Being a retail brand these days is certainly never boring. If recent holiday seasons have taught us anything, the coming months will continue to challenge marketers as they think about how consumers will shop during this critical retail time period.
Given the macro-economic factors at play, for many, this holiday season may be broken. Service offerings that were novel just 18 months ago, such as curbside pickup and frictionless returns, are now table stakes. And for consumers, with the blurring of the lines between online and offline, it’s created what I’m calling Instant Buy – the expectation from a new kind of hybrid shopper that if they can see it, they should be able to buy it now, no matter where or when they encounter your brand.
Through it all, there are two things I’ve come to know for sure. Over the past few years, both retailers and consumers have demonstrated incredible resilience and embraced digital transformation in profound ways that have changed the business of how we sell and buy things forever. With that in mind, when it comes to reaching hybrid shoppers this holiday season and beyond, consider these three things.
Be where the people are
The mobile phone has given us all the opportunity to buy before we shop. Who isn’t guilty of a little “brooming” to check things before entering a store? This hybrid buyer journey begins long before the actual purchase intent as customers carry a mental shopping cart of all the things they discovered on their social feeds.
Why is this important? The NRF reported that almost half of consumers last year started their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving (and Black Friday). With this year’s anticipated sales and highly promotional sales season, it will be more important than ever to reach your customers early, over a period of months, and not just during mega-sales.
The best part? A recent Ipsos study showed that online discovery also drives in-store traffic and purchases, with 70% of shoppers purchasing a product in-store after discovering it on Meta technologies (compared to 42% on YouTube and 19% on TikTok). Better yet? The Meta Conversion Lift Study, conducted between Q1 2019 – Q1 2022, found that 44% of measured online conversion-optimized ads led to statistically significant in-store sales, with 40% additional return on ad spend calculated from in-store sales.
Connect and measure everything
The key to connecting the dots across your marketing channels is to see your hybrid buyer as a cohesive piece of data intelligence.
If you’re only looking at online conversions, customers who saw your ad and converted in-store aren’t included, and you’re missing the full picture of what your holiday marketing campaigns could be driving. With offline conversions, you can see the total sales driven by Meta ads on your website and in your store—and optimize future marketing strategies accordingly.
It gets to the heart of what hybrid retail is all about by allowing you to connect web, app and store conversions to learn the overall ROAS for your campaigns, the campaign elements that have the highest impact on sales of stores and/or omni sales, too. such as insights into hybrid customers who are converting by channel.
Meta is leading the creative renaissance as it helps retail brands connect with their customers by combining word of mouth with scale through real people.
These collaborations make sense since consumers often turn to creators for recommendations on what to buy. In fact, YouGov’s 2021 Holiday Season Meta Study found that 30% of holiday shoppers surveyed are more likely to trust a brand that partners with a trusted creator, and 63% of respondents 18 to 34 year olds trust an influencer. says more about a brand than what the brand says about itself in advertising.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a 2021-2022 Meta analysis of marketers working with creators to develop branded content ads (BCAs) helped boost overall campaign performance, including a 19% reduction in CPA and 53% higher clicks.
And creator-friendly full-screen video formats like Reels are exploding, accounting for 20% of time spent on Instagram. Since launch, Meta has been inspired by the creativity of creators and businesses that use it as a global stage to entertain their communities.
Now with the ability to make your Reels shoppable with product tags and the ability to reach a larger audience with Reels Ads, adding this to your mix of creative mobile experiences will help drive engagement yours and the impact of holiday shoppers (think 32% increase in efficiency and 9% increase according to internal Meta testing).
To learn more about how to increase demand this holiday season, check out our 2022 Holiday Marketing Guide.