5 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Holiday Shopping Experience

Posted by Mila Hose on Aug 11, 2016 1:22:33 PM

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For enterprise brands with a plethora of locations, scaling marketing efforts for a short period of time often takes even more planning and preparation. It may only be August, but many retail brands are already pushing out holiday ads and stocking up on decorations and giftware. As the holidays approach, businesses need to be ready to serve customers and create an easy shopping experience. Here are five expert tips to build a strong local marketing holiday strategy and stay ahead of the competition.

Optimize for Mobile-First
Mobile influences every decision customers make and it is important to have a mobile-first approach to your digital strategy. With the holidays just around the corner, there has never been a better time to become mobile-first. Your brand can optimize high-traffic local properties during the holidays, such as store locators and local pages. With over 50% of mobile searches carrying local intent, consumers need to be able to quickly and easily find your nearest store location and access directions or maps with a store locator. Make sure to also ensure local listing consistency across high-traffic directories like Yelp, Facebook and Google so that consumers can find you on any platform.     

Syndicate Location Data
With customers often rushing to perform last-minute shopping ventures, accurate and consistent location data is more important than ever. Early birds and last minute shoppers share the same initial online habit – beginning their research with a local query. Because of this, it is always important to have the most accurate, consistent location data. Brands can use location data to make shopping experiences more effective in those moments. Make sure that any holiday hours are plainly visible and listed across all of your local listings. Utilize schema markup to ensure that your location data is accurate and consistent. Most importantly, use data to know your customers better than anyone else and offer them a personalized brand experience built from loyalty incentives, sales and special in-store offers.

Implement Geo-Targeted Advertising
Get consumers to your physical store locations by executing specific geographic deals and specials. Utilize banner ads and paid search campaigns that are relevant to local customers and meet them in the here-and-now. Make the most of purchase data be presenting relevant offers based on a user’s prior search or purchase history. Online-to-offline attribution is key to delivering relevant, geo-specific ads to consumers. Google’s new Map ads are a great example of a way to implement geographically relevant, hyperlocal bargains and deals that deliver the kind of experience that makes shoppers’ lives easier and creates repeat business.

Integrate Mobile Payments and Coupons
Nearly half of all North Americans use their phones to make payments at least once per week. The increasing convenience of this payment method has made it the preferred payment method for many smartphone users. Local retailers who do not participate in mobile payments are missing out on a huge opportunity, specifically among Millennials. Many retail stores now accept digital coupons that can simply be scanned from the user’s phone. Your brand can take advantage of digital coupons this holiday season through geo-targeted email campaigns and store-specific offers. Geo-targeting allows your individual store locations to engage with consumers on a more personal level by creating offers that are locally and socially relevant to consumers.

Always Provide Exemplary Customer Service
Regardless of products or price, customer service can make or break a brand. Customers who feel like their feedback is valued and acted upon are more likely to return to a store. Customers know that no brand is always perfect, but what matters more to them is the way in which a brand handles a poor customer experience. Having a review response strategy is critical for giving customers a voice and creating a channel for open communication. Brands should have a scalable strategy for handling positive and negative feedback and rectifying customer issues and concerns. The type of experience that a customer has with your brand during the stressful holiday season could determine whether they are a lifelong fan or a lifelong hater.

With a few months to go, you can still make the most of this year’s holiday shopping season by optimizing for the local experience by engaging customers with a more personal, geographically relevant approach. Learn how to become a master of engagement by leveraging data and technology to engage customers on their terms with Brandify’s free whitepaper, The Engagement Stack.

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Topics: Local SEO, Mobile