The year-end sales season packed with a myriad of holidays can help retailers seal their fiscal year with a happy ending. However, the rising inflation may prevent that optimistic scenario.
While many consumers start their holiday shopping early, there's always a significant group of last-minute shoppers who are waiting for clearance sales just days before the celebrations begin. As an eCommerce merchant, you don't want to miss out on this market segment.
In this guide, we'll explore effective strategies to attract and convert last-minute holiday shoppers during the BFCM rush. But first, let's meet different types of holiday shoppers so you have a better idea of how to deal with each of them.
What Are Common Types Of Holiday Shoppers?
Understanding the various types of customers is essential to developing effective holiday shopping strategies and nurturing customer loyalty. Accurate customer segmentation helps you craft effective cross-channel messages that not only lead to conversions but also deeply resonate with potential and current customers.
According to Retail Dive, there are four different types of holiday shoppers. Let's acquaint yourself with the four distinct customer categories you're likely to encounter during this holiday season!
The Deal Hunters
These shoppers thrive on finding unbeatable deals. Bargain seekers play a pivotal role, especially when you aim to clear out your inventory. They seldom make purchases at full price and meticulously hunt for the best discounts before committing to a purchase.
This holiday shopper type tends to resist upselling attempts, exhibits lower loyalty, and is quick to switch to better deals when available. They are likely to make purchases during BFCM because this is usually when brands and stores release their best discounts.
Steady shoppers are a significant group during the holiday season. Their shopping calendar covers a long period. They can start buying gifts from October to just before the holiday.
To reach these holiday shoppers, marketers should maintain a consistent presence throughout the holiday period. You can begin holiday marketing early and use various channels to reach the target audience effectively. eCommerce is particularly important for the Evergreens, with online shopping peaking in November and December.
The Early Birds
Next, we have the Early Birds. These people complete their holiday shopping months in advance to avoid crowds and stay organized. They usually have a well-prepared plan for their holiday gifts. For them, staying up late to wait for the steep promotion isn't worth it.
When it comes to products and services, this group of traditionalists typically maintains similar expectations each holiday season. Satisfy their desires, and you'll secure their return for the next holiday shopping season.
The Last-minute Shoppers
Opposite to the Early Birds are (not the Night Owls) the Last-minute Shoppers. These individuals leave everything to the last minute. It could be Christmas Eve, and they'll still be on the hunt for that perfect holiday gift. You'll find them either frantically scouring the internet or hastily navigating through physical stores, racing against the clock.
Due to the busy schedule or unhealthy work-life balance, many people won't be able to find a perfect gift until the eleventh hour of the holiday. Therefore, last-minute shoppers can easily turn into impulsive buyers.
These customers typically venture into holiday shopping without a predefined list. They embrace spontaneity and go with the flow. As the second most promising target market after loyal customers, impulse shoppers present an excellent opportunity for upselling.
Furthermore, impulse shoppers often respond positively to product recommendations. Consistently informing them about new product offerings can significantly enhance your online store's profitability.
This article will reveal some strategies to get this holiday shopper type to open their wallet widely.
5 Tactics To Attract Last-minute Holiday Shoppers
#1 Fast Delivery Is The Best Policy
One of the primary concerns for last-minute shoppers is whether their purchases will arrive in time for the holidays. Prominently display your shipping options and delivery times on your website to address this concern. Offer expedited shipping or same-day delivery if possible. Clearly communicate cutoff dates for holiday delivery to set customer expectations.
If you have a physical store or offer local pickup, emphasize these services for last-minute shoppers in your area. Local shoppers might prefer picking up their gifts in person instead of waiting for delivery.
#2 Simplify Product Discovery And Purchase
The rush of finding a perfect gift may cause confusion to customers. As a store owner, you can make it a bit easier by curating gift guides and product bundles. Create categories like "Last-Minute Gifts for Her" or "Gifts Under $50" to guide shoppers to relevant products.
Remember to prep your online stores with a smart and speedy site search and a user-friendly product filter on listing pages. These guys are great friends when it comes to helping online shoppers locate their desired items. Bundling complementary items together and offering discounts can also encourage higher-value purchases.
Last-minute shoppers are often on the go, relying heavily on their smartphones for shopping. Ensure that your eCommerce website is mobile-friendly and offers a seamless shopping experience. Test your site's mobile responsiveness, load times, and checkout process to eliminate any potential barriers to purchase.
To reach the younger generation, don't forget the power of social media platforms. To engage with your audience, you can share gift ideas, promote flash sales, and encourage user-generated content like unboxing videos and reviews. Utilize holiday-themed hashtags to increase your visibility during the season.
#3 Create Urgency with Countdowns
Use countdown timers strategically throughout your website to create a sense of urgency. Countdowns to the end of your BFCM deals, shipping deadlines for holiday delivery, and limited-stock alerts can encourage last-minute shoppers to make quicker purchasing decisions.
Email marketing and remarketing are great help to highlight the urgency of holiday purchases.
You can leverage email marketing to target last-minute shoppers with personalized recommendations and reminders. Send out emails with subject lines like "Last Chance for BFCM Deals" or "Final Hours for Guaranteed Holiday Delivery."
Don't miss out on those who have visited your site but haven't made a purchase yet. Implement remarketing campaigns to retarget these customers with a focus on items they have viewed, added to cart, or added to wishlist.
#4 Always Show Live Chat and Customer Support
Provide real-time assistance to shoppers who may have questions or concerns. Live chat support can help answer queries promptly and provide assurance regarding shipping and product details. Ensure your customer support channels are responsive and accessible.
#5 Post-Holiday Sales and Promotions
Don't forget about the period after the holidays. Many shoppers continue searching for post-holiday deals. Plan post-holiday promotions and clearance sales to capture this audience and boost your revenue even after the holiday rush.
Last-minute holiday shoppers represent a significant opportunity for eCommerce merchants during the BFCM season. You can attract and convert these latecomers into satisfied customers by optimizing your website, providing fast shipping options, creating a sense of urgency, and engaging with your audience through various channels.
Be prepared to deliver an exceptional shopping experience, and you'll end the year on a high note, both in terms of sales and customer satisfaction.
Happy BFCM selling!