Marketing Crypt Tales: Are You Just Earning The Badge?

How will COVID-19 affect Christmas shopping?

COVID-19 is a global crisis that has affected economies, supply chains, and retailers around the world. Your customers’ buying decisions this fall / winter may be completely different than what they made last year.

As marketers, we have had to change our strategies in the face of COVID-19.

Those tried and true marketing tactics that worked for us before may no longer be. Regardless of the type of small business you have, it’s critical to realize that because the retail landscape has changed, your holiday marketing plan must, too.

Take a look at these recent statistics from Think with Google:

  • 56% of Canadian shoppers say the pandemic will affect the way they shop for the holidays this year. Almost 65% of those planning to buy this season said they will buy more online than in previous seasons.

  • 73% say they will look for gift ideas online and not in store.

So, as we approach the 2020 holiday shopping season, here are 3 ways to ensure your small business stands out from the competition and reaches your target audience effectively.

1. Embrace communication.

Communication is always important, and even more so when customers may have health and safety issues related to shopping in person.

Contactless shopping and curbside pickup are already incredibly popular, so expect it to continue throughout the holidays and beyond.

As part of your Christmas marketing plan, think about how you can share these types of perks with your customers, whether it’s on a blog or by adding keywords like “curbside pickup” to your social media posts and paid ads.

Before sharing your seasonal message with people, make sure your inventory is up to date. Many shoppers will search online for products or services with the keywords “available near me” before leaving.

You don’t want someone to drive to your store because they saw a fashion toy on your website, or because they loved an outfit they saw was “available near me”, only to come by to find that you don’t actually have it in stock. .

I’m sure there are many other examples of how COVID-19 will affect Christmas shopping.

READ: How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign Your Audience Will Love

An email newsletter campaign can be an essential part of your marketing plan, and not just during the holidays.

Sending consistent newsletters to your followers gives you the ability to develop a “Know, Like and Trust” relationship with them that will dramatically increase your brand visibility and market reach.

However, many business owners and entrepreneurs pass up this golden opportunity to build relationships and increase sales. Are you one of them?

I share some reasons why your small business should create an email marketing campaign and offer tips to help you increase open rates.

Read more on our website.

2. Think local and light shopping.

While safe shopping boosted Amazon’s revenue by 40%, many consumers have tried to shop locally as much as possible. According to BDC research, 97% of Canadian consumers choose to buy local products to support the local economy.

It’s not just about pushing local products or services to your target audience. It’s about telling the story of your brand, whether you’ve been serving clients in the same small town for 40 years or you’re a startup supporting seasonal charitable initiatives.

Become part of your community and make sure that what you sell locally provides real value to your customers. People want to support local businesses this season, but that doesn’t mean they will sacrifice quality or convenience.

During the 2020 holiday shopping season, think “light weight” too. Most Canadians will be home in December, rather than traveling to see family or go on vacation. Consider what that means for gift giving:

  • Consumers are likely to be looking for small gifts to send to loved ones they cannot see in person.

  • People will be receptive to offers of free or discounted shipping.

  • Gift certificates and gift cards could be the most popular gifts of 2020.

Are there any ways you can target your audience with light, local products this year?

3. Adjust your bids.

I spoke earlier about the switch to lighter gifts, but what about the gifts themselves?

With so many families confined to home this year, people who previously bought things like vacations, event tickets, or formal shoes / clothes as gifts will need other ideas.

Think about how you can reach your target audience by replacing gifts that don’t make sense in today’s climate.

For instance:

  • An entrepreneur in the hospitality industry could offer an “experience in a box” for clients who cannot travel right now.

  • A clothing retailer could focus more on smart casual clothing that people can wear inside or outside the home, rather than high heels and festive dresses.

  • A sporting goods retailer might feature solo sports like skiing and swimming in newsletter campaigns, to encourage social distancing people to get out in nature.

How can you adjust your offers to give your customers something unique and timely in the 2020 holiday shopping season?

I always like to say that great challenges bring great opportunities. While we’ll have to wait and see exactly how COVID-19 impacts holiday shopping, we know that the better prepared we are as small business owners, the better!

I hope this Christmas Marketing Guide for Businesses helps you have a successful season.

For the success of your business,


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