If you think it’s a bit too early to talk about holiday shopping, think again. Remember that some of us have already decorated their Christmas tree. We’re not pointing fingers here, we’re just reminding you that 2020 is not your “business as usual” year. 

The pandemic has shifted consumers’ behaviour and expectations, causing a surge in social media engagement rates and a 55% increase in online sales. While it’s true that people will be more conscious about their budget, one thing’s for sure: the holiday shopping season will happen mostly online. That means that your social media presence is more important than ever.

To bring some business joy to this critical time of year, we’re sharing 5 holiday shopping trends and Instagram tools. These are guaranteed to increase your eCommerce campaign success rates and help you build cost-effective strategies.

Holiday Shopping Trend 1: In 2020, the holiday shopping season begins earlier

As you’re reading these lines, the shopping season has already begun. In fact, experts say that in 2020, the holiday spirit has caught on as early as October. After all, people do have more time to fill and need shopping therapy now, more than ever. 

Plus, people want to avoid any delays in delivery caused by the pandemics. So, to make sure gifts reach their loved ones in time, consumers prefer to shop and send them in advance.

Instagram Tactic: Craft FOMO captions

Since people are already inclined to start holiday shopping earlier this year, nudging them on Instagram will convince them to act immediately. To get followers to start gifting ASAP, create time-limited offers and leverage scarcity to drive sales. Remember that customers are already fearful of not having their gifts delivered on time, so make sure to reassure them they have nothing to fear.

Holiday Shopping Trend 2: Consumers will prefer local, small businesses

The pandemic has affected mostly small producers and local businesses. In an attempt to help these businesses make it into the new year, experts predict that consumers will prefer to buy local gifts. 

The holiday shopping season this year won’t mean going to the mall. Or, at least, not as much. People will reorient themselves towards local shops, boutiques and even crafted gifts that can bring a personal note in this time of social distancing.

Instagram Tactic: Partner with micro-influencers

As a small business, you don’t have to spend big to reach people on Instagram. Partnering up with local influencers can get you to the audience you were looking for. Plus, since niche influencers have already earned the trust of their audience, they’ll also infuse your offering with credibility.

Holiday Shopping Trend 3: The holiday shopping season will be (almost) all about eCommerce

In an unusual twist of events, this holiday season will revolve around online shopping. As people tried to limit any non-essential exposure, shopping has shifted online, with online shopping rates exploding since the beginning of the pandemic. 

And it’s not just hear-say, the stats back this fact up. According to Adobe Analytics, online sales will rise by 33% in December. Another report by SYKES states that 44% of consumers won’t be comfortable shopping in person.

Instagram Tactic: Instagram shoppable posts

To meet customers who are looking for gifts online, prompt them with a dose of inspiration. Instagram shoppable posts are a great way to creatively present your products while offering Instagrammers a direct route to purchase. Themed gift guide carousels are another effective way to present your holiday offer by crafting tailored ideas based on budget, age, or interest.

Holiday Shopping Trend 4: Sustainability and transparency are top-of-mind 

As Gen Z is slowly entering the work field and gaining more purchasing power, they are changing the rules of retail. For this new generation, products are no longer mere products, but items that represent their beliefs. Thus, they place high-value on sustainability, transparency, and self-expression.

This holiday shopping season, experts predict that Gen Z representatives will choose gifts that are thoughtful and kind to the planet. They will prefer brands that do their part in helping the environment, so if you plan to target this audience, make sure to create packaging and delivery policies that reinforce these values. And, of course, keep your communication as transparent and as inclusive as possible.

Instagram Tactic: Use Instagram Stories to share your vision

We won’t tell you again just how influential instagram Stories have become. In only a few years, stories have gained a reputation as one of the top Instagram features. Followers simply love them and you should too. Without a doubt, your Instagram holiday campaign should definitely include Instagram Stories. Leverage their authenticity to reinforce brand values such as sustainability and to build an image of transparency.

Holiday Shopping Trend 5: Non-traditional gifts will be welcomed

While the traditional holy trio of Christmas gifts – socks, thematic sweaters and pyjamas – will still rock, consumers will also look for more intriguing gifts. In an attempt to rekindle relationships that perhaps dimmed due to social distancing, many will choose interactive gifts such as games or travel vouchers. 

Another holiday shopping trend predicted by experts is that people will orient towards health and beauty related gifts such as at-home fitness equipment or pampering items. Of course, home décor will be among the stars of the season, as most people want to make the most of their time at home.

Instagram Tactic: Contests and giveaways

To promote your items, no matter how out-of-the-box they might be for the holidays, reward your followers with contests and giveaways. Everybody loves free stuff, so you can’t go wrong with a little holiday giving. Plus, it’s a great way to promote your products by leveraging social proof and even reposting content the winners generate. 

All Preppred for the holidays?

Now you know what holiday shopping trends will influence your success rates this season. All that’s left is to start posting.

If you need a little help (even Santa does), don’t forget that Preppr is here to aid your scheduling efforts.

Happy holiday campaign!

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Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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