COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of consumers worldwide. The biggest change people it has brought is the ability of people to gather together in numbers. Dealing with social distancing protocols and deciding on what to do to be safe during the holiday season 2020 has become a distressing process.
With governments announcing an explicit message that COVID-19 still poses a threat with predictions of a second wave in the US, large gatherings are being frowned upon everywhere. As a result, the way consumers observe the holiday season 2020 will change completely with consumer behavior adjusting to limitations.
With consumers facing restricted celebrations, businesses need to adjust their marketing strategies according to market predictions.
5 Market Predictions of How COVID-19 will Reshape Customer Experience for the Holiday Season 2020
Preparing for the holiday season is a laborious task for any company or brand. Due to COVID-19, this holiday season is not like it was in 2019. Consumers around the world are riddled with uncertainty, and businesses are facing several challenges in generating revenue and retaining customers.
The following are 5 market predictions regarding the holiday season 2020:
1. COVID-19 Will Set a New Record in eCommerce Penetration
One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic in the digital eCommerce market place was the significant boost in digital traffic and online orders. With these changes, companies need to prepare themselves to manage the digital surge throughout the entire purchase process. Online sales are expected to rise to 30% in the upcoming holiday season and reach $188 billion.
2. Consumers Will Make Holiday Purchases Earlier this Year
More consumers will likely purchase their holiday gifts earlier this year due to the potential of stores closing and the risk of infection rising. This could create demand and supply challenges for best-selling items. Consumers will be looking to secure products they want as soon as possible, so companies need to take advantage early.
3. Delivery Services Will Face An Overload
The number of shipped parcels in digital orders will increase between 20-30% due to social distancing measures. Most delivery services are bound to run out of capacity during the holiday season 2020, so they need to plan accordingly.
4. Stores Will Serve As Fulfillment Centers
Companies need to reduce operational costs and enhance customer service by turning their stores into fulfillment centers where customers come to receive their orders. To do this, they need to establish agile and flexible fulfillment options by shifting to a streamlined and automated in-store model with optimized digital channels for communication and order placement.
5. Marketing Mix Will Shift to Localization and Personalization
This holiday season, marketers need to focus on market segmentation to reach the right customers, in their right location, at the right time. Due to the outburst in social media traffic, it is predicted to be the most important platform for consumer engagement in 2020. You cannot send the same marketing message to customers living 2-3 miles from your store and those living 20 miles away.
How to Adjust Your Marketing Strategy for the Holiday Season 2020
Since the pandemic started, its disruption has had many businesses scrambling to adjust their business plan and marketing strategies to adapt to the situation. The 4Ps of marketing provide a simple checkpoint for assessment and adjustment whenever a crisis occurs.
By reorganizing your 4Ps, you can devise an effective and decisive strategy for the holiday season 2020. Here’s how:
The biggest challenge organizations need sort out during COVID-19 is their product-related decisions. They need to form a balance between the short-term and long-term needs of their consumers during the holiday season. The idea should be to focus on essential items and alleviate supply chain burdens.
With the changes in consumer behavior, many companies are in recovery mode, so they need to take this opportunity to make up for their losses by providing more support and functionality to consumers in their products.
The pandemic has changed how buyers physically engage with businesses when purchasing or receiving products or services. The question businesses are asking is, “how to set a balance between safety and customer satisfaction?” While there is no standard answer to this question, there are some emerging practices you can follow during the holiday season like:
- Implementing new communication channels like email, chat, and text support for customer service.
- Video demos of sales activities such as instructions, features, and hands-on experience.
- Expanding touchless delivery and fulfillment options.
- Increasing online educational content and FAQs
During this holiday season, you can expect consumers to naturally exercise more caution before making purchase decisions. Price is among the dominant aspects of purchasing decisions and expenditure, so you need to ask yourself what adjustments, offers, or changes in policies can we extend to increase sales this holiday season?
The following are some approaches that should help your business bring more sales:
- Removing shipping and handling charges on online purchases
- Extended free trials
- Extended time discount on best-selling items
- Bundled pricing for higher orders at lesser margins.
Organizations need to assess how they intend to engage, inform, and persuade different target audiences to purchase goods and services. You need to check how audiences are seeking information related to your businesses now as compared to before. Businesses need to adjust their promotional spending by paying attention to where consumers are shopping for products during the pandemic.
You can use the performance metrics for the past 4th of July and Easter holidays to device new strategies that target more at-home consumers to make purchases. You can make the following changes to your promotion strategy:
- Adding new keywords to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Adapting direct marketing channels like text marketing
- Adjusting pay-per-click daily timings and budget
- Promote convenience in all your campaigns
With a bit of planning and preparation following the market predictions, you can revive or grow your business during the holiday season 2020.
by Bobby J Davidson
We love our company and we love what we do. Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business! As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.
The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management. We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services. We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business. percentotech.com/contact