Late Thursday night in Philadelphia, it’s 48 degrees and damp — lending a sharper bite to the air. We haven’t yet reached the smothering hot and humid days of August and even so, market prognosticators are forecasting that marketers will start their Holiday 2016 and Back-to-School campaigns now.
“ ’Tis the season for retailers to start planning for the winter holidays,” exclaims an email Experian Marketing Services sent to Target Marketing on Thursday.
And if marketers haven’t started their Back-to-School campaigns yet, they’ve already missed out on influencing nearly 12 percent of shoppers’ choices, says Bizrate Insights, a division of marketing solutions firm Connexity.
“Back-to-school (“BTS”) shopping may not heat up until July, but 5 percent of shoppers have already started by April and another 7 percent plan to start before June,” reads research Bizrate Insights emailed to Target Marketing on Wednesday. “Over half of shoppers will kick off BTS shopping between late July and early August, with early August being the most popular time to begin — nearly one-third of all BTS shoppers start then.”
Here’s what EMS and Bizrate Insights say marketers may want to do now:
Be Ready for an Influx of Omnichannel BTS Shoppers
“Retailers should be ready to support shoppers across channels by the end of June,” says Hayley Silver, VP of Bizrate Insights. “Product availability, price and coupons are important, but be sure to also include indicators of quality, such as ratings, reviews and guarantees."
Plus, prepare for mobile shoppers, including providing coupons in the channel — perhaps mostly targeted toward women, who seek them out more often than men.
Bizrate Insights also says of in-store mobile users: 69 percent research products, 48 percent buy products on mobile devices, 41 percent to price-compare in-store and 37 percent look for coupons in-store.
Prepare Many, Many Holiday Emails
Chances are, marketers will be sending even more email this year than they did for Holiday 2015, during which EMS says in “Holiday Hot Sheet: Insights for the Holiday Marketer” (opens as a PDF) that email volume rose 24.8 percent over the year before. And despite what consumers may say to each other, they weren’t annoyed by the influx.
“Despite the increase in volume, the number of email opens, clicks and transactions also increased,” EMS told Target Marketing via email in January 2016. “Unique email opens increased 19 percent, unique email clicks increased 10 percent and email transactions increased 20 percent.”
Of those Holiday 2015 emails, 90 percent included offers, such as free shipping and “percent off” in the form of coupons or codes that facilitated tracking.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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