The holidays are a hectic time for many marketers. When I coach marketers, I like to remind them to make an extra effort to reach their customers, but also to get back to basics.
Customers will always spend some serious money during the holidays. The trick is to engage them with relevant content at the right time. Luckily, there are lots of ways to take advantage of the holiday shopping frenzy.
Optimize Websites for Mobile
The number of customers who access companies' websites on mobile is on the rise. With that comes an increase in mobile shoppers.
During the holiday rush, convenience is key. If a potential customer goes to a website on their mobile device and it's a pain to use, they won't shop there. By optimizing a company's website for mobile viewing, marketers can make sure customers stay interested, active and engaged -- rather than writing off this site and moving on to the next store.
The struggle for most retailers during the holiday season is to stay in their audience's awareness. Reaching out to potential customers is the best way of doing that. Don't hesitate to send push and in-app notifications to customers to let them know about offers they might be interested in. These notifications are also terrific because they can lead users back to the app, which shortens purchase time.
SMS is a terrific way of reaching out, as well, and works even if a customer doesn't have an app installed. But first, make sure the audience has opted in to receiving SMS notifications.
A well-placed (or well-timed) coupon is often what causes a customer to choose one retailer over another. Issue mobile coupons to potential customers, to sweeten the deal. Don't forget about the variety of coupon avenues available to retailers, including SMS, mobile-enabled websites, apps... and QR codes.
Harness QR Codes
Since their debut, some retailers have dismissed quick response codes as hype. But companies like Facebook and Instagram have embraced QR codes as a vital part of their marketing strategy, and in the process more customers are becoming familiar with how to use them.
Finding a QR code is like finding a hidden treasure for many customers. It allows them to find out more details about a company, product, or service, without these details overwhelming an advertisement or a product's packaging. Customers will notice and use them, so you should use them, too.
Many marketers are speculating that as mobile devices grow more ubiquitous, location-based marketing will have a serious impact on holiday shopping. Beacons are a marketing technique that integrate with apps to notify customers of shopping possibilities when their device says they've entered a store.
Many marketers send messages via beacons to advertise desirable items or interesting sales. But the potential doesn't stop there: try offering help to customers, or giving information about layaway plans.
Don't Forget About Loyalty
Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to make a retailer stand head and shoulders above the competition. They're in vogue with many stores, but the next step is to make loyalty programs more transparent for consumers. Try letting them check their points balance or use rewards through an app, for instance.
Geofencing allows retailers to send customers messages when they're near a store. Try sending them a little holiday cheer to encourage them to come in. This is often enough to break down a barrier and get curious customers to explore what a retailer has to offer.
It can be hard to penetrate the noise and chaos of the holiday season. But with a little care and a back-to-basics attitude, marketers can get customers' attention and show them everything their store has to offer.