Holiday marketing strategies for 2018 should revolve around the technology consumers purchased at 2017’s end, as these new devices are speeding the consumer path to purchase. From developments in virtual and augmented reality to smarter phones and smart speakers, the technology consumers adopted in the past year will have a significant impact on shopping habits this season.
These marketing strategies will also help carry brands into 2019 by optimizing strategies for all the new technology consumers will receive. Mobile apps will play an increased role in consumer’s everyday shopping, as new options in AR and VR merge the digital and physical space. Marketing in a screenless environment will also grow more important as voice apps become more prevalent. These three holiday marketing strategies allow brands to take a high-tech approach to reach consumers this season.
Marketing Strategy #1: Use AR to Improve the In-Store Experience
Augmented reality is a game-changing trend for marketers, considering the extreme growth expected over the next few years. Over 117 million people use ARKit and ARCore apps, which are the primary AR developer platforms. Advances in hardware also drive this trend, as lower cost AR headsets and AR capable phones become available. Massive growth in AR app development options and devices drives the demand for content.
Marketers should begin seeking out partnerships which can help them corner this market. Sponsoring the development of AR apps can help a brand gain the attention of consumers as they’re in the shopping aisle. Additionally, apps that use digital programs to encourage in-store product engagement are popular among consumers and help prime them for sale.
Shopkick uses this type of program to direct consumers to specific products by offering rewards points (kicks) for scanning UPCs via a phone’s camera. This strategy creates a gamified experience that engages consumers in both the digital and physical space. Apps like Shopkick that can travel with and engage consumers as they shop in store can increase the likelihood of brick-and-mortar sales. Partnering with third-party app providers can give brands an edge on holiday marketing and help them take advantage of new technology as it emerges in the coming years.
Marketing Strategy #2: Leverage the Power of Voice
Voice ordering has been slow to take off, but marketers are not losing hope. It’s projected that this market will reach $40 billion in sales value by 2022, representing a massive jump from the current $2 billion value. The lag behind consumer adoption is more about the learning curve. As voice ordering is an entirely new way to shop, it’s understandable that consumers are confused about the process.
However, once entirely up to date, it’s very likely that consumers will rapidly adopt the technology as it acts as the most straightforward way to make purchases. Brands should consider strategies that ease the transition to voice ordering for consumers, as the way they search for products will change entirely.
Current search strategies are heavily text focused, but for voice, brands need to optimize audio recognition. Product reputation, rather than keyword optimization, becomes the primary result driver. Amazon Choice is an excellent example of the change the search process will create. On Amazon, products marked as “Amazon Choice” will be presented as top options when consumers perform an unbranded voice search. While Amazon does not make their choice criteria public, available data indicates that it’s the most highly rated items that receive this designation.
Brands need to increase awareness in a positive way on platforms like Amazon to ensure their offers come first when consumers search by voice. By encouraging consumers to leave reviews of these products, they will become more prevalent in the voice search process.
Marketing Strategy #3: Create a Seamless Digital Experience
Google made headlines recently when it partnered with several major retailers as part of a universal shopping cart program. Through the Google Shopping Actions platform, consumers are able to shop on multiple sites using a universal cart. This speaks to a growing trend where consumers seek out a single space to fill all of their diverse shopping needs. For example, with this unique platform a consumer could add a lipstick from Sephora and a laptop from Best Buy to a single cart, and checkout in the same spot.
Holiday marketing strategies should support the use of growing technology.
This process streamlines shopping for consumers by tying all of their favorite retailers to one location. It also sets the stage for newer technology as Google releases new hardware and shopping apps to meet consumer demand. Web integration, which consolidates many actions into one space, is expected to be a growing trend in the years to come. This is another option supported by third-party apps, which brands can partner with to connect with consumers in these shopping hubs.
Holiday marketing strategies should support the use of growing technology. More consumers will be able to order via voice with smart speakers or use their phones for AR experiences in the shopping aisle this year. Third-party partnerships can give brands access to innovative shopping options that are changing the retail industry.
Shopkick partners can gain an edge this holiday season by connecting with consumers in the store via our shopping app. For more information about how our app can boost your marketing results, contact us.
Image courtesy of Antonio Guillem