The holidays are here! But much like the coming months, things this time around might be a little different – especially for businesses looking to take part in the holiday shopping commotion, a season ordinarily kickstarted by Black Friday.
The holiday sales staple brings crowds to retail shelves that are now considered a risk and businesses are starting their holiday shopping deals across the fall months to minimize in-store traffic. Faced with the magnitude of a pandemic, now more than ever, consumers are looking out for how brands are overseeing shoppers, the community and their own. Businesses will want to implement and communicate practices that ensure safety, convenience and bring an uplifting spirit to the festive months.
Consumers need for brands to uplift their esteem and provide a sense of belonging has been shifted to a need to feel safe and fulfill their physiological demands. This shift brings forward two categories of content:
Customers want brands to notify them of exposure risks, as well as explain how they’re managing public areas, providing safe working conditions and enforcing social distancing. Their willingness to associate with your brand depends on the degree at which you’re implementing and displaying safe protocols within your day-to-day practices.
Ensure you’re communicating any delays, shortages and operational changes that may impact the customer journey. Prioritizing a seamless relationship with your shoppers is now more important than ever.
In the beginning of COVID consumers favored a sentimental narrative that was empathetic towards the pandemics impact, now they expect messaging that owns one of three focuses:
Consumers want to know how your brand is taking action and helping people get through this time. Communicating your efforts shows your brand cares about the greater good and that we’re all in it together.
During a time when consumers are experiencing high levels of uncertainty, stating specifics and providing a clear direction is considered extremely helpful. Avoid using generalities and stick to the straight-forward prompt on what consumers can expect when interacting with your brand.
The results of this pandemic have adversely impacted all of us in different ways – leaving us questioning how we’ll tackle the forthcoming months. Inform consumers how your brand or product can help them make it through this time. Skip out on messaging of self-actualization and stick to how you can increase levels of control, security and simplicity.
There’s no doubt we’re all yearning for a sense of normalcy as the holiday festivities begin. And with brand operations now magnified under the lens of the pandemic, keeping the holiday spirit alive while adjusting to the seriousness of today’s realities will be necessary for a lasting relationship with shoppers. Prioritizing safety and the consumer experience while maintaining communication of your brands efforts will ease consumer concerns and create a sense of togetherness that we all crave during the holiday season. Happy shopping!