While it was fairly clear that pivoting to a digital-first strategy was the way to go for the 2020 holiday season, brands face a new kind of uncertainty in 2021. This year, relying on customer insights is critical for every brand, because the greatest challenge in 2021 is variance. The channels used by brands and consumers – whether in person or digital – could vary heavily by region, depending on vaccine policies and reopening plans. In any case, it’s imperative for brands to stay agile and start preparing early.
Since success requires a focus on every touchpoint in the customer journey, we have compiled these cross-channel holiday prep strategies to help you get a head start.
Data and Identity
Now is the time to evaluate how you’re utilizing consumer data and see if changes need to be made before the holiday season. Start by tagging your site with a first-party identity resolution service. This gives more power to first-party data by recognizing customers wherever and however they are engaging with your brand, while connecting the dots between online and offline interactions.
Keys to success with your data include:
- Segmenting your audiences correctly
- Being sensitive to oversaturation
- Understanding intent and be flexible
Once you know, on a personal level, who is engaging on your site, you can leverage machine learning and other tools to drive not just engagement, but the right engagement with the right messaging and experience.
Digital Messaging and Experience
As the CDC continues to change guidelines and each states governs its residents, it’s important to have brick-and-mortars stores ready. But know that this will still be a digital-first holiday season as online channels will influence awareness, research, and engagement for holiday shoppers.
Keys to digital messaging and experience success include:
- Seeking quality over quantity
- Ensuring consistency and transparency
You can start by defining micro-segments and focusing on acquisition. Micro-segments will help you determine what a specific audience needs to take the next step to purchase. And as always during the holiday season, it’s about balance. You could lose the attention of consumers by sending out messaging too frequently and too infrequently. Get to know your audience and anticipate how much communication is just enough.
The transaction is at the center of the customer experience, and nothing amplifies that as much as the holiday season. This year, it’s especially important to focus on creating cohesive experiences for every channel that consumers will interact with.
Keys to commerce success include:
- Connecting identity dots offline to online
- Offering seamless mobile to in-store experiences
- Getting products into people’s hands as soon as possible
Prepare your brand by working backward from the delivery to identify every touchpoint they have with you until the product is in their hands. Doing this will help you discover pain points in the path to purchase that you can fix, as well as key moments you’ll want to capitalize on.
Building solid relationships with your customers now will not only pay off during the holiday season, but it will set you up for success in the new year. In order for this to happen, it’s important to incentivize customers to spend their time and budget with your brand and also trust in your products.
Keys to loyalty success include:
- Conquering identity in a cookieless future
- Incorporating experiential elements
The first steps to take for building brand loyalty going into the holidays is to focus on value exchange and strengthen your identity efforts. Because brands ask for so much from their customers throughout the holiday months, be sure that you are giving them something of equal value. It could be anything from discounts for email signups or providing fun, gamified experiences.
Start Your Holiday Preparation Today
Read more about trends driving the 2021 holiday season and gain countless more insights by downloading our ebook where we break down the keys to success and next steps your brand can take to prepare. It’s time to thrive this holiday season.
Want to learn more? Download our holiday ebook.