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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 23, 2020

Experts: How to thrive through 2020 holiday season

This holiday season is going to like no other. The shopping season will start early, the digital competition will be fierce and the spend will make up 14.5% of total retail sales realized in 2020 (eMarketer). It's game on -- literally and figuratively -- starting with Amazon Prime Day. So, how can merchants and brands prepare? Here are a few tips.

by Kristina Knight

First, keep websites updated

"To drive commerce, brands are updating websites, social platforms and mobile strategies to showcase offerings, provide virtual shopping options and coordinate BOPIS all with the goal of making the shopping experience enjoyable and easy. There are a lot of ways marketers can home in on their messaging and knowing who their target audience is the critical first step in determining what they'll respond to. For some, it'll be video, and for others, it'll be aligning your brand with a cause or special offers. Regardless, the goal is to get messaging out early, to personalize it and to keep it going throughout the holiday and beyond. Always-on messaging -- regardless of what the calendar says -- is how brand messaging resonates and takes root with target audiences," said Janine Pollack, Director of Integrated Marketing, MNI Targeted Media.

Second, make offers local

"Merchants can expect consumers to be on the lookout for local offers and online order fulfillment as most travel providers are predicting an increase in local travel this holiday season and a decline in long distance travel. Shoppable mobile video is an impactful way to put the best deals and offers at the fingertips of consumers. Buying online to pick up in store (BOPIS) is likely to be the preferred method of shopping for larger items, with e-commerce and free shipping the path to success for other gifts. Localization is expected to be a key driver of consumer purchasing this holiday season, as people look to support businesses in their local communities, especially small businesses most affected by the pandemic," said Jim Johnson, VP of Account Planning, VDX.

Third, integrate mobile

"We anticipate the usage of mobile apps and online shopping will soar for the holidays, and while this will be a threat for some brands, it also creates an opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to create an experience that seamlessly integrates mobile with a safe in-store environment. Ultimately, every brand's solution to these volatile market conditions should be bespoke. For marketers, this means continuously monitoring market trends, rapidly pivoting product, messaging and creative strategies in response to regional changes in consumer behavior. To secure a competitive advantage this holiday season and the "new normal" of 2021, marketers must have the right real-time consumer and competitive data, be operationalized to respond to it and then convert it to customer strategies that tie digital, mobile and in-store experiences together," said Philip Smolin, Chief Strategy Officer, Amobee.

Tags: 2020 holiday marketing, 2020 holiday marketing strategy, ad strategy, advertising, Amobee, ecommerce, holiday advertising, m:Commerce, MNI Targeted Media, mobile marketing,

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