Are You Marketing to The Four Types Of Christmas Shopper?

In any given ecommerce situation, but perhaps particularly during the festive period, there are four different types of shopper. Each one of these shoppers looks at their purchasing in a separate way, and each has a unique perspective on how and why they buy things. This can sound like a dilemma for businesses who need to market their Christmas goods to as many people as possible, but as long as you know who these four types of shopper are, you can market to them directly and even bring in more sales than you might have if you had stuck to one tried and tested (but limiting) marketing model.

Slow and Steady

The slow and steady shopper is an incredibly important part of the sales machine. These are the people who will buy a few Christmas gifts every now and then as they go, perhaps starting as early as September or October, and finishing a week or so before the holiday begins. Black Friday doesn’t mean a lot to the slow and steady shopper who will buy things regardless (almost) of the cost because they are spreading their spending out over several months rather than trying to get everything done from one pay packet and savings. You need to be able to ‘speak’ to the slow and steady shopper for the entire Christmas period – and even before it starts, because they are the people who will buy the most and spend the most on their Christmas gifts.

This is also the shopper segment that is growing the most, with 46 percent of Christmas purchasing bought by the slow and steadies in 2016, which was up two percent from 2015. The best way to market to this type of shopper is to keep your company’s name in front of them as much as possible. You might do this with branded products, or through an email newsletter, for example. That way, when they are browsing, they will have you in mind, no matter how far from or close to Christmas it actually is.

The Early Bird

We all know that one person who buys all their Christmas shopping well in advance – months, in fact. They might be extremely organized people, or they might just dislike the holiday crowds, or the fact that they might not be able to purchase the item they want because it won’t be ready in time for Christmas. Whatever their reason, shopping early means difficulties when it comes to advertising and marketing because you won’t know when to start (and you don’t want to alienate other potential customers by offering up Christmas goodies too early). This group may only be small (just 9.8 percent of Christmas shoppers in 2016), but they are powerful, and spend a large amount in one transaction. There are a couple of ways to engage with these shoppers when it comes to your marketing. The first is to talk about that one extra gift, perhaps a gift to themselves, that they might still like to get. Play on their happy feelings that they have got all their shopping done, and then introduce that one item that would be the perfect final addition to their purchases. Since they bought everything else so early, their budgets should be able to stretch to one more must have quite nicely.

The second way is to release limited editions of items, and release them early. You have a good excuse for advertising these goods in advance of everyone else (because there aren’t that many, and you want your customers to have the best presents), and those with the knack of buying early will certainly be keen to get involved.

Black Friday

Some shoppers won’t buy in advance, and they won’t spread the cost. Some shoppers will wait until Black Friday and then buy everything in one go. Their shopping is all completed in one day, and they will have found some great bargains too. If the item they were looking for wasn’t in stock, they will quickly move onto something else – they want to save money and get their Christmas purchasing done so that they can settle back down into normality. Although just 16 percent of people shopped like this in 2016 (it was 19.8 percent in 2015), that doesn’t mean that they can be ignored. In fact, they can be extremely useful and allow you to sell a lot of stock ready for the new year.

To advertise properly to the Black Friday shoppers, you need to explain just how great your discounts are, not your products. For the stereotypical Black Friday shopper, the product itself is not the important part of the shopping; it’s the amount of money saved. So by focusing on that, you can entice those who are searching for the best bargain to come to you. Remember not to discount so low that you make a loss, though, as you’ll have trouble when it comes to buying new stock!

Last Minute

The final type of shopper is the one that leaves everything until the last minute – it could even be Christmas Eve, just before the stores close for the holidays. These people are busy, and don’t like the stress that Christmas can bring, but they make themselves more stressed by leaving everything to the last minute! These shoppers will be in a rush, and they will be worried about getting the right gift. Therefore, your marketing strategy for the last-minute shopper should be about gifts that make people happy. Gifts that don’t shout out that they were bought at the very last moment.

The store – online or physical – needs to be in a position to advertise that they can help the shopper find that perfect gift. There should be signs pointing to the best gift for her, for him, for kids, for parents. They will need to be given instructions and directions on what to buy for whom otherwise they will feel overwhelmed, and if that happens they will leave their cart abandoned and not checkout, perhaps coming back later, perhaps not. Capturing them when they are with you, in whatever format, is all-important.