After 2 difficult years, the festive time is now in full swing. Consumers are showing an increasing intent to make purchases. And festivities certainly trigger more significant levels of digital activity. The technology-driven world is such that pretty much all purchases begin with a simple online search that translates into an online or in-store purchase. And during festivities, this happens at a massive scale. Hence, the stage is set for brands, to be ready and cash in on this golden opportunity and accelerate business.
Consumers want to celebrate the joy of festivals in various ways. Making purchases for near and dear ones is an integral part of such celebrations. That becomes the reason behind significantly high digital searching for and comparison of goods and services available. To add to it, considering the importance of convenience and limited time, the proximity and easy accessibility of those products and services become critical. The journey starts digitally and opens up avenues for store-level as well as online conversions. Such hybrid paths are being increasingly taken by today’s consumers.
Consumers look forward to this time of the year and for brands it is imperative to embrace the consumer in every possible way, enabling a smooth consumer journey. In India for instance, 9 in 10 offline buyers use digital touchpoints to gather information before making purchases. Such consumer behaviour has been visible in rural India as well. Over there, 7 in 10 people use online touch points in their shopping journeys, even if 85% of their purchases are made in stores.
And with smartphones and digital devices easing the process of making purchases, brands need to stay always updated with all the information and benefits they wish to offer. Along with product information and promotions, it becomes critical for brands to provide accurate details about all the locations at which their products are available and various business details of those locations. Such attention to detail on a brand’s part assures consumers of convenience, simpler decision-making, and a positive experience.
There is no doubt, the stronger a brand’s accessible digital presence, the better its visibility, and eventual chances of consumer acquisition.
Festivals are a period when purchases happen significantly both online and offline. Omnichannel strategies become more powerful, as brands want to deliver delightful customer experiences. And considering how tough competition gets during festivities, brands simply cannot afford to lose their grip.
Keeping these factors in mind, brands need to ease and smoothen the consumer’s digital and physical journeys, ensuring consistency within the two channels. In India for example, 93% of consumers use both online and offline channels to find information before buying anything. Less than 40% of brands however have sufficiently built their physical and digital presence. Particularly during the festive time, if such opportunities are missed, brands have a lot to lose. While physical engagement areas such as store-visits can power the consumer’s purchase decision, automated chats, reviews and ratings, and eCommerce-enabled location-level pages can positively influence the consumer’s digital path, considering that the majority of these activities begin through a simple online search.
During the festive time of the year, the importance of the omnichannel approach visibly rises. Given the buzz that prevails, it becomes critical for brands to offer sufficient comfort and assurance to consumers in their shopping endeavors. Festivities often end up revealing a brand’s ability to form associations with consumers. While most focus on promotions and lucrative offers, the ones that can positively impact consumers by delivering an appreciable holistic experience, are the ones that achieve sustained recall and business growth.
As the festive season progresses and brands plan heavy marketing spends, it will be beneficial to them if they have carefully thought the entire customer journey through – online and offline. A sweet customer journey that starts with stellar marketing communication can turn sour on the consumer’s way to retail stores if the touch points are broken. And with festivities being all about “sweet memories”, no brand would want any element of ‘sour’ in the experiences consumers have with them.
Data source : Thinkwithgoogle