Can you believe we are already through more than half of 2023? This year has certainly been a strange time. The threat of a recession mixed with the increase in consumer spending has many economists and businesses confused, each wondering just when the pin will drop. This outlook has led to many companies constricting budgets, leaving marketing and sales teams having to do more with less.
But with the year continuing to speed by and consumer spending remaining steady, it’s important to stay proactive with your holiday marketing plans. You can still make a large impact this holiday season while remaining budget conscious. To kick off your 2023 marketing holiday planning, we’ll discuss the top 5 trends we expect to influence consumer habits, and how you can take advantage of them to make a positive impression this upcoming season.
1. Consumers Will Be Lured by Deeper Discounts
While inflation is continuing to come down significantly compared to its highs of last year, retailers are still predicting a downbeat 2023 holiday season. According to CNBC’s latest Supply Chain Survey, 43% of retailers are planning to order less inventory compared to 2022. And 71% are specifically concerned that consumers will cut back holiday spending in response to inflation. For this reason alone, retailers are prioritizing can’t-miss discounts on middle-priced items that will lure consumers into stores. But don’t just take these predictions as truth, as other major shopping days may tell a different story about consumer spending.
Over the course of Amazon’s Prime Day sale, Adobe Analytics determined that online shoppers spent $12.7B, which marks a 6.1% year-over-year growth for the company. Amazon usually doesn’t provide sales date for their Prime Day sale, but they did say that it “was the biggest sales day in the company’s history.”
What does this mean for you as a marketer? It’s going to be critical to be strategic about what items you significantly discount. Prioritize discounting items that will encourage individuals to purchase other items in response. Proper segmentation and exclusive deals can help you encourage loyal customers to increase the number of purchases they make from your brand.
2. More Flexible Payment Options Will Be Key to Increasing Sales
“Buy now, pay later” (BNPL) loans are becoming an increasingly attractive payment options for consumers, especially due to the historic inflation we’ve all experienced throughout last year and early 2023. Services, such as Klarna and PayPal credit, have begun to let consumers pay only a quarter of their bill at checkout as long as autopayments are set up. And this is with no interest or credit history required.
Flexible payment options, like these, empower consumers to get the perfect gift without breaking the bank, and instead, spread that payment into more reasonable chunks throughout the year. According to a 2022 U.S. government survey, the number of BNPL loans have grown from $17M in 2019 to $180M at the end of 2021. Many shoppers won’t even do business with a retailer if they don’t offer BNPL payment options.
What does this mean for you as a marketer? Work with IT and sales to provide more flexible payment options to customers. For instance, if you have less than $3M in annual sales, you can try BNBL options, like Klarna, for free. And with a number of integrations across Salesforce Commerce, Shopify, Adobe Commerce, and Stripe, just to name a few, it doesn’t hurt to try and test BNPL before the holidays and see how your shoppers respond. But, the desire for flexibility doesn’t just stop at payment options as consumers want a number of different purchasing methods as well.
3. The Experience Between Digital and Brick & Mortar Continues to Blend
With the increasing popularity of buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), the customer experience between digital and physical store locations are continuing to blend, leading to an increased necessity in providing omnichannel shopping experiences. In fact, according to recent Salesforce research, 1-in-5 online orders were fulfilled via BOPIS, and companies that offered BOPIS in 2022 grew their online revenue seven times faster than those who didn’t.
Though BOPIS, from a logistical perspective, can be quite difficult to implement, but combine that with transitioning customers from a digital to an on-location customer experience even adds further complexity. Teams must coordinate their processes to ensure that the customer experience is as seamless as possible during handoffs.
Still, even if your brand doesn’t offer BOPIS services but does have a physical presence, there’s still plenty you can do to ensure your digital and on-location experiences aren’t disconnected from each other.
What does this mean for you as a marketer? You should explore more opportunities to connect both experiences. You could do this by providing in-store coupons or exclusive promotional items for shopping in stores. Or prioritize creating a customer loyalty program that empowers you to track customers’ purchasing history both online and in-store.
4. Those Who Personalize Will Win Over Shoppers
These days, experiences > products. If you don’t provide a unique customer and shopping experience, you risk losing potential customers to competitors. 62% of customers expect companies to anticipate their needs, and for those who do, they feel they have a stronger emotional connection with those brands. Just providing great products isn’t enough these days; they want to have relationships with the brands they interact with, and they want those brands to value the same things they do.
What does this mean for you as a marketer? If you don’t have much of a personalization strategy yet, you don’t have to start with implementing multiple use cases at once. You could start as small as segmenting your email communications. Simply creating email lists based on demographic information or recent purchase history is a huge step forward in ensuring your consumers aren’t inundated with irrelevant communications. You can customize these communications with custom coupons or product recommendations, for example.
5. Strong Segmentation for Social Media Ads Will Deliver Incredible ROI
Having a strong social media presence is becoming increasingly important, especially in the B2C space. According to Salesforce, traffic referrals from social media platforms has grown 27% year over year, and more than half of consumers said they went to a physical store to discover products they’ve seen within their social media feed.
Using your social media presence, especially by posting interactive video content, can help customers discover your products that will enhance their day-to-day life. But purchasing ads for the holiday season can be incredibly expensive as you will be fighting against constant noise due to the season. That’s why it’s critical to be strategic with your social spending.
What does this mean for you as a marketer? Begin experimenting with social media advertising, in the form of photos and short videos, before the holidays begin. Find out how your consumers are finding about your products and ensure that your tags and descriptions are clear enough, so the algorithms on your chosen platforms connect your customers to the right offerings.
Make an Impact this Holiday Season with a Trusted Partner
The holiday season can be all-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be with the right partner. Visit our Marketing Strategy and Creative Services hubs to discover how we can help you deliver out-of-this-world customer experiences this holiday season and beyond! In the meantime, keep on the look out for future holiday planning content throughout the month of August!