The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and it’s time to put your best foot forward to emerge as an industry leader. Despite COVID concerns waning, these are replaced by inventory and inflation this year. But that shouldn’t dampen your spirits since this could be one of the biggest seasons yet! In this article, we bring you valuable insights on a range of trends to help you be prepared for what lies ahead this holiday season.
What are the trends you are likely to see this holiday season?
Extended holiday season
The holiday season means days of hectic shopping. The beginning of the "Black Friday craze" is giving way to a month-long ‘Cyber Month,’ opening up weeks filled with deals and discounts for shoppers past the typical Black Friday time frame and beyond. Retailers must prepare for several weeks of excess demand and create a buying frenzy filled with deep discounts and enticing offers to maximize holiday sales.
Growing demand for inclusive omnichannel experiences
Although some companies have suffered from recent economic troubles, the omnichannel trend has gained momentum. People need immediate access to the things they want and will make the required expenditures to get them. That's why it's so important to build a seamless shopping experience across all channels to give customers the best possible experience at every touchpoint with a company. Supporting in-store pickup is a great way to create more store sales opportunities.
The growing role of forecasting and inventory planning
Product shortages in your retail supply chain cost you sales, revenue, and customer goodwill. You can avoid the chaos of last-minute shortages with effective forecasting, planning, and technology.
Customers looking for opportunities to make trade-offs to make extra room in the gift budget
The holidays always bring a mix of hope, joy, and stress for shoppers. Budget-strapped consumers will look to stretch their value further this holiday season. Give them instant access to information about which products and brands are on sale, and share their savings with them, and they'll love you for it!
Real-time understanding of customer intentions
One of the biggest challenges retailers face during the holidays is adapting to sudden changes in their customers' shopping behavior. These changes can occur over the course of a single shopping visit and span multiple categories, making them much more difficult to predict than traditional customer shopping patterns. Using product recommendation engines that operate in real-time, retailers and brands can shift their focus from guessing what type of product each customer will buy to offering recommendations for the next gift on the list.
Retail can be high-stress:
- Consumers are looking to purchase a last-minute gift.
- Employees want to close the holiday season strong.
- Brands are looking to increase their end-of-year revenue and reinforce customer loyalty.
The key is meeting customers' needs before they know they have them — something that requires a two-way, consistent connection. To do this, it is important to view each day as an opportunity to connect with customers and create brand loyalty.
Here are some tips to help drive your business throughout the season
Bet on discounts and promo codes to meet shoppers' budgets
- Send a mobile push to customers that are most likely to buy
Encourage customers to purchase by sending them a mobile push containing a promo code as an additional incentive to buy certain products. To optimize campaign costs, send mobile push only to those customers who are most likely to buy after receiving such a notification. Check out this use case for more details on implementing such a campaign.
- Quickly update the value of discounts in your communications
To be able to act in real-time, especially during the busiest holiday season, you need to develop approaches early on that will help you update your campaigns with the desired values. Synerise makes it easy to achieve this goal in the most time- and cost-efficient way. See this use case to learn how to quickly update the value of a discount in your communication.
- Motivate your customers to complete their purchase by sending a promo code at the most relevant time
During the shopping rush, customers sometimes leave the buying process unfinished while looking for the best deal on the market. Keep in touch with customers who still need to finalize their purchase by sending a push message at the most appropriate time for them with a promo code, further encouraging them to return to shop at your store. To learn how you can optimize the timing of your promo code campaigns with Synerise's Time Optimizer, check out this use case.
- Personalize your customers' shopping experience, starting with a personalized menu
The tendency toward unstructured navigation menus can be a nightmare for users, especially if they are already frustrated by them. That's why we encourage you to structure a seamless journey from the very first page views - so users can take a few moments to browse through different categories and get to the one that best suits their needs faster. In this use case, we explain how it can be done.
- Personalize your homepage with section recommendations
Create a homepage that will catch your customers' attention and appeal to their specific preferences by dividing it into sections based on chosen item attributes. Learn how to do that in this use case.
- Personalize the main banner on the homepage with the hottest deals
On your site, customers are looking for a personalized experience that makes their shopping experience more enjoyable. Your role is to deliver that value. By combining several features, you can extend the solutions you've already implemented on your site and deliver more value to the customer. Consider creating a custom banner on the homepage with product recommendations from a specific category and subcategories presented in a custom form. For more details, check out this use case.
- Stay in touch with your customers and keep them up to date
The holiday season is characterized by a dramatic increase in demand for certain product categories. Therefore, quite often, products are going out-of-stock. As a result, customers get a bit frustrated as they cannot buy the product they want when they need it. It’s important to make customers feel supported at this moment, so they do not resign in favor of your competitors. Turning this situation into a positive interaction provides potential revenue recovery and keeps customers engaged with your brand.
One of the most effective actions in this regard is to allow the customer to sign up for a product availability notification list so that when the product is back in stock, the customer receives an email notification about it. Learn more about such a scenario in this use case.
Improve customers’ search experience
- Promote customers’ favorite brands in search results
Customers are likely to turn to search engines when they want to buy a product or service, so make sure they can easily find brands they love by boosting them in search results. You can accomplish this easily with Synerise. See how to execute it in this use case.
- Display customer’s recent searches before they type
To ensure a seamless search experience for your customers, you need to anticipate their expectations and needs. One way to do this is to display customers' recent searches just before they start typing in their queries. In this way, you provide personalized search results that track your customers' purchase path and allow them to easily return to items they were previously interested in. Check out this use case to see how you can implement this scenario with Synerise.
- Implement Visual Search to enhance your customers’ search experience
Visual Search provides an interactive and easy-to-use alternative to traditional search, helping your customers discover visually similar items by comparing images. Such a solution enables customers to interact with your products and find the item they are interested in much faster.
Want to implement the feature now? Synerise has a ready-made solution for you! Check out this use case to learn how to implement Visual Search on your website.
Providing your customers with exceptional service, especially over the busy holiday season, should be your top priority. Prepare yourself for this special season to ensure that your customers receive a consistent and continuous experience. Go beyond the surface and understand each customer individually. Think about how you can surprise and delight them by offering personalized offers and discounts.