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How Hootsuite’s Digital Q3 Global Snapshot Will Prepare You For The Holiday Season

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19th August 2021 in

We’re midway through 2021, and consumers are the most digitally savvy they’ve ever been. As marketers gear up for the holiday season ahead and consider the best strategies for success, now is the crucial time to understand factors influencing customer engagement and conversion. Last year’s events saw a surge in online sales in addition to shipping delays. This year, customers will inevitably shop earlier to secure their gifts on time.

Hootsuite’s “Digital 2021 July Global Snapshot” report examines the evolving digital landscape and provides insights on where it’s headed next.

Trends from the report signal that to make the most out of the festive season, marketers need to refine online user experience, hone search optimisation tactics and have a strong social media strategy in play – here’s why:

Convenience is key

There’s no doubt uncertainty is still rife around the world, but one thing is certain: e-commerce is booming. In the week leading up to the report’s release, 51.2% of global internet users browsed for products online, and 35.7% of Australian’s committed to an online purchase. Globally, 51% of internet users attributed free delivery as the top factor increasing their likelihood of purchasing a product, and it’s worth noting that AI is making its mark in the e-commerce space, with 14% saying live chatbots enabling conversation directly with a company was also a key driver influencing purchase decisions. With so much end of year competition, consumers can afford to be extra picky. Consider ways to make your customer’s experience more convenient and personalise your online marketing for a competitive advantage.

Optimise to outperform

Respondents attributed search engines as the primary means for brand discovery (31.7%) and brand research (49.8%). Of search engines used, Google enjoyed 92.47% of the market share. Make sure you’re easily found online. Customers are searching now for gifts for their loved ones, so you want to be ranking above your competitors. If you haven’t adequately addressed Google’s Core Web Vitals, it’s imperative to do so prior to the holiday rush to ensure your rank doesn’t drop and you aren’t scrambling to undo Google’s penalty when it matters most.

Socials sway purchase decision

In the 12 months since July 2020, 520 million new users have joined social media – 75.2% of those follow brands or use social media to research brands and products, and 43.3% of those active on the internet use social networks as their primary channel for brand research. It’s not enough for social channels to look aesthetically pleasing, they need to be hyper informative to guarantee consumer confidence and yield conversion. Make it easy for your customers to source knowledge via your social channels. Use your posts to showcase products as though information can’t be found elsewhere. Also, ensure positive reviews are displayed because it’s the social evidence consumers will seek to convince and instill confidence that their purchase with you is the right decision.

Potential audience reach on social platforms is also rising, which could be indicative of the 3.0% increase in global ad expenditure. Facebook’s potential audience is 2.35 billion (1.8% QOQ increase), and Instagram’s is 1.39 billion (7.7% QOQ increase). Consumers on social media aren’t always “on” to purchase, but the buyer process begins much earlier than when the transaction is made. Invest time demonstrating to consumers why they should purchase from you well in advance of when they’re ready to buy. Once your customer sees your ads a few times and recognises your brand, you’ll quickly develop trust. Get a handle on your audience most likely to buy now, so when the holiday shopping frenzy begins, you’re serving ads to ideal targets and generating a profitable ROI.

Read the full report here.

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