As a retailer, connecting and understanding your consumer’s journey is critical to standing out amongst the other festive season marketing approaches. Extended Covid-19 lockdowns across Australia throughout the last year have led to an increase in online purchasing and a surge in parcel deliveries. But as couriers are not immune to the effects of the pandemic with temporary facility closures and fewer passenger flights meaning restricted air freight capacity, unprecedented delivery delays are being experienced nationwide. And to avoid the panic of December, consumers are planning ahead and getting a head start on holiday shopping now.

Extended time for opportunity

The festive shopping season has been steadily growing in recent years, now beginning around Black Friday and lasting well into the new year with Back to School sales. One in five Aussies started thinking about gift ideas as early as March, According to Google and Ipsos’ Holiday Shopping Study, and 80 per cent of Aussies began thinking about presents for loved ones before December with last-minute shopping expeditions declining significantly in 2020.

Create connections early

Capturing consumers’ attention with new discoveries and fostering brand loyalty early is critical to retailers’ success this festive season, with 77 per cent of Aussies trying at least one new brand last year and most of those consumers checking out more than five new brands or retailers. Understanding your consumer’s journey and personalising the experience through the use of Recommendations AI, machine learning, marketing automation and cross-channel marketing is vitally important in the lead up to the high volume customer connection period.

“The increasing breadth and volume of data points available to retailers provides the opportunity to develop customer understanding and build more distinct and unique target audiences.”

Says Mike Cornwell, Head of Commercial at XPON Technologies AUNZ.

“There is also an increasing focus on building more complete customer journeys (linking online and offline) to provide a clearer view of attribution, return on advertising spend and campaign performance.”

Diversifying your reach

Omnichannel marketing automation, which allows customers to receive relevant and personalised content at opportune moments, is being accessed through more channels than ever before. The surging popularity of social media platform TikTok has converted to 77 per cent of users reporting they have purchased something they discovered on TikTok. Furthermore, 47 per cent say TikTok has inspired gift ideas and 39 per cent say they discovered a new product or brand on their For You page.

Utilising recommendations AI

Despite the surge in digital commerce, face-to-face retail is not yet extinct. Online activity significantly impacts in-store decisions with nine in 10 in-store purchases last year researched online ahead of time and 85 per cent of Australians utilising Google platforms to access this information. Consumers are turning to technology to inform their purchasing decisions, allowing marketers the opportunity to influence their purchasing experience before stepping foot in the store.

Speak to the XPON Technologies team about how we can make the most of your marketing this festive season.