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Preparing for the holiday season? Stay sane and get ahead with these tips!

They say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but for brand and retail marketing teams around the world, it’s the busiest time of the year! 

Preparation for the holiday period should begin in the summer months to get ahead – but whether you’re reading this in June or November, sit back, take a breath, steady your nerves and check out the tips below, you’ve got this!

Plan, Plan, Plan (did we mention plan?)

Campaign planning is arguably the most important part of a successful holiday season. Many brands and retailers make the mistake of putting off holiday planning until they are just around the corner, when it’s too late to truly make an impact. A solid marketing plan is your map to navigating high volume days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

A more effective strategy is to plan marketing campaigns several months ahead of time, so all moving parts can easily come together when those hectic days sneak up on us. With an early action plan, turnaround times are faster, paid ads are cheaper and your marketing team will be happier.

Make customer loyalty a priority

It’s common to focus on acquiring new leads during the holidays, but it’s even more important to maintain the strong relationships with current customers. Repeat customers are responsible generating 40% of a store’s revenue, so it’s vital to keep them coming back for more.

Upholding current customer relationships doesn’t just mean sending out promotional emails or discount codes. It’s imperative to recognize the wants and needs of your shoppers, so you can deliver the best buying experience possible.

Identify the underlying pain-points

Nearly half of shoppers (48%) have had problems with retailers during the holiday season, and those problems go far beyond your typical shipping and inventory difficulties. There are other issues that are not so obvious, issues that can greatly affect conversion rates.

Underlying pain-points such as choice paralysis or lack of customer support can make or break the turnout of your holiday season. 54% of shoppers have abandoned a website because it was too hard to find the right product. 71% of consumers switched to a competitor that provided an easier product-finding experience. To combat such obstacles, conversational marketing is key.

Solutions like digital assistants and chatbots allow businesses to create conversations by asking questions, leading consumers to the perfect products.

Consumers anticipate seamless experiences this season, so before you jump into holiday planning, make sure you’re aware of customer expectations.

Analyze your product data 

Online shopping saves consumers from the hectic holiday crowds. Why fight for a parking spot at the mall when you can just order everything online? Consumers have the convenience to shop anytime, anywhere. While this is great for the world of e-commerce, it’s not all that easy.

Businesses need to identify their customers desires for the holidays. Transactional data isn’t enough, and retailers need to go much further to win business. With real-time data and AI-driven insights, businesses can gain access to vital information into consumers behavior, interaction patterns, sales data and product preferences.  

The holidays will come faster than expected, so start collaborating and get the ball rolling!

 

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Lauren Panaswich is a content strategist at zoovu with a background in new media and digital marketing. With a centric focus on AI, she advocates the importance of personalization and humanization in a digital environment. Based in Boston, Lauren enjoys traveling, learning and meeting new people.