The shoulder months following the busy November and December holiday season have historically been times that brands expect to see a significant drop in sales. 2021 has the hallmarks and potential to be something quite different though.
In case you had only just realized, 2020 is not exactly shaping up to have been the most normal, incident-free year on record. A global pandemic tends to have that effect. There is a sliver of light on the horizon though.
The vaccines are beginning to roll out and there is a growing feeling amongst many that the second half of 2021 could be a return to normalcy. While there are undoubtedly economic challenges ahead, you get the feeling there is real pent up demand building for travel and general retail spending.
The shoulder months following the busy November and December holiday season have historically been times that brands expect to see a significant drop in sales. These are typically the lowest spending months of the year for consumers in the Western world. Quite often this negative impact is exacerbated by a reduction in marketing activity and other client engagement strategies. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. 2021 has the hallmarks and potential to be something quite different though.
Start 2021 with a bang
There are strategies that brands can take to reverse this trend and avoid the expected first-quarter sales slump; smart usage of great omnichannel communications and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) having a key role to play in ensuring 2021 can morph into something fresh.
Consumers like to be surprised and delighted. Given so much bad news heaped on untold millions of people globally through 2020, we suspect it won’t take too much to put a smile on people’s faces again and put a little spring back into their step.
With planning and thoughtful execution, it’s possible to both increase sales in this typically low-performing period and build brand awareness and strengthen your relationships with your most loyal customers. It is after all much cheaper to retain customers than acquire new ones. But where does one start? The word ‘creativity’ springs to mind instantly.
Plan now, reap benefits later
Given holiday sales are traditionally strong, it’s a smart move to leverage those right now for future benefit. We know that throughout the year abandoned cart rates can hit as high as 70%. Offering deals that provide customers with an attractive discount on a future purchase that activates two to four weeks after their initial transaction is a great way to get people buying during lower traffic periods. Define ‘attractive’ though.
‘Attractive’ tends to be regarded as something in the 10% to 20% discount range. It’s a powerful differentiator that only a few companies appear to leverage, but these tactics should be used sparingly. Constantly resorting to monetary discounts alone risks devaluing the long-term value proposition of goods and services.
The good news? When using SMS as a channel to recover abandoned carts, certain brands have seen as high as 45% of the users that read the text (a number that hovers around 98%) convert the purchase. Add that to the fact that omnichannel campaigns are roughly 68% more effective when using SMS, it’s not a bad idea to shoot your users a quick note letting them know what’s in that cart.
Add value and keep serving relevant content
Value can come in various shapes and forms, such as bonus loyalty points, free priority shipping, or even extended warranties, which give customers an additional tangible reason to trust a company. ‘Trust’ is THE magic word.
Coaxed along in a way that does not come across as pushy, trust has a great chance of blossoming into loyalty. Brands need to keep avenues of communication open at all times; conversational business messaging is the key, weaving together two-way channels such as SMS and WhatsApp in a seamless way with which customers are comfortable. It’s not just about marketing but remarketing.
Advertising to people who may have already visited your site during the holiday season but who may not have pulled the trigger on an actual purchase is a great time to bump up these efforts. It’s all about capitalizing on the large influx of traffic companies see over the holidays.
This holiday season undoubtedly feels very different from previous years, but implementing a smart customer engagement strategy that ensures customers know their trusted brands are genuinely thinking of them can put you in high regard. And remember Mitto is always in your corner, ensuring your content gets delivered rapidly and accurately wherever your customers may be around the world.