It seems like only yesterday we were ringing in a new year, blissfully unaware of how 2020 would unfold. Somehow, we blinked, it’s September, and the holiday season is right around the corner.
This is usually the time when marketing pros put their Q4 plans into high gear, but let’s face it: things are a little different this year. Before revving up the marketing machine, you’ll need to consider how to navigate a socially distant holiday season without alienating consumers.
Create a seamless digital experience
One of the biggest marketing trends to emerge during the pandemic is that brands with stellar online experiences now lead the pack. Clear and concise websites, virtual events, and innovative apps are more important than ever, thanks to the need to socially distance. Make sure your brand is ready!
That means going above and beyond the standard retail experience and predicting consumers’ needs. Make sure shipping information is easy to find and keep customers aware of any potential delays and deadlines.
If you traditionally test products at brick-or-mortar stores, consider an AI component like Amazon and other clothing retailers. Host online events to show off new products. Most importantly, ensure that every step of the holiday shopping process, from browsing to buying to returning, is intuitive and headache-free.
Don’t add to the panic
Even with all the joy and celebration, holidays can be stressful. Societal pressure to spend and consume can be tough to manage even in a typical year, let alone one with a global pandemic and economic fallout.
Traditional holiday marketing only adds to that pressure, creating a sense of scarcity and urgency by design. In 2020, marketers should do everything they can to avoid adding to the stresses of an exceptionally difficult year.
With brick-and-mortars eschewing their usual Thanksgiving night openings, we’re already seeing hints that Black Friday panic shopping could be more subdued this year. Build on that by creating a sense of calmness with strategic ads that help people remember the joys of gathering with family and friends to celebrate. In the era of COVID-19, empathy is a vital marketing tool that should be in your toolbox — use it well.
Maybe it feels like this holiday season will be anything but traditional, but that’s why it’s important to help consumers retain some sense of normalcy. With stringent travel guidelines in place, it’s likely that many people won’t be able to travel to see their loved ones this year, so these traditions are going to feel especially meaningful. It’s okay to get warm and fuzzy; ‘tis the season, after all.
Influencer marketing could play a huge role in this strategy, with influencers sharing their own traditions, tips, and shopping recommendations to their audiences. By creating a sense of community, you can help bring people together even if they’re far apart.
The next few months certainly won’t be business as usual, but marketing pros can use 2020’s bizarre circumstances as an opportunity to engage with consumers in new ways. By showing consumers empathy and patience while making the shopping experience more enjoyable, you’ll navigate the 2020 holiday season with grace.
The post How Marketers Can Prepare for a Socially Distant Holiday Season appeared first on Post Funnel.