The festive season is just around the corner yet again, and as brands are buckling up to compete against the ever-increasing wave of competition in the market. Today, eCommerce isn’t a differentiator anymore, it is the bare minimum that any brand needs to consider. Standing out may be harder, but it isn’t impossible.
This article discusses the top four trends that are dominating the 2022 festive season.
1. Starting Early
In a recent e4m article, the importance of starting promotions early is discussed.
As festival days get closer and customers start scouring marketplaces for the best deals, their much-needed purchases, and presents for friends and family, getting noticed becomes tricky. Several brands have identified this struggle and are now focusing on pre-festival marketing campaigns. To cut through the competition, sellers now launch advertisements and brand awareness campaigns noticeably ahead of important dates to get maximum exposure to their audience and improve their visibility.
Further, by launching festive campaigns early, brands are able to manage operations, order volumes, and returns smoothly and avoid failures due to a massive surge in orders closer to the festival dates. As competition is less intense during the early phases of the festive season, brands are able to increase their sales early on and flatten the curve in due time without overloading their supply chains.
However, many shoppers also wait until the very last minute to make a festive purchase, as they prefer to get a better deal. To counter this, brand campaigns can be run earlier in the season, and direct, sales-based messaging can be considered closer to the festival date for maximum leverage.
A Targeted Approach To The Festive Season
Here are a few targeted insights from our team’s experience in running high-performance festive sales campaigns for the sale period in India.
The festive sales season can be broken into four phases, the first of which needs to begin right away.
1. Pre-buildup: 45-60 days before the festive season, brands must establish the business fundamentals from procurement to shipping and after-sales service processes. This is the time to test whether these processes will hold up against high sales volumes.
2. Buildup: 15-45 days before the festive season is the time to focus on Awareness and New User Acquisition, and to launch campaigns.
3. 5 Days of Diwali: Remarketing is the main focus during this time, as is the ability to convert all of the customers that have been attracted during phase 2. We have observed that 74% of new user acquisition happens during phases 1 and 2. Women and younger audiences are most likely to engage with brands during these stages.
On the other hand, 19% of overall revenues in the two months of the festive period come from the 5 days of Diwali. Men are most likely to engage just before, as well as during, these 5 days.
4. Post-Diwali: Life must go on even after the festive sale period. This is the time to establish loyalty and avail top-of-mind recall to encourage people to make more purchases in the months that will follow.
2. Telling The Right Story Across Sales Channels
Similar to how lifestyle advertising brought a paradigm shift in the advertising industry in the mid-20th century, brands are now becoming storytellers to connect better with customers. In order to reinforce the brand’s message, sellers now capitalize on stories to relate with customers and make sales. To catch the attention of consumers, brands are now investing in delivering empathetic, witty, and engaging stories in order to associate the brand with popular ideas, trends, and concepts.
Marketing strategists are deploying personalized campaigns to connect with different consumer groups. The idea is to create themes based on regions, age groups, language, and user behavior.
When it comes to content, where it is shown is just as important as the quality of the content itself. The most important customer touchpoint in a brand’s journey is the sales channel- a website, a marketplace, or even social media. Everything from a product description to an Instagram Shop post can be curated in a manner that is relevant and engaging for a potential customer.
Here, a tool such as the Graas Predictive Engine can help brands understand their audiences better to cater to their different needs, and suggest content formats and ideas accordingly.
The platform uses a state-of-the-art AI engine to deliver highly accurate and data-backed insights to help brands understand where to focus their marketing efforts.
3. Making Every Offer A Personalized Experience
A common pattern among customers is to wait for better deals that may be offered closer to the dates of a festival. Typically consumers tend to spend significantly closer to the dates of the festival for two reasons - a better value and the fear of missing out. Since customers are trying to extract the most value out of a sale, they tend to make larger purchases. One way to make the most of this consumer mindset is to give them personalized offers. For example, a first-time buyer may just be looking for a heavy festive discount, while a repeat customer would be looking for guaranteed delivery, or offers on larger orders. By understanding this nuance in behavior, brands can quickly turn a casual browser or a curious explorer into a paying customer. Before the festive season, brands should also consider activating offers for customers who are in their loyalty program. Since several brands would be trying to capture the same market, early bird sales, curated offers, and a chance to create a festive wishlist can encourage loyal customers to come back and buy more during the festive sale.
4. Exploring A New Marketing Approach
Marketers are increasingly exploring new channels to promote products instead of relying only on traditional options such as emails and social media ads. Brands are exploring mobile-first approaches to better engage with their customers.
Since communication is key to any good marketing strategy, brands are now looking to messaging platforms to get in touch with their customers for more engagement, as opposed to email campaigns.
Communication channels like WhatsApp or other messaging platforms allow brands to get active feedback from customers even during promotional campaigns, conduct surveys to understand customer preferences, and more actively track customer engagement when compared with email newsletters and other email-based campaigns.
Beyond these platforms, a great place to run campaigns is on payment platforms such as CRED, Google Pay, and Paytm. More and more consumers are looking for festive offers on these platforms, and brands that showcase themselves here have a higher likelihood of being spotted.
The festive season is an exciting time for brands as they get the opportunity to make larger sales, acquire new customers, and establish their brand identity. Leveraging such an opportunity early on can help brands improve their market share, explore new communication channels, and understand their customers better.
Given the competition in the eCommerce industry today, it is crucial to track and measure every metric, optimize every campaign, and make the most of automation to help drive sales this festive season.