Retail Scams During the Holiday Season

Online retail was hot in 2019 and likely to be even more so in 2020. That’s good news for retailers, of course. Unfortunately, it comes along with some potentially bad news: These high traffic numbers motivate retail scammers to take advantage of the situation, and retailers may potentially be caught unawares.

Developing an FAQ with Google Q&A

The major downfall and benefit of Google Q&A is that anyone can ask a question, and anyone can answer. For businesses, brand representation comes into question, and they’re challenged with not only answering questions themselves, but also monitoring the responses left by others on the web. 

Despite the challenges, when managed at scale, Q&A is an excellent forum to bring customers and businesses together and improve engagement with your brand.

Six Last-Minute Tips for Holiday Marketers

The holidays are here, and along with them, a holiday shopping season like no other. With the entire retail sector transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce has taken center stage, and digital marketers are working feverishly to find new ways to reach customers and bring former brick-and-mortar shoppers into the digital fold.

Yet we know that there’s still a lot of work to be done, and the holidays aren’t offering much downtime to digital teams. That’s why we hosted a discussion featuring experts sharing eleventh-hour tips and tricks that marketers can use to drive revenue this holiday season.

How Local Retailers Can Reach Mission Shoppers this Holiday Season

The mission shopper is focused on getting in and out of stores as quickly as possible. They spend less time, and less money, in stores, and their mindset is different from the lighthearted holiday shoppers of yesteryear—or even last year.

Understanding this consumer archetype will prove critical to retail success this holiday season.

Survey: Consumers Are Taking a Cautious Approach to Black Friday

Despite the somewhat complicated outlook, there are things retailers can do to change their fate. NMI found that 43% of consumers plan to avoid shopping with retailers that don’t offer contactless payments. Retailers that quickly adapt and add contactless payment options, and then market those changes aggressively over the coming days, still have an opportunity to win back customers who would otherwise be staying home.

Will 2020 Be the Year to End Black Friday?

Black Friday this year will probably look a lot like it would’ve been in about a decade; we’ve just accelerated the online shift. 2020 will be the year that Black Friday and Cyber Monday stop being shopping ‘days.’ They’ll be turned completely upside down for years to come as retailers embrace a holiday shopping season of deals, strategized and targeted based on insights from online data. 

Locating Holiday Success for Small Businesses

Because of the enormous spike in online transactions, there are more ways for customers to shop than ever before, creating new opportunities for small businesses to connect with core segments and personalize messaging with data-based insights grounded in historical trends and real-time behaviors. The ability to target individuals based on where they have previously been is tremendously valuable as consumer behavior has been required to adjust to ever-changing guidelines at the state/city and local level. 

Getting the Most Out of Email This Holiday Season

Email, whether for acquiring or engaging with current customers, still remains one of the most effective and important ways to drive ROI — if marketers do it right. Consumers are already being inundated with email messages, sometimes multiple in a given day from the same vendors, so the more relevant the message, the better the return.

Here are some ways marketers can ensure that their email messages get to the right people at the right time to deliver the most revenue and build loyalty.

The World Outside is Frightful—Drive Holiday Sales with Social Media Instead

The challenges of driving holiday sales in 2020 do not signify the end of retail, as many sensationalized headlines would have you believe. This e-commerce-focused season is, however, a siren call to local retailers who have yet to take social media marketing seriously.

In the absence of typical frantic holiday shopping foot traffic, social media is a necessary part of holiday marking to effectively reach consumers who opt to stay inside.

Has Covid Killed the Single-Day Sale?

Limited-time offers and one-day sales are a mainstay of the holiday shopping season. But this year is unlike any other, and retailers are taking a different approach.

With Covid-19 restrictions limiting the number of customers who can be inside a store at any given time, retailers are looking at extending the shopping season to accommodate socially distant crowds.

Plan for Black Friday with this E-Commerce Holiday Checklist

Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast projects that e-commerce holiday sales will grow by 25% to 35% year over year, compared to a sales increase of 14.7% last year. Here’s a five-point holiday prep list to help ensure your digital commerce experiences stack up and are ready to engage the influx of shoppers this holiday season.

The Brandify Consumer Holiday Survey: Shopping Habits Likely to Shift Dramatically

More purchases will be made online, and when consumers do venture out to stores, they expect thorough, stringent safety practices as well as tools that help to make shopping as efficient as possible. Popular shopping events like Black Friday are likely to capture far less attention from consumers this year.

But on a positive note, consumers generally feel confident that their holiday budgets will be consistent with prior years and that the amount of time allocated for holiday shopping won’t change significantly.

Retailers Embrace Mobile As Pandemic Holiday Shopping Ramps Up

While this holiday season will be unlike any other, retailers have reason to be optimistic. Holiday sales are set to rise 1% to 1.5%, with e-commerce growing as much as 35%. Consumers are expected to spend between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion between November and January. Much of that spending will happen with large retail chains that have omni-channel experiences already set up, and that has smaller retailers rushing to put their own mobile strategies in place.

Google My Business Posts: Your Unexpected Holiday Hero

We’re in an era that allows enterprise businesses to tap into the API and upload Google Posts at scale (with help from a local platform management partner). Year-round, businesses can feature new product launches, new store openings, in-store events, and more, but perhaps one of the best times of year to leverage this space is during the months of November and December, when shoppers are gearing up for the holiday season. 

Let’s walk through the top five best uses for Google Posts over the holiday season.

Brands Struggle to Strike the Right Tone This Holiday Season

It’s not even November, but the holiday shopping season has already begun. With nearly two-thirds of consumers saying the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their attitude toward the shopping season, retail marketers are rethinking their approach this year and focusing more heavily on empathy and values when they target younger shoppers.

How Brands Can Rise, Retain, and Return Stronger Than Ever this Holiday Season

Prior to Covid-19, traditional demographics still directed many brands’ targeting strategies. However, the pandemic has laid bare just how flawed this method can be. We believe that the best measure of what someone will purchase in the future is looking at what they’ve purchased in the past. This holds true even in an uncertain market and is invaluable for retailers as the holidays approach. 

Why Creative is Paramount for This Year’s Holiday Ads

When marketers are all using the same platforms and automation tools to bid and compete against each other this holiday season (like with Facebook Automated App Ads and Google App Campaigns), the key differentiator will be ad creative. Preparing an arsenal of high-performing creative will be critical to advertisers in order to keep costs down and be effective this year.

How Small Businesses Can Conquer E-Commerce for the Holidays

As the pandemic continues, consumers are shifting their expectations of brands as well. They don’t just want coupons in their email anymore, they expect an intuitive browsing and checkout process, accurate inventory and out-of-stock notifications, curbside delivery, and fast shipping.

E-commerce is already a must-have, and small businesses who understand this and take steps to offer their customers a way to buy online will create a memorable experience, more long-term loyalty, and ultimately more sales this holiday season.

Here’s Why October Is the Perfect Time to Pressure-Test Holiday Strategies

With consumers still spending – and their evolving shopping preferences and behaviors becoming increasingly clear for Halloween and beyond – October presents a prime opportunity for retailers to pressure-test and refine their holiday 2020 strategies. 

Here are three considerations as we enter one of the most critical quarters in retail’s history.

How Marketers Should Prepare for an Abnormal Holiday Season

Marketers overuse the word “unique,” but the adjective actually applies to this year’s holiday season. Consumer-facing brands and retailers have not faced such an adverse economic environment for more than a decade, and they have never grappled with a Q4 in which driving customers to their stores came with daily, life-or-death stakes.

I spoke to Michele Marzan, chief strategy officer at MainAd, about these holidays’ unprecedented challenges and unexpected opportunities.