Marketers know that improving sales is key to higher revenue. While the idea seems straightforward for some, it’s actually not. A good strategy is pivotal to pick up your sales — it starts from understanding your surroundings and key industry trends.The upcoming holiday season is the perfect time to implement a solid marketing strategy. Did you know there’s never a better time to jack up those sales figures than right now? Effective early sales tactics can serve you greatly, especially when paired with collaborating with social media influencers. Find out what the top 4 holiday shopping trends this year are to stay ahead of your competition!Rise of online shoppingLet’s face it: we are constantly on our phones or consuming other types of media that are filled with ads and promotions. Eventually, the million ads we see a day work and we find ourselves browsing products online. Whether it's to find the best deals, compare options easier, read product reviews or make purchases, all of this can be done from the comfort of our own homes. Online shopping simply offers a high level of convenience. People can buy the goods they need directly, instead of hoping that an item is in stock when they go in store. With over 76% of adults shopping online, consumers have adapted quickly and begun shifting their habits. I suppose we can thank the pandemic for that - convenience has become the ultimate desire and people aren’t willing to give it up.Mobile phones, which make up the majority of social media traffic, are also responsible for $353.54 billion worth of purchases in 2022. A report conducted by eMarketer showed that shoppable visual images and videos were the most effective type of advertisement for adults, with video advertising and brand social media posts following behind it. It’s impossible for consumers to escape advertising these days, considering most social media apps have a shopping feature now built in. Social media influencers have also seen significant growth. Followers are more willing to buy influencer-promoted products due to the trust the fans have in them. Influencers are able to build a connection with their followers by repeatedly engaging with them and making consistently good recommendations for products they personally use and love. Use this to your advantage and start promoting your products online to kickstart your holiday campaigns!
Consumers are buying earlier than ever
Consumers are already preparing for Christmas by shopping ahead of time. Only 40% of shoppers plan to buy during November and December, with the majority of consumers either shopping last month or in October. As retail prices from October to Christmas Eve are expected to rise by 6.2%, 37% of shoppers are buying gifts earlier to beat the price increases and get better deals. Package delivery delays from supply chain issues and labor shortages have also contributed to early purchases. Most consumers learned from the delivery delays that occurred last holiday season and are shopping earlier to get their gifts on time this year to spoil their loved ones.While some companies such as Build-A-Bear Workshop and Macy's have begun preparations for the onslaught of early orders by launching Holiday sales and product lines earlier than normal, others such as Best Buy and Tillys are expecting a return to pre-pandemic shopping habits as shoppers hold out for any last-moment deals. Retailers are recommended to create early promotions to avoid swelling inventories and reduce any last-minute dashes to capture sales. Early promotions will attract online shoppers looking to get their items earlier and save money.But just how meaningful are sales to customers?
The right sale at the right time
Price is becoming an increasingly important factor in deciding consumer purchases due to rising inflation and consumers being increasingly money-conscious. As the price of consumer goods continues to rise, people are encouraged to shop earlier. However, many still worry about their spending and are hesitant about spending a significant amount at once. So how can you still profit when people are hesitant to shop?Holiday marketing campaigns that start earlier and more often have an advantage as discounts and coupons tend to attract early shoppers. More than 38 billion dollars was spent on Cyber 5 sales in 2021, and that number is only expected to increase as consumers continue to change their habits and get most of their holiday shopping done during sales. People still want to have a good experience during the holidays, and sales let them feel good about buying gifts for their loved ones rather than worrying about the cost.Pinterest ran a study last holiday season that found that the conversion rate of brands that focused on marketing during multiple holiday opportunities was four times higher than companies that only focused on Christmas. This suggests that planning for multiple promotions, during one holiday season, encourages earlier, more frequent shopping and gives businesses a major leg-up against their competition.
Influencer marketing is a huge opportunity
Social media influencers have become one of the main driving forces behind product discovery and purchase decisions. As many influencers focus heavily on a specific niche and cultivate followings that trust them for recommendations, businesses should look to leverage influencers during the holiday season. Over half of consumers use influencer recommendations to narrow down which products they should purchase.A study by the Digital Marketing Institute found that 60% of shoppers would consider purchasing a product in the store if it was promoted by an influencer they follow, and 40% of consumers have purchased a product after an influencer recommended it. Influencers are able to gain the trust of their audience through long-term engagement. They are seen as someone recommending a product because it worked for them, rather than someone being paid to promote a random product, adding to their authenticity. Think of the TikTok hashtag: #tiktokmademebuyit. A hashtag went viral because so many products were purchased after users saw it for the first time while watching a TikTok video. Stores like Indigo even have a designated section that showcases products that have gone viral on TikTok to entice shoppers. A large majority of new buyer growth comes from TikTok advertising, and this shows no sign of slowing or stopping. The number of buyers due to social media recommendations is expected to rise to 72.3% this year. So many people find products they love from seeing them first on social media and brands need to lean into this consumer habit during this upcoming holiday season.It is clear that shopping habits are changing in 2022 and probably won’t go back to what they were pre-pandemic. Influencers, particularly on TikTok, can help businesses increase sales this holiday season. Pair this with effective early sales tactics and you are set to remain on your customers’ minds over this holiday season!
_About the author
Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.