Why Your Brand’s Holiday eCommerce Strategy Needs to Start in July

Isaac Lee

This year, Christmas is definitely coming early — at least for most holiday eCommerce shoppers who have started preparing for the festive season from as early as June. The global pandemic in 2020 spurred a significant change in consumer behavior. 75% of consumers in the US tried a new way of shopping and developed different preferences like online shopping. With frequent disruptions in the supply chain, they are now keen to stock up on coveted items as soon as the inspiration strikes — and before they run out! 

After a lull during the pandemic period, the market outlook is buoyant. Shoppers are already embracing the omnichannel experience. Hence, the time taken between discovery and purchasing has reduced considerably.

Consumers are also shopping earlier than ever to beat product shortages and shipping delays. They are willing to switch brands or retailers, especially when items are unavailable, thus making it imperative for brands to take their engagement and conversion strategies a notch higher to improve customer loyalty.

Additionally, occasions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which offer exceptional deals and are peak times for shoppers, have increased and generally occur more frequently during the course of the year.

Strategies to kickstart the holiday season eCommerce strategy

Holiday eCommerce Strategy fro Brands

Catch up with trends

Considering the current trends, it is in the best interest of eCommerce retailers to gear up for the holiday season well in advance in order to drive their engagement, add-to-cart, and conversion rates. Brands must focus on optimizing the consumer experience in all the right ways to capture the attention of, engage, and retain their customers. 

Decode new engagement strategies

Consumers today favor experiences that are convenient, interactive, and stimulating from the beginning stage of discovery, through to awareness and purchase. Live commerce has proved to be a highly successful means to achieve this. eCommerce retailers can leverage this most effectively for their business to boost sales as well as enhance the customer experience to the fullest.

Zero in on the Target Audience to craft personalized experiences

Analyze customer behavior and other market factors to narrow down on the target segment and craft appropriate experiences. 

Consumers of today, including Gen-Z digital natives, have shown the best response to interactive live commerce which cleverly uses video to create an immersive, personalized, and seamless shopping experience. Brands need to get ready for the holiday season in style by crafting the right experiences to get in front of this audience segment.

Create Immersive Engagement Touchpoints across the purchase funnel 

This generation of digitally native consumers researches and discovers products through live streams and short video content. (Video consumption increased by a whopping 96% during the pandemic and video stands as the most preferred format of content today.) Brands can make product information discoverable using these video-first experiences. 30% of livestream viewers in a Coresight survey cited discovering new products, learning more about products, excitement and convenience as reasons for preferring livestream shopping.

These customers want to learn in a more authentic manner – from other customers and brand advocates rather than paid influencers.

They also want more personal interactions with the brand, not with static images and product pages.

Reduce Purchase Friction to capitalize on the customers’ willingness to buy

Brands must make the purchase experience seamless across the funnel down to the conversion stage. Allow customers to discover, experience, and finally buy, using live stream and shoppable video experiences.

Enable customers to buy exactly at the point of inspiration and cut down the abandoned cart rate with live shopping and instant checkout options.

A few stellar examples of successful holiday season eCommerce strategy

Consumer brands leading the holiday season strategy are using short, mobile-optimized videos, live streams, and shoppable videos to engage better with their customers. They are facilitating product discovery by creating meaningful high-impact influencer campaigns. 

Let’s take a look at some of the earliest adopters of the video commerce strategy.

Kraft Heinz supercharged customer engagement by running a successful holiday campaign during Hallowean 

Kraft Heinz, one of the largest CPG brand owners in the US, began hosting livestream shopping sessions on its own website in November 2021. The brand connected with parents and their children with a seasonal Heinz Halloween exclusive pop-up experience in partnership with Firework.

The live campaign was amplified across social channels, as well as the Firework Publisher network. According to data provided by Firework, Kraft Heinz was able to drive over 675,000 views over the first seven days, exceeding the company’s expectations for 25,000 total videos by 27X, while producing 18X better engagement then Kraft Heinz’s 3X expectations (total of 17 million impressions across all platforms).

Coresight Research powered an immersive annual holiday shopping experience using livestreaming.

On October 10, 2021, Coresight Research held its second annual 10.10 Shopping Festival, a 12-hour livestream shopping experience that was powered by Firework’s shoppable livestream platform. The event featured 25 retailers and brands, and attracted 350,000 livestream viewers as retailers showcased apparel, accessories, home goods and more.

A harbinger of the future of online shopping in the US, 10.10 spurred new levels of consumer engagement, with 45% of viewers actively interacting with shoppable livestreams. Brands such as Longaberger, goodMRKT, Beaut, Skin Authority, Urban Savage, amongst others, participated in the live-streaming showcase.

Conclusion

Research shows that the holiday season in retail and eComemrce rolls in much before the festivity bells start ringing. Brands need to be agile with the holiday eCommerce strategy and adapt to the latest trends in customer engagement. Consumers today don’t wait until the holiday season to make purchase decisions. They engage with brands across different touchpoints in the purchase journey. The pandemic drove video consumption up tremendously and today, short videos are the most preferred format of content consumption. A well-executed live commerce strategy uses this fact effectively. Live streams and short, shoppable video mobile-optimized videos are key features that hook a consumer’s attention and keep them engaged. This is why brands are crafting curated holiday season experiences like live shopping events starting as early as July.

Firework’s ‘Christmas in July’ video commerce experience powered by the flagship Gen Z Labs initiative is a one-stop shop to learn about how your brand can engage with next-generation customers using livestreaming commerce and digital transformation. Get a first-hand experience of how you can create immersive shopping experiences on your digital storefront for your customers, this holiday season.

 

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