The COVID-19 pandemic has made a huge impact on consumers’ daily lives and economic sectors. E-commerce sales have skyrocketed all over the world and accounted for 18% of global retail sales, once again demonstrating the massive shift to online shopping.
What's more, death and infection rates have seen a considerable decline as a result of the ongoing effective vaccination program, which shows positive signs for this year's shopping holidays. 37% of customers who have got vaccinated are eager to shop in-store more often. Also, 59% have high hope for turning back to normalcy on or before July 4th.
It is expected that both online and in-store shopping will join hands to heat the coming holidays, and the nearest one is the 4th of July.
Let's take a deeper insight into how Americans celebrate this special day and then, we will suggest some July 4th marketing campaigns you could use to make the most of this holiday.
Why online merchants should focus on Independence Day
The flourishing of e-commerce and consumers’ high hope for normalcy
President Joe Biden has established a new vaccination goal that 70% of Americans will have received at least one COVID-19 dose by July 4th. As mentioned above, nearly three in five consumers expect a return to holiday normalcy on or before Independence Day this year. Preventative measures have been loosened and consumers are willing to spend more. So, you should prepare for a blasting summer holiday shopping event.
Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped a new way of customers’ shopping behaviors. 56% of survey consumers increase their online spending and 75% of consumers expect to maintain or even prefer online shopping post-pandemic.
E-commerce performance on July 4th between 2020 and 2019 (Source: Namogoo)
Despite the impacts of coronavirus and decrease in total spending, most sectors had better e-commerce performance on Independence Day 2020 than the previous year. Especially, the groceries and homeware sectors witnessed a big leap in online traffic and conversions as these are the most purchased products on this holiday.
Therefore, retailers should expect that competition in e-commerces will get far more intense as Fourth of July is approaching, with a bunch of online promotions.
Amazon Prime Day halo effect
One special thing about this year’s Independence Day is Amazon Prime Day falls on June 21st - 22nd, just around two weeks before July 4th. For your information, the worldwide sales during this event soared from $7.16 billion in 2019 to $10.4 billion in 2020.
Last year’s statistics also prove the Prime Day halo effect. Not only did Amazon gain a mass advantage during the Prime Day period but e-commerce retailers outside of Amazon also saw a 17% increase in traffic and a 13% increase in conversion rates.
The event lasts only 48 hours, but businesses can make the most of its halo effect even when Prime Day is over. The statistic shows that large enterprises saw an up to 50% spike in sales in the days after the Amazon Prime Day events.
This year, the halo effect of Prime Day is likely to span until Independence Day. The valuable data of your Prime Day will give you insights into the types of campaigns that would respond to your shoppers or their shopping behaviors that you can use to empower the halo effect throughout the holiday season.
Let’s take a look at Google Trends to see when online searches about this holiday reach their peaks.
The inquiries related to Independence Day began to increase only a week or around 3 days before the celebration. This could be because the holiday falls at the beginning of the month and doesn't necessitate as much planning as other large shopping holidays. (Source: Google Trend)
Unlike other sales occasions, Independence Day doesn't require much preparation. Research shows that 1 week before the holiday is the prime time to start sales campaigns. That’s when consumers warm up their shopping and spend the most money for this event.
Who is gonna celebrate Independence Day?
From 2019 and earlier, before the pandemic, the percentage of consumers celebrating the 4th July stably remained at a high level, over 80%. In 2020, 76% of Americans planned to celebrate Independence Day, which is a considerable fall from 86% in 2019.
However, this is understandable: the impact of the coronavirus made consumers flinch from public gatherings and mass spending. Still, this celebration stood at #12 on the NRF’s list of top consumers’ spending events.
Over 80% of Americans celebrate July 4th every year with the exception of 2020, when there was a drop in attendees due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Source: NRF)
The statistics for 2021 are set to increase again, due to the effectiveness of the vaccination rollout and consumers' expectation of normalcy. 84% of surveyed Americans plan to celebrate the 4th of July this year.
All age groups will have a high percentage of those who plan to celebrate, though the possibility of celebrating tends to decrease in older age groups. It’s a great idea to target customers aged from 18 to 34 as they are most likely to commemorate Independence Day.
Consumers of all ages will be involved in the celebration of July 4th. (Source: NRF)
How consumers celebrate Independence Day
Despite the not-so-promising statistics last year, we expect to see positive signs as celebration activities will attract more participants this year.
The most popular activities on Independence Day are outdoor cookouts, BBQs, and picnics, with 61% of the surveyed consumers, the highest percentage, choosing this option. Next comes gatherings to watch fireworks, and attending parades. Consumers also show more confidence in traveling or going on vacation this year because the pandemic seems to be under control now. So, you can expect this year's festival will be bustling again.
All activities for celebration witness an increase in participants in 2021 compared to last year. (Source: NRF)
What customers usually purchase on Independence Day
Food and Groceries
More than half of Americans celebrate the Fourth of July by holding barbecues or garden parties; therefore, foodstuff is one of the items they spend the most money on. The total expected spending on food items of American consumers in 2020 was $6.52 billion, which is $76.49 on average.
The total expected spending on food items on Independence Day has remained above $6 billion since 2014. (Source: NRF)
After years of decreasing, consumers' spending on groceries in 2021 will see a dramatic jump to $7.52 billion, higher than any of previous years. The average expected spending on this kind of item this year will also increase again to $80.54. This occasion offers a great chance for grocery e-merchants to maximize their sales.
Choosing the right products that attract customers on July 4th isn’t as hard as you think. Focusing on patriotic products or any items that symbolize the American flag will never go wrong.
Percentage of customers who already own patriotic items (Source: NRF)
American flags and apparels are the two most popular items, owned by 61% and 51% of customers, respectively. Decorations are also in the top purchased items, which come in different forms, such as ribbons, confetti, flags, and so on.
Regarding purchase plans, consumers aged 25 - 44 are most willing to purchase additional patriotic merchandise, just like other years. This will be an ideal age group to target your sales campaign at. Meanwhile, the likelihood to purchase declines in older customers.
Now, how will you have an outstanding sales and promotions strategy to compete with other brands’ special deals thrown at customers? Check out some of our suggestions below.
Marketing Campaign Ideas for Independence Day
It’s not that hard to get your campaigns worked out during this holiday season. Holiday-themed marketing campaigns not only show that your brand always offers something new and is up-to-date with current events, but also boosts your interaction with your customers and your attention for their interest, instead of focusing on closing a deal only.
Let’s turn this holiday up with some marketing ideas we suggest below.
Theme for campaigns
Showcase items with patriotism themes
Actually, the design trend for this day hasn’t changed much over the years. It is still a nice move to integrate American-themed imagery into your products.
Some ideas you can incorporate with your goods are star and stripe patterns, colors such as red, white, and blue, popular quotes from the Declaration of Independence or National Anthem, states or country map, or the date July 4, 1776.
Find the existing items in your store with one of these above design elements or create new ones to draw customers' attention during this seasonal holiday.
DavidsTea offers a special tea with red, white, and blue star sprinkles for a limited time to celebrate this holiday. (Source: Impact+)
Also, drawing customers’ attention to made-in-America products will bring magic to your store. 80% of surveyed Americans would like to purchase an American-made product, and 60% would be even ready to pay up to 10% extra for it. The Fourth of July is such a perfect opportunity to remind your customers about these products.
Decorate your website, emails, and newsletters
It's time to make your marketing platforms a little more outstanding than usual. It’s a natural fit to incorporate Independence Day visuals into your website and emails or newsletters you send to customers to inform them of your special promotion. These design elements can recall visitors of the holiday and evoke their emotional reactions to visit your store or make a decision.
Email marketing on this holiday recorded a 32% increase in revenue, so you should take the best of it. For example, why not add a little sparkle because fireworks are an indispensable part of the celebration?
Special promotion and offer
This holiday also witnesses high sales traffic and offerings of special discounts to attract customers, it is an indispensable part of every shopping event. For instance, remind customers of your store on this holiday by offering a 47% discount on your items.
It's a nice idea to accompany the code that reminds customers of July 4th with your promotion deal, like Global Citizen’s code “FIREWORKS".
With the code “FIREWORKS", customers can have their order discounted by $20 when shopping in the Global Citizen Shop (Source: Impact+)
Social media campaigns for the 4th of July
Social media campaigns are a great chance for encouraging UGC, or user-generated content. There are so many ways to involve your audience in your online activities, for example, hold a minigame or a contest.
Invite your users to post photos of your products or share their July 4th stories on social platforms with a hashtag you create. Ask them to retweet your social media post and tag people they want to celebrate this day with.
Don’t forget to announce how you pick the winner, based on the number of reactions or shares they get. Then, the final step is to award the winner a prize, such as discounts, vouchers, free products, or anything interesting.
To sum up
Now it’s a perfect time to add some American spirit to your marketing campaigns. Independence Day is one of the year's biggest shopping events, and you definitely don’t want to miss this opportunity.
Happy July 4th!