half of the eCommerce stores online offer a free delivery of the products, especially during a holiday season. Competition will think of better ways to improve customer experience, that is why it is crucial to be aware of this essential factor and decrease the price and time of delivery you offer.
5. 61 percent of millennials will use a mobile device at some point as they browse and shop for the perfect gift. (Oath)
A lot of people go on their mobile for help and advice before purchasing a certain product as well as to do online shopping and read the reviews. Your eCommerce platform should be optimised for mobile to provide excellent customer experience not only for desktop users, but for everyone.
6. 84 percent of holiday shoppers are more likely to purchase a product online this year because they are confident it will arrive on time. (CommerceHub).
Consumers trust their favourite brands who can keep the promises they make. Consider improving your service and reducing the time of delivery, and you will not only reduce the number of complaints but also gain loyal customers.
7. 30 percent of people say online ads help with finding gift ideas. (Harris Insights/OpenX)
Consider investing in online advertising and email marketing this year. Double the number of ads you usually provide for the new and existing customers, and you will see a definite return on investment.
8. On average, websites receive 63% more website visits during the holiday.
Make sure you website is fully prepared for the increase of traffic coming to it. A long loading time is very likely to frustrate customers who are hunting for the best deals and will result in them leaving your platform without making a purchase.
9. 55% of shoppers around the world have a more favorable view of businesses that respond to them over social media (2017 State of Global Customer Service Report).
Social media is one of many ways you can engage with your audience, build trust and improve your customer service. Make sure you don’t live messages unattended and your team is always there to answer any questions that your customers may have.
10. 54% of the global average now have a higher expectation of customer service.
During holiday season your customer support should be better than ever. With higher demand for products comes more complaints and users that need assistance before or during the process of making a purchase. That can only mean having your team trained to be efficient, helpful and have a good knowledge of the product.
Let’s wrap it up
With holidays popping up nearly every month there’s always an opportunity to improve and make your customer happy with a sale. With holidays season being more intense year by year and customers being more demanding than ever before, it is worth planning ahead and preparing a thoughtful marketing strategy for each of the retail events to avoid disappointment and maximise your sales. Remember that competition is never asleep and always try to offer better customer experience!