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Holiday shopping 2020 is online

Holiday shopping in 2020 will look different than in years past. Businesses who’ve traditionally profited most from in-person visits will need a radical pivot in their sales approach this year. 

There is a key to thriving as a retailer during the radical uncertainty of 2020. You must hone your online marketing strategy to a fine focus with laser-sharp precision.

The following are several guideposts you should consider when preparing for a very unconventional Black Friday and beyond.

Romain Berg is a comprehensive digital marketing agency built to deliver results, not hype. Contact us today to craft a customized SEO and digital strategy that helps you win with your customers this holiday season.

Build an Online Foundation, Fast

A business woman working on building a website

So, we know without a doubt there will be significantly more people shopping online this year, and much fewer guests in stores. If you’re already an online business, you can leverage this fact to your advantage.

If you’re a brick-and-mortar establishment, you’ll have to make some changes. You’ll need a crash course in elevating your online presence, retaining your loyal in-person customers, and expanding your audience.

In both business models, do the following to establish a solid online foundation:

  1. Keyword research: Now is the time to do extensive research on the keywords that help people discover your website, products, and services. Outsourcing this research to a reputable firm is a wise choice. Getting experts to help find and utilize the words and phrases your audience searches when looking for products like yours make a difference. The right keywords could be the difference between landing in the top five search results and getting buried on page 35.
  2. Get ultra-clear on your buyer personas: The pandemic may have shifted your audience demographics slightly or drastically. Make sure that your messaging matches the people who currently buy your product. Updating your buyer personas with granular details helps your marketing campaigns land where you want them: on the screens of holiday shoppers ready to purchase. Use Google Analytics (and other data-producing software) to discover where, when, and how your customers find you. Then target your campaigns to those places with social media posts, PPC campaigns, and content shares.
  3. Create content that shines: Backing up your products and services with useful content is paramount to getting seen and paid in 2020. Create (or outsource) content that details how your products make pandemic life easier, more joyful, less stressful, more connected, and less monotonous. Try to connect authentically to your audience, because that’s what everyone wants and needs now more than ever. Make the value and longevity of your products front-and-center, along with offering killer holiday deals.
  4. Launch irresistible holiday offers: With everyone scrambling to get a piece of the holiday sales pie, you’ll need an offer that stands out. This is not the time for simple rock-bottom pricing or 2-for-1 seasonal standard fare. You can and should try to get inside the head of your customers with your offers so that you can keep them engaged with your company all year long. It’s okay to get creative with how you bundle your products and price your holiday specials. But, remember to keep the process simple, accessible, and fantastic. This is the time to make your customers an online or curbside offer they simply cannot refuse. 
  5. Don’t panic if you’re a local business: Especially for local businesses, you’ll want to entice buyers to order takeout, drive up for special curbside gift bundles, and keep coming back when everyone feels safer to visit in person. Your online emphasis should be on engagement and safe community connection. Try going public with supporting local causes, or create a holiday drive to support a staff or customer who may be struggling. Be honest, authentic, and ask for the support of your community. All while continuing to deliver exceptional products and services. Holiday-specific outdoor events can make a big splash online and create an effective dose of FOMO while enabling in-person product sales safer ways.

Safety for Small Businesses and 2020 Holiday Shopping

A business window with hours fo operation and an "open" sign

The good news for small businesses this holiday season is that more shoppers want to support them. Leveraging this enthusiasm for small businesses may require a few shifts in how you do business in-store and online.

When guests do visit your street-side storefront, they’ll be looking for a safe and efficient shopping experience most of all. Customers will be conducting extra online research to ensure:

  • Correct store hours
  • Accurate inventory
  • In-store safety requirements like mask guidelines and store capacity

This customer research means that more of your guests will punch in phrases like “available near me” in the search bar. So, be sure you can reflect your local and regional inventory counts visibly and reliably for the best customer experience.

In-store upgrades like digital signage, mobile payment equipment, and contactless purchasing will make your company a stand-out for in-person sales.

Planning how to manage local store capacity guidelines and in-store lines will be crucial to ensuring your customers feel safe in your store. Offering extended curbside pick-up hours and staff support is another way to uplevel your guest experience. 

When customers feel safe and well-cared-for by their favorite stores, you’re more likely to keep them around during the 2020 holiday shopping and beyond. 

Contactless Purchasing is Here to Stay

A woman making a contactless purchase using her smartphone

With thousands of more people utilizing cards or systems that offer touch-free payment, we’re not going back to “the way it was” before the Coronavirus pandemic. If you haven’t yet upgraded your payment systems, it’s wise to do it before the holiday rush gets underway.

Further, if you can cut down or eliminate the need for product handling by employees and guests, you’ll be further ahead in customer experience. Automated picking and packing devices can help you meet these new standards. So can retooling the way you display your products in-store for guests to touch and feel.

Hire an Expert to Gain Holiday Visibility and Traffic in 2020

Someone making a a purchase on an iPad and holding a credit card

Holiday shopping in 2020 presents a host of new challenges for retailers and service providers. Outsourcing your SEO and digital marketing to the experts at Romain Berg is a sound sales strategy for online and in-person businesses.

Contact us today, and we’ll help you optimize your digital presence, rise to the top of the search results, and convert more online and in-person visitors to loyal buyers in 2020.

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