Two types of holiday shoppers and how to prepare for them

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(Source: Bazaarvoice.com)
With countless sales days, stores, and items to choose from, today’s consumers are tackling the holiday shopping season from all angles. And while there are plenty of places to shop and things to buy, there are two notably different types of holiday shoppers to consider. There are those shoppers who plan ahead (The Planners) and those who don’t (The Spontaneous Shoppers). When preparing for the busy holiday season, it’s crucial to understand the hearts and minds of both groups to attract them and help them throughout the shopping process.

THE PLANNERS

Don’t miss the opportunity to engage Planners early. Brands and retailers should aim to inspire them with ideas several months before the holidays begin, connect with them while they’re in their planning stages, and join in on their early excitement about the season.
• Start seeding holiday imagery, seasonal products, and holiday decorating ideas or recipes through social media, giving them ideas to include on inspiration boards on Pinterest and save to their Instagram collections.
• Incorporate wishlist functionality into your e-commerce experience to make it easy for Planners to bookmark and save items they plan to buy.
• Deploy timely early bird advertising campaigns and promotions for these prepared shoppers who are eager to get their shopping done well in advance of the holidays.

THE SPONTANEOUS SHOPPERS
The key to reaching these types of shoppers is acting on their “last-minute” mentality and planting points of inspiration and discovery along the path to purchase – not before it.
• Create helpful, highly visual gift guides and seasonal catalogs that can assist them while they’re making their shopping choices, and display an assortment of stocking stuffers and last-minute items close to the point of purchase, whether it’s near the checkout line in your physical stores or via product galleries and carousels in your online experiences.
• As the holidays draw near, social media can provide the serendipitous discovery the Spontaneous Shopper needs. Pivot social storytelling to incorporate last minute inspiration by highlighting toprated gifts and “popular this holiday” items, and include “buy now” functionality to streamline the purchase process.
• Offer bundled items and gift sets to inspire Spontaneous Shoppers while they’re browsing. Look beyond pairing obvious products together – like electronics and charging accessories. Analyze your shopping data to extrapolate unique purchase patterns that can inform how you merchandise and display bundled products. For example, consumers who are shopping for cocktail dresses and high heels may also be interested in jewelry, cosmetics, and hair styling tools.

Some purchase decisions surprise even the shoppers
Planners and Spontaneous Shoppers have one important thing in common: they both buy some things on impulse. Brands and retailers have an opportunity to boost cart sizes and average order value by appealing to impulsive shoppers and self-gifters with messaging and promotions that give shoppers the confidence to buy now.

-Amplify consumer-generated content along the path to purchase. Highlight top-rated items and place compelling consumer review quotes in ad copy, point-of-sale materials, and across the online shopping experience.

-Make the connection on social, bringing consumer content into owned channels and amplifying consumer-generated imagery centered on last-minute, self-gifting, and impulse purchases.

-Offer “buy one, get one” deals that appeal to more than half of shoppers’ propensity to self-gift.

-For shoppers who have already bought something, send follow-up promo codes or extended sales deals to spur additional purchases.

-Consider limited-time flash sales to ignite interest and urgency among impulsive shoppers who buy things for themselves and for others on a whim – promote these sales on social channels, with links to buy, to foster additional urgency.

 

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