Drive sales with these trending holiday strategies for 2019.

The holiday season is the one time of the year when consumers plan to spend more than they do during any other spending event annually. This season is also gearing up to be a big one with PwC’s Trendsetter Barometer finding leading economic indicators reflecting “steady growth, little inflation, and low unemployment” for 2019.

This raises the question: What strategies should marketers be implementing to drive sales, maximize returns, and increase customer loyalty? 

1) Boost mobile app downloads with exclusive offers and deals

Mobile is arguably one of the most important channels and apps are a great way to fuel sales while fostering touchpoints and long-term relationships with consumers. However, many of today’s consumers are apprehensive about downloading new mobile apps for a variety of reasons, the largest being a concern over the amount of space they take up on mobile devices.

Fortunately, as referenced in a report by eMarketer, consumers are most likely to download retail apps if some form of incentive is offered. This is especially the case when it comes to brick-and-mortar locations.

87% of respondents cited they were likely to download an app for exclusive coupons or deals, and 79.7% were incentivized to download for loyalty/rewards programs.1

Black Friday tends to see a huge spike in app installs for brick-and-mortar retailers and is continuing to increase year-over-year, a good sign, but it’s important to keep consumers engaged so their app usage doesn’t just stop there.

Source: A Digital Marketing Playbook: Holiday 2019. Airship

For retailers looking to boost mobile downloads for the holiday season, offering consumers something extra special, such as exclusive holiday offers, extra discounts, or limited access to holiday deals and promotions will be a key driver in those downloads. 

2) Send targeted push notifications to earn holiday engagements

Push messaging is an extremely cost-effective and powerful way to reach customers, but due to the sheer volume of messages being delivered by brands during the holidays, competition is fierce.

In order to be successful, brands must learn how to stand out in the crowd – and this doesn’t mean blindly mass messaging any and everyone within reach. Success can only be achieved through a highly targeted, personalized approach. In fact, according to a report by our partners at Airship, targeted notifications had an 89% higher engagement rate than non-targeted notifications when analyzing data from the 2017 holiday season.2

Furthermore, by leveraging real-time location data, companies can go beyond personalization and delve into the world of individualization to truly make an impact by capturing in-the-moment behaviors.

3) Give the gift of an in-store experience

Brick-and-mortar stores need to continually diversify their strategies and offerings to keep up with the demand for online shopping. The same rings true when it comes to the holiday season. In order to remain competitive, retailers will have to optimize their in-store experiences to make them as appealing to customers as possible.

27.9% of shoppers look to brick-and-mortar stores because they help provide better ideas and inspiration for gifts during the holiday season.3

For retailers looking to enhance displays and layouts to capture attention and assist consumers with their shopping decisions, beacon technology can be a great complement. Beacons can help customers easily navigate through aisles and can uncover special offers via push notifications. 

4) Get creative in mobile wallets

Apple launched its first mobile wallet app in 2014, and ever since then, mobile wallets have been increasing in popularity at a staggering pace. What’s great about these applications is that the convenience they offer has become enticing to practically every generation, from Gen Yers to Baby Boomers. 

As mentioned earlier, discounts are everything during the holiday shopping season and Add-to-Wallet ad units can be a sure bet for consumers when it comes to saving a coupon and remembering it in the moment that matters. By combining geofence technology with Apple’s native iOS functionality, location-based recall triggers are enabled alerting uses that the coupon can be redeemed at a nearby location.

Today’s shoppers are multi-channel consumers and interact with brands in a variety of ways. Retailers interested in acquiring new customers or incentivizing loyalty with current customers should consider adopting mobile wallet strategies that deliver a more seamless and convenient experience for their customers during the holiday season.

Wrapping it up

The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for retailers of all sizes. Competition is at an all-time high, especially when it comes to buying in-store vs. online. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not a this vs. that; there needs to be a mixed model approach. Gifting consumers with a cross-channel experience will reap the rewards and maximize your returns for the holiday season. 

1 Why Your Retail App Isn’t on Customer’s’ Phones, and What to Do About It Before the Holidays. eMarketer. Sept. 13, 2019. 
2 A Digital Marketing Playbook: Holiday 2019. Airship.
32019 Consumer Insights: 6 Trends Dominating This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season. shopkick.