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Rakuten Marketing Blog

2017 Holiday Marketing: Early November Success, Social Media Significance, and Visual Discovery

Posted on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 16:11 PM by Daniel James

In our latest roundup of holiday marketing headlines we take a brief look at the retail performance from early November, how social shoppers are likely to spend more money, and the keys to visual discovery. Be sure to check back soon as we start our Black Friday/Cyber Monday evaluations!

2017 Holiday Marketing: Early November Success, Social Media Significance, and Visual Discovery

Early Reports on Holiday Shopping Are Strong

Holiday shoppers have shown that when it comes to taking advantage of deals or purchasing potentially hard-to-find gifts, they’re not going to wait. According to DigitalCommerce360, during the first week and a half in November sales were up almost 20% from the previous year. Ecommerce holiday spending was expected to grow from 2016 according to a report by eMarketer, so the early success is a positive for brands.

Some brands that have benefitted from this are ones that have focused on specific gifts and products that are great gifts or big-ticket items. For example, Gamestop’s* website had a surge in page visits from November 1-11 when compared to last year. This does not come as a coincidence: the release of the new Xbox One X game console, availability of the Nintendo Switch, and the release of major video game titles such as Call of Duty: WWII has gotten shoppers much more active in searching and purchasing. The reason is because these items are going to be highly sought after during the holiday season, and many shoppers want to make sure they get them before they become harder to find than a Turbo-Man in Jingle All the Way!

(*Gamestop is a Rakuten Marketing client)

Social Shoppers Spend More

Looking to innovate your holiday marketing strategies a bit? Consider how your social marketing strategies are incorporated, and ways you can improve on them. This can be a huge win for your brand because social-engaged shoppers spend 19% more than the average consumer according to Retail Dive. These social-engaged shoppers also spend 51% more over their lifetime as a customer compared to their non-socially engaged counterpart.

This doesn’t mean that social media is a clear-cut solution to each and every brand. One major challenge with social media is that consumer engagement is down 2% overall, with Facebook reporting a 15% overall decrease. However, there are two things to keep in mind: these measurements were taken from January to September of 2017, right after the 2016 holiday season ended; and despite the decrease in overall engagement, those who are engaged make a difference. For example, social-influenced clicks increased by 46% in the retail sector, according to the report in Retail Dive.

What does this mean for your brand and holiday marketing strategies? First, it means your social page can be a great opportunity for spreading awareness about deals and products to customers who are going to be more likely to purchase from you. Second, it makes social retargeting a viable strategy for your display efforts. If people are visiting and/or clicking on posts, it means they could be a great candidate to target and convert. Third, if you’re working with social media influencers, you can try to build an audience with your own page through them if you work out something with them in your negotiations.

Visual & Discovery Shoppers Are Key This Holiday

We’ve stressed the importance of visuals for shoppers in the past. People communicate through visuals (and social platforms have made that even more prominent), so taking good photos of your products and making them seem natural is key to getting the attention of consumers. Marketing Land explored this topic in a feature about visual discovery, and why this topic is becoming so critical – especially during the holiday season.

The article discusses how visually focused channels succeed at getting customers to discover new products, comparing these platforms to digital window displays. The article also cites a study in which 46% of US shoppers claim visuals influence their decisions on purchasing a product, and notes that qualities like authenticity, personalization, and an organic experience can be created through a visual experience. The article concludes that visuals will help not only with the product discovery phase for consumers, but also help marketers become more impactful on the shopper by being able to influence things like product education and sharing, as well as helping retailers organize around the customer.

For the immediate holiday season, this is clear cut: make sure your visuals are on par and meaningful. Stock images of products won’t cut it, the images need to tell a story. Work with content publishers and influencers to help convey that story if you’re having trouble getting started.

Tags: Industry News, 2017 holidays, Holiday Marketing

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