Increases in customer service tickets are expected to come just as seasonal workforces are hitting all-time lows. According to Puneet Mehta, founder and CEO of the AI platform Netomi, about 25% fewer agents are working in seasonal customer service roles now than before the pandemic. Customer service accounts for a lot of the seasonal roles retailers have traditionally hired for, and now retailers are looking at leveraging technology to fill that labor gap.
With the Delta variant bringing a second unwelcome wave of apprehension and disruption, the vision we all looked forward to a year ago — the return to a normal holiday season — is dissipating before our eyes. Online shopping will be the main go-to again this time around, with businesses and consumers facing many familiar, and a few unfamiliar, factors this year.
The holidays are still months away, but GoDaddy is betting that more small and mid-size businesses will be taking a proactive approach and starting their seasonal marketing campaigns earlier this year than in the past. The company recently launched a new marketing planner designed to make it easier for businesses to keep track of holidays and promotional opportunities.
Rather than focusing on one platform or tool, retail brands are embracing everything necessary to engage with customers across multiple touchpoints. That could have a major impact on the way shoppers interact with their favorite brands in the coming weeks, and depending on the results, it could lead to changes in the way retail marketing is handled in 2021.
Don’t think about the price tag. Think about how you’re going to deliver the merchandise.
That is what is on consumers’ minds as they think about upcoming holiday shopping, according to a survey of 17,000 US consumers by shopping rewards app company Shopkick. Last year, consumers’ number-one incentive was low prices. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 54% said their number-one priority is free shipping.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift from brick-and-mortar commerce to digital transactions. It has also forced brick-and-mortars resisting the hybridization of their own businesses to adopt digital methods, turning restaurants and apparel stores alike into both brick-and-mortar establishments and online sellers.
Against that backdrop, retail’s biggest quarter will present novel challenges this year. Retailers will need to optimize for online transactions and contend with fragmented national and global landscapes where it may be safe to go to stores in New York but not in Los Angeles.
From Black Friday and Cyber Monday to back-to-school sales, retail holidays may be arbitrary, but they have become a core component of successful sales and marketing strategies. As a result of their success, these holidays are becoming expected, fixtures of the retail industry embedded in its collective psyche. Companies must innovate to keep them fresh. Brands need to monitor competitors to see what works and what doesn’t work and tweak their strategies appropriately.
Data on successful “holiday” campaigns reveal how to make the most of holidays, whether long-established or freshly innovated.
During the holiday shopping season, it’s Amazon’s world — or is it?
Outside the digital sphere, brick-and-mortar holiday sales at big-box shops like Walmart and Best Buy continue to be buoyed by bullish shoppers willing to hit the streets in search of timely deals during consumer-focused quasi-holidays like Black Friday. As a result, shoppers are spending more during the holidays than ever before.
And then there’s the independent, local retailer. How is a small shop supposed to compete with the ease of mobile e-commerce or the allure of big-box doorbuster deals? Turns out, they have an ace in the hole: last-minute shoppers.
Retailers will need to think differently when it comes to technology planning. With the holiday season looming, now is the best moment to develop a long-term technology strategy geared toward capturing more holiday sales in addition to driving revenue growth all year long.
Understanding a few key areas can help get the planning process started. This includes: exceeding consumers’ holiday shopping expectations, making holiday shopping more convenient, and enabling a holistic holiday shopping journey.
With just two days to go before the big day, brand marketers would be smart to ramp up their campaigns now. Researchers at the digital advertising platform ZypMedia discovered that shoppers purchasing gifts for Father’s Day don’t plan nearly as far in advance as they do for Christmas and other major holidays. As a result, last-minute campaigns targeting shoppers are much more likely to have a major impact.
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Since many retailers use the same strategies and tactics to capture consumer attention during the holidays, rising above the noise happens only for a few. This may be the season to plan smarter, not louder, and the answer may be the use of mobile coupons.
This holiday season, retailers with physical locations are working feverishly to compete against e-commerce giants like Amazon. Technologies that capture historical, location-based data from devices have become the next great hope for these brands, even as the physical and online shopping worlds continue to merge.
According to the survey from Campaigner, 42% of retailers are prioritizing social media integration as a marketing method for the holidays this year. Of the most popular social media platforms, retailers expect to invest most heavily in Facebook, followed by Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.
In cases where community values are not unanimous, public companies are faced with an ethical question, and their answers can help to shape perceptions among users. For many, the removal of a Confederate holidays from Google Maps signals that it is truly a thing of the past.