Published August 28, 2020
Summer is coming to an end. Schools are reopening amidst a pandemic. And we are almost nearing the end of 2020.
It may feel early, but now is the time to start thinking about your holiday marketing strategy.
The holiday timeframe for this year will be different from any other we have experienced in the past, and some major industry changes must be kept in mind as we head into the last quarter of the year.
Q4 Holiday Season Timeline
Aside from COVID-19 impacting various industries, Prime Day will also occur much later than usual. It’s rumored that Amazon Prime Day 2020 will likely be in early October (as opposed to July as it has been historically).
What does this mean for online brands and retailers? Because this will be the first time in Prime Day history that the event will occur during Q4, we predict that Amazon Prime Day 2020 will be the “official” kick-off to the holiday season.
69% of shoppers plan to shop for the holidays earlier this year to avoid items being out of stock or having to experience slow shipping times, according to a survey from Google. If our predictions are accurate, your planning period for holiday marketing strategies and the beginning of seasonal consumer buying behavior may sneak up on you faster than usual.
2020 Competition + Budgets
With uncertainty around when COVID-19 will pass, we can assume that the virus will impact in consumers’ ability to shop “normally” come November and December.
72% of holiday shoppers will buy more online this season than in years past. With the pandemic limiting in-store shopping, retailers have gained first-time online shoppers and new customers, leading to a rise in direct ecommerce purchases.
Shoppers will turn to online shopping to fulfill their Christmas shopping needs, and your competitors will be increasingly more aggressive in the Google paid search and shopping space.
As you prepare budgets, marketing strategies, and promotions, keep in mind that looking solely at 2019 data and trends won’t be enough this year. Our recommendation would be to look at your competition throughout 2020 to see how their trends have fluctuated over the year. Auction Insights may shed light on how your competitors reacted to the pandemic within the Google Search and Shopping space since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Consider starting to have budget conversations now to ensure you plan appropriately and reevaluate each month as the digital climate evolves.
Q4 Paid Search Promotions
With an accelerated timeline and increasingly competitive landscape, promotions will be crucial in differentiating yourself from your competitors.
49% of U.S. consumers expect retailers to offer them discounts when shopping during the holidays. Knowing that the majority will expect some sort of discount, planning your promotions now will allow your team to determine a creative and thoughtful way to attract customers away from your brand’s competition.
The best way to successfully navigate the holiday and Q4 shopping season is to start with a solid marketing strategy and to begin planning early. Creating a detailed schedule of all marketing initiatives, tests, promotions, budgets, and 2020 competitive trends can be the difference between year-over-year growth or flat (or even declining) performance.