Holiday Marketing 2021

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Planning ahead is key for both marketers and consumers.

The State of Holiday Shopping 

40% of people have already started their holiday shopping, according to new research by Google and Ipsos. In fact, 31% of US shoppers started their holiday shopping in June!  

E-commerce sales for the holiday season are expected to rise 11-15%, and in-store shopping is also forecast to rebound, climbing closer to the pre-pandemic share of the market.

Shoppers are starting earlier with good reasons this year. Supply-chain woes are creating stock shortages and delivery delays. And consumers are looking forward to this holiday season like never before. There is pent-up demand, an eagerness to congregate and observe traditions after postponing or downsizing our celebratory events for over a year.  

Another factor: COVID-19 has changed the customer journey significantly, some say permanently. Digital media dominates the path now and factors into everything from brand discovery, to purchase, to customer loyalty.  

Marketing Advice 2021 

That’s why, in terms of digital marketing efforts, it’s more important than ever to:  

1) Start now! With consumers already shopping, it’s important to advertise your product or service and spruce up your other digital assets, including your website and business listings.  

2) Make sure your free business listings, like Google Business Profile, are updated to reflect holiday shopping hours, closures, in-store services, products, and safety measures. Find more Business Profile tips here.

A sample Local Inventory Ad, as displayed on a mobile device.3) Highlight in-store product availability and curbside pickup options in Local Inventory Ads – ads that display at the top of search results. Service-area businesses should invest in Local Service Ads.

4) Provide buy online pick-up in store (BOPUS) options to consumers. Create a clean e-commerce experience with clear instructions to ensure consumer experience meets expectations. 

5) Leverage social platforms. Social media is increasingly an important place for consumers to discover new products and services. Choose the channels that will most effectively engage your audience.  

6) Craft cohesive messaging to let customers know what to expect, especially regarding shipping timelines. 

Big Days in Holiday Marketing 

Make sure your business stands out online for these four key days in holiday shopping: 

  • Black Friday – November 26, 2021 
  • Small Business Saturday – November 27, 2021. The day for small businesses to shine! 
  • Cyber Monday – November 29, 2021. The largest day for online shopping deals. 
  • Green Monday/ Cyber Monday 2 – The second Monday in December is touted as the largest sales day in December – it’s the last day to take advantage of holiday deals and still expect shipments to arrive on time. What’s the shipping estimate for your business?  

Differing from the norm, our client sales data in years past have shown the Monday before Christmas as the biggest sales day in December. With the lingering supply chain issues and shipping delays, it will be interesting to see if the December sales peak actually happens earlier this year.

Seeking more marketing advice this holiday season? Check out our podcast.