The holidays may look a little different this year, but it’s still a season of peak demand and a critical time for businesses to connect with customers. With Thanksgiving just over a week away, we wanted to share some new insights and advertising tips to help you attract holiday shoppers. 

How Holiday Shoppers Have Changed

Earlier this month, Google shared new data revealing how the behavior of holiday shoppers is changing in 2020. Here are some key statistics you should know: 

  • Searches for “support local businesses” grew by over 20,000% since last year and searches for “curbside pickup” have grown over 3,000%
  • Searches for “available near me” have grown over 100% globally year-over-year.
  • 69% of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays more than in previous years (with more people going online to browse and buy for the very first time.)
  • 70% of US shoppers said they were open to buying from new retailers.
  • 77% of US holiday shoppers said they would browse for gift ideas online, not in-store.
  • 46% of online US shoppers expect retailers to offer discounts.
  • 66% of US consumers who plan to shop this holiday season said they will shop more at local small businesses.

What These Changes Mean for Your Business

When you take into account all that has transpired in 2020, none of those statistics are all that surprising. The key takeaway is that your tried and true marketing tactics from years past aren’t likely to be as effective this year. 

Shoppers are spending more time browsing online, but want to shop local. Your business may be losing out on sales if you don’t have a curbside pickup option available on your website. If curbside isn’t an option for your business, you may want to consider offering free shipping. It would appeal to those who expect a discount this time of year and those who are reluctant to shop in stores. 

Advertising Tips to Attract Holiday Shoppers

As your business evolves to meet the needs of today’s shoppers, it’s important to communicate those changes through your advertising. Here are some tips to help your holiday campaigns convert: 

  1. Budget for key holiday shopping days. Being prepared for key holiday shopping dates—days when people tend to do a lot of research and look for deals—is vital to capture as many relevant searches as possible. These include Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), Black Friday (Nov. 27), Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28), Cyber Monday (Nov. 30), Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), and Free Shipping Day (Dec. 14).
  2. Optimize your landing page. Create a landing page specifically for your PPC or social media ad campaign and ensure it’s optimized to turn traffic into inquires and sales. Does the page load quickly? Is the call to action clear? Does it include customer reviews to build credibility through social proof?
  3. Create a Geofence. Geofencing creates a virtual perimeter around your physical location that can be used to deliver targeted advertisements to people in your area. 
  4. Use email marketing. Consumers are used to receiving emails about deals and specials. In fact, 75% of consumers say they search their email inboxes just to find a relevant deal or discount code, so make sure they see yours this holiday season. 
  5. Make sure your local listings are updated. Your local listings, like your Google My Business listing, provide consumers with an easy way to see your business’s hours, location, and phone number. But, you can also provide additional information that they’d find useful like whether or not you offer curbside service, any specials you’re running, and more to streamline their online experience with your business.
  6. Leverage new formats. Did you know 15-25% of Instagram users swipe on links in paid Stories? Looking just like regular Instagram Stories, Sponsored Ads allow you to ‘insert’ your branded offer in between user-created stories. For the best results, it’s recommended that you use them to re-engage your website visitors or target lookalike audiences (the users whose demographics and interests are similar to your existing customers’ ones).
  7. Retarget. Optimize your advertising campaigns by retargeting those that have previously interacted with your brand. Think people that purchased during last year’s holiday season, visitors to your website visitors, social media followers, etc.
  8. Plan a post-holiday campaign. The few weeks following Christmas can be very strong for sales. Some will have gift cards or cash to spend that are burning holes in their pockets. Others will return things and want to purchase something else. Start planning your post-holiday ad campaign now. 

Preparing for the holiday season can be overwhelming, but the most important thing you can do is to be flexible. For more marketing tips to help you grow your business, be sure to follow TargetMarket on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin


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