Facebook Festive Report: Holiday Shopping Trends For 2021
Holidays are just around the corner – and shoppers are already looking forward to the holiday season. Businesses should be, too.
When Facebook published its 2021 Christmas Marketing Guide, it noted that it aimed to help businesses map out the most effective route to the holiday season – and get their products in front of the right consumer and at the right time.
This guide focuses on and breaks down the four core needs of holiday shoppers – “Community and Connection,” “Engagement and Entertainment,” “Anticipation and Occasion,” and, last but not least, “Inspiration and Spontaneity.”
Community & Connection
COVID-19 has affected families and their finances, meaning customers will be more sensitive to prices and more likely to turn to eCommerce as a way to avoid crowds. So, it’s no surprise that Mega Sale Days (MSDs) are growing in popularity and will be top of mind this holiday shopping season.
What’s interesting is that eight out of ten global MSD shoppers view these events as a place for shopping and community to come together, noting that these sales make them feel like a part of the community. It’s evident that people tend to connect with their personal social groups through shopping, with up to 58% of holiday shoppers sharing their product discoveries on social platforms in 2020.
Your priority here should be creating highly personalized, customer-centric experiences. Think about the connections your customers would form during in-person shopping, and then see how you can use eCommerce to recreate them.
The number one advice is to utilize personalization to make customers feel connected. How? Give them an opportunity to engage based on shared interests, geo-locations, and different passion points – things they prioritize when it comes to how they spend their time and money.
Furthermore, learn how to use digital as a way to drive in-store sales with offline conversions. Use the Lookalike Audiences feature to display ads based on the actions your customers take in-store.
Engagement & Entertainment
Retailers started realizing that shopping could, indeed, be a form of entertainment – something fun to offer to consumers that would, in turn, result in higher sales. And, simply put, people are buying into this concept of “shoppertainment.”
There’s a growing demand for online shopping – such as live events and gamified experiences – that feels as engaging as real-life events. Leading eCommerce websites are no longer known purely for the shopping aspect but for the entertainment that they offer, too. In fact, live stream shopping events are expected to generate $25B in sales by 2023 in the US alone.
Marketers should find a way to turn shopping into a form of entertainment and, even, leisure by creating content and commerce experiences that are both engaging and shoppable. It’s more crucial than ever to learn and understand which creative concepts can find that sweet spot between top-funnel engagement and bottom-funnel conversions.
Start treating social media channels as the flagship of your business and with as much attention as you would your brick-and-mortar store. One way to expand your reach, tell your brand’s story, and promote products would be to get in touch with macro-influencers in your niche. Using original content from these creators will allow you to tap into the intersection of advertising and culture and built impact and advocacy.
Furthermore, consider bringing the best that your store has to offer online through live shopping, having your experts provide real-time advice and product demos. The key term here is “retailtainment.”
Anticipation & Occasion
Mega Sale Days (MSDs) are redefining the shopping season as we know it. MSD events, which take place from July to December, including Black Friday, Prime Day, and Singles’ Day, to name a few, cause the shoppers’ anticipation to go beyond the traditional holiday shopping season.
Granted, not all are created equal – some encourage shoppers to go after big-ticket items, while others have more emotional-based motivations behind them, but the results remain the same: Nearly six out of ten shoppers will make a purchase during an MSD event.
It seems that having a solid Mega Sale Days strategy in place has never been more critical than right now. You have an opening to maximize opportunities during peak sale months – the second half of the year, that is – by going across borders and reaching unexpected audiences. Remember: Around 17% of shoppers that use Facebook’s platforms for product discovery have 50% of their products shipper from abroad.
Test early and often – and make it a point to learn and understand how these peak sales events work, what consumers anticipate, and how they engage during these events. Moreover, strive to achieve the right balance of “padding your budget,” allowable efficiency, and bidding strategies to maximize opportunities during the holiday shopping season.
Inspiration & Spontaneity
If these trends indicate anything, it’s that shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable with social commerce. Discovery is, indeed, happening on social.
Digital no longer plays a supporting role; it’s at the core of media plans – and it’s fundamentally changing the way people shop: It’s no longer about “going shopping;” consumers are always shopping, with more than one-third of them reporting they often do so without having a specific item in mind. Even more so, 63% of shoppers worldwide find discovering things they weren’t searching for actively enjoyable.
An increasing number of people are turning to online shopping – mainly due to the convenience and the personalized incentives. You can find a way to make that experience seamless and frictionless – think of short load times, a more straightforward path to cart, and hassle-free check-outs. Aim to inspire customers, help them find the right products, and offer them a delightful shopping experience.
This holiday season, non-traditional forms of shopping seem to be the new normal. Things will, undoubtedly, look a lot different compared to years gone by – but given that we’ve had plenty of “new normals” this past year, can you say you’re surprised?
Remember that, while the holiday season always seems like it carries a touch of magic, behind the curtains, there’s an entirely different story playing out – one that calls for thorough planning and strategizing.
It’s time for your business to start working on your holiday marketing campaigns and make sure that you tap into key events – and that your products find shoppers this year in the moments that matter.