Paper Matters Blog
Are You Prepared for the Holiday Shopping Season?

The first day of fall is just a few days away and with that kicks off the busiest season of the year for retailers. Year after year, sales growth is in the double digits with online sales leading the chart.

As retailers compete for marketshare, the season is starting earlier and earlier. According to The Washington Post, in 2018, Americans spent a record $2 billion online during the Labor Day Weekend while Black Friday pulled in a $6.2 billion.

Technology advancements and our busy lifestyles have also changed the shopping habits of consumers from in-store to online and now mobile.  CNBC reported that 33.5% of ecommerce sales during Black Friday of last year was done on mobile devices.  Today, it’s not just about having products in stock.

If you have a storefront, not only do you need products in stock locally, you need to also be prepared for the online shoppers. Your site has to be operating at top efficiency, meaning less than 3 seconds load time, accurate product descriptions, the right promotional offers, etc. If that’s not enough, you have to ensure that the products are processed and shipped out quickly and with as little damage as possible.

But what does this all mean for B2B brands and retailers when most of this holiday shopping is personal shopping for friends and family?

Technology has allowed us to stay connected with people all over the globe. This is the same for brands and retailers, whether it’s marketing to consumers for the home or for the office. Our personal and professional worlds are colliding and purchasing decisions are being made on the spot. Understanding your audience, where they are and how they prefer to receive and purchase products will be key to your success.

Here are a few things to consider as you plan for the holiday shopping season:

Last year, reported that online shopping sales reached a total of $122 billion during the holiday season. Of that $122 billion, a total of $38.8 billion was spent while using a smartphone and $11.2 billion was spent on a tablet.  This means that your target audience is shopping online and meeting them where they are is half the battle.

  1. Re-allocating marketing funds to your digital advertising spend can make the difference in finishing the year stronger than the last.  If you don’t think that the holiday season is the right time to market to your B2B consumers, then it’s time to reconsider. This is the time for B2B brands to stay ahead of their competitors by staying top of mind and taking advantage of opportunities while consumers are already shopping.
  2. Consider a holiday catalog to retarget your customers. In 2018, marketers across the nation saw an interesting trend with the comeback of the holiday catalog.  Amazon launched its first holiday catalog last year, while Target increased the number of pages in its own toy catalog. An office holiday catalog should not be much different. There are specific needs during the holiday season for the office environment and understanding what those are and how you can tailor your message to meet those needs is critical.  This catalog doesn’t have to be an extravagant production. Sometimes, simple is more.
  3. Personalize your communication, whether it’s direct mail or an email, it’s been proven that response rates increase dramatically with a personalized message. This response rate is even higher with a personalized offer.  Understanding your data and how to leverage that information is key to your success.

As you’re planning out the holiday shopping season, these small last-minute tips can help shift your response rate.

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Nicholas Pearson
Marketing Specialist
Meredith Collins
Customer Marketing Manager
Danielle Sinclair
Vanecia Carr
Sr. Director Marketing Product & Management
John Parke
Customer Marketing Manager
Paige Goff
Vice President of Sustainability
Deborah Corn
Domtar Paper
Roland Basdeo
Graphic Designer
Susan Jones