Is your marketing strategy ready for the holidays?
If not, don't panic. Facebook has put together a helpful2019 Holiday Marketing Guide, which is full of industry insights and statistics to help you develop and implement your business' holiday marketing strategy.
While the guide is available for download, it's extremely dense with data and takeaways. So, we’ve highlighted the key takeaways you truly need to get your holiday marketing strategy on track.
2019 holiday marketing trends to watch
Facebook lists six holiday marketing trends for 2019. How will each of these impact your brand? And how can you use them to build a better holiday marketing strategy? Read on!
1. Holiday shoppers are buying earlier than ever
Facebook was already starting to see holiday conversions in October of 2018 and notes that 43% of shoppers started holiday shopping in November or earlier. There's magic in "black week," which this year starts on November 25. In 2018, 50 percent of shoppers had completed their holiday shopping by December 3.
All of this means that now (October) is the exact time to start targeting holiday shoppers.
2. Shoppers are intolerant of bad experiences
With mobile shopping, it's easier than ever for shoppers to take their business elsewhere. Facebook found that 85% of global holiday shoppers had at least one bad experience while they were holiday shopping on their mobile device.
Make sure your business makes it easy for shoppers to convert when they find inspiration on your website or social media account.
3. Window shopping is shifting to stories
People are swiping through Facebook stories for inspiration to find gifts their friends and family will love. This has become a sort of mobile version of window shopping, with the added convenience of being able to do it from anywhere. In fact, 62% of people say that they have become more interested in a brand after seeing it in a Facebook story.
Reach new customers by using the feature on Facebook and Instagram to sell your brand and your products. Engaging stories lead to conversions. It's that simple.
4. More people are buying in-store than previously
Even though mobile and online shopping are still on the rise, there's value in brick-and-mortar stores too, especially during the holiday season.
The key is to deliver customers an experience when they step into your store. In its survey, Facebook found that 42% of holiday shoppers in the U.S. shopped in-store for the ambiance. That's something that you can't fully replicate with an online store.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, use stories to show shoppers what their experience will be like when they step inside to encourage more people to get into your store. You can also cut down on shipping costs by offering a deal when customers order online and pickup in-store.
5. Major shopping events are going global
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have extended around the world. Shopping on Black Friday grew by 9% from 2017 to 2018, and shopping on Cyber Monday grew 15%. Singles' Day (a Chinese tradition known as 11:11) grew by 25% and is becoming popular in Europe.
For online retailers and marketers, targeting these shopping events to your global audience is going to be instrumental this holiday season. Don't set all your sights on Black Friday.
6. Brands who use messaging gain loyal customers
Customers love using Facebook messaging to connect with a brand directly. Right now, 20 billion messages are sent every month between customers and businesses.
The top reasons customers message brands include finding out more about a product, buying a product, and finding out store information. Being responsive to Facebook messenger is critical for businesses, especially when it's so easy for customers to shop elsewhere.
Strategies for holiday peaks
There are a lot of shopping peak times from November through January. Facebook's marketing guide has a calendar to help you keep track of all the shopping events. Here are some strategies for managing them.
1. Start early
Don't start marketing for Black Friday on Black Friday! Get an early start with special discounts and offers for early shoppers. Target your ads for before and after each peak for your best return on ad spend (ROAs).
Limited time offers and one-day deals give shoppers a sense of urgency and lead to more conversions.
3. Offer flash sales
Keep customers coming back to your website to see what new deals are available with flash sales. This keeps customers interested and on your site longer.
4. Offer threshold sales
Encourage shoppers to spend a little extra to get a bigger discount or a free item. People love saving money and getting free gifts as a reward for their shopping.
5. Reward loyalty
Encourage customer loyalty with special discount codes, free gifts, and an extended return policy for returning customers. For instance, you can use a remarketing discount code during Black Week to encourage customers to come back before the holidays.
There's no question that the holiday season is the biggest shopping season of the year for all types of retailers. We recommend downloading Facebook's marketing guide to help you plan your marketing strategy and optimize your ads to make the most of the 2019 season.