Category: Holiday Marketing

B2CRM News

From Shipageddon To the Returnageddon

Last month, we gathered some last-minute quotes and stats around the projections for the busiest holiday shopping season ever. So, now’s the time to follow up and determine if the Shipageddon is real and happening.

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And by many indicators, thw answer is, YES!

UPS planned to purchase 50 new planes, and FedEx was hiring 70K new seasonal workers to meet demands.

This holiday season, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is experiencing a historic surge in mail and packages. In response, the USPS had to extend its retail hours during the holidays, expand tracking technology, add new equipment, and lease additional motor vehicles.

“Making sure the right equipment is available to sort, process and deliver mail and packages” is of top priority, according to Kristin Seaver, Chief Retail and Delivery Officer of The Postal Service.

Additional Ware2Go holiday survey findings show:

  • 31% intend to shop within a few days after the holidays
  • 34% plan to shop throughout January
  • 23% will wait 2-3 months before shopping again

Brace Yourself for The Returnageddon

Brands, tune into this: Shoppers plan on making a return after the holidays, and your brand should see it as an opportunity.

“2020 is set to be the worst year on record for retailers with regards to return percentages,” said Sriram Sridhar, CEO at LateShipment.com. “Every retailer is set to see returns that are 50% to 100% more than they have ever encountered in the past.”

In fact, according to the survey conducted in October 2020 by Ware2Go, an astounding 61% of respondents answered that an online merchant’s return policy is very important to their decision to purchase.

Knowing this ahead of time is an excellent opportunity for your brand to get ready and plan.

Ensure your return policies are adequately put in place on your website’s FAQ page, and avoid making complicated policies to prevent some returns. Customers who have an easier time returning a product and getting a refund are more likely to stick around with you in the future.

Steve Denton, CEO at Ware2Go suggests that “with 63% of consumers planning to purchase from new brands, this holiday season presents an opportunity for sellers to build a new loyal customer base if they meet customer expectations for eCommerce delivery.”

But, above all, don’t see these returns as any negative sign. Extensive research, also from Optimove, proves that customers who return products are more valuable than those who don’t.

All these added communications and engagements are an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships.

The post From Shipageddon To the Returnageddon appeared first on Post Funnel.

B2CRM News

Walmart Unveils New Return Options

In time for Christmas and dealing with all those items ordered for the holidays that didn’t quite work out – Walmart released new return options that eliminates the need to print out shipping labels, tape them on boxes, and seal it all up for delivery to the shipping store.

In ‘Tis the Season for Hassle-Free Returns, Walmart announced a new easy return service called, Carrier Pickup by FedEx. It’s described as “an incredibly convenient way to make that unwanted gift *magically* disappear.”

Better still, the convenience is not to disappear after the holiday season but will remain an option for hassle-free, printer-free and cost-free returns for purchases made in-store, online, or even from a third-party vendor on the Walmart platform.

It works through return requests both through the site and the Walmart App:

  1. Select “Drop off at FedEx” as the return method
  2. Get a return code / QR code
  3. Take packaged return along with the QR code to any FedEx Office location
  4. A FedEx associate will scan the QR code, print a free return label, attach it to the box and ship it back to us

How to build your customer model

Customers who still wish to return items to store may do so, as well. So that customers can choose the method they prefer. Given that returns are such a significant part of online orders, that can boost the customer experience, which is a major plus for the retailer.

Returns are an integral component of any eCommerce business and so must be factored into the brand’s marketing position. Retailers who capitalize on the ability of technology to reduce the pain points of returns for their customers build loyalty that translates into more sales and higher retention.

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ads we loved

Ads We Loved: ‘Tis the Season 2

With Christmas being just a couple of weeks away, brands present a picture of hope, community, and a focus on the things that matter.

Get into the festive spirit and watch them below.

1. Coca-Cola: The Letter

Coca-Cola’s cinematic 2020 Christmas captures a loving father’s journey to the North Pole to make his daughter’s Christmas wish come true. Centered around family, community, and appreciation, the ad recognizes that the magic of Christmas is connecting with one another.

2. Kohl’s: Give With All Your Heart

 Kohl’s holiday Commercial, “Give With All Your Heart” tugs at heartstrings. Seemingly set amid COVID-19, the ad tells a story about a little girl, her neighbor, and the distance between them. The ad illustrates the importance of togetherness and demonstrates the significance of reaching out to everyone around you at this time.

Keep Your First-Time Customers Coming Back

3. SuperValu: Is He Still Coming This Year?

Ireland Supermarket chain, SuperValu’s Christmas spot tells the story of a child looking for a little reassurance that his favorite person will still come to visit on Christmas Eve. This commercial ends with a beautiful twist and reflects the desire of many individuals hoping to be reunited with family for Christmas.

4. Miller: Farewell, Work Holiday Parties

Beer brand Miller celebrates the demise of work holiday parties in its Christmas ad and says cheers to celebrating the holidays at home with real friends instead. The campaign is a hilarious eulogy for cringing work holiday party moments.

5. Tesco: No Naughty List

From giving bad haircuts to family members to buying too many toilet paper rolls, Tesco’s cheeky ad assures viewers that their misbehavior during quarantine won’t land them on Santa’s naughty list. This fun ad is uplifting and spreads some joy after what has been a tough year for everybody.

5. Microsoft Holiday Ad 2020

Microsoft Christmas ad 2020 tells the story of Rufus, a dog who daydreams about living life like humans. Together, with his best bud, Rufus goes on an adventure into the worlds of video games and Zoom calls. It’s an adorable ad.

6. Toyota: Super Mom

Toyota celebrates the unsung heroes on the frontlines of the pandemic healthcare in this holiday spot. The heartwarming ad spotlights a woman who juggles parenting two kids with a busy nursing career. The ad ends with a simple but powerful message: “This holiday season, remember to thank the heroes we count on.”

7. Co-op Christmas Commercial 2020

 Real-life brothers Austin and Rocco Haynes spread festive cheer with an acoustic performance of Oasis’ “Round Are Way” in Co-op’s 2020 Christmas Commercial. The simple no fuss campaign encourages everyone to do their bit and reminds us that we can all make a difference this Christmas.

We hope you enjoy watching all these little magical moments. Happy holidays!

ICYMI:
Ads We Loved: ‘Tis the Season Part 1
More Ads We Loved

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B2CRM News

Walmart Adds a Shoppable Cooking Show to its Marketing…

Tastemade, the streaming media company behind the Emmy-nominated series, Struggle Meals, is entering into its first brand partnership with Walmart for two holiday cooking episodes airing on November 19 and December 17th. The episodes can be viewed on Tastemade’s streaming network, as well as YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

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Struggle Meals viewers will be able to seamlessly shop Walmart for holiday recipe ingredients and get them delivered or pick them up curbside using Walmart’s pickup & delivery service for delivery or curbside pickup. The preference for shopping online – even for groceries – has grown markedly since the pandemic struck.

At the same time, people who normally ate had to adapt to eating at home.  Even if they had access to takeout, some preferred to cook either to economize or to just fill the empty hours when stuck at home, and one industry’s loss proved another’s gain, as we saw in Not Your Mother’s Tupperware Party.

While Walmart’s eCommerce sales soared, so did media content, and the concept of Struggle Meals, hosted by Chef Frankie Celenza, was perfect for consumers who sought guidance in preparing economical meals as easily as possible. The series can boast an audience of over a million viewers a week.

“We know Chef Frankie Celenza has a massive, loyal fan following,” observed Mary Schulke, Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships at Walmart.

Accordingly, she is certain the holiday cooking shows will be a hit that will lead to increased sales as they shop for the ingredients involved. The folks at Tastemade concur.

Chef Frankie declared: “It’s been awesome to work with Walmart to give our engaged and passionate audience a special gift when they need it most, making the recreation of these meals at home as convenient and cost-saving as possible. The ability to text and instantly purchase recipe ingredients through the Walmart app is quick and simple, which we know our fans will appreciate during the busiest time of the year.”

Not all their audience members extend their love of the show to Walmart, as indicated by the comments on the Struggle Meals Facebook page. But certainly, making it easier to buy through Walmart than through any other means while watching the show would at least tip the balance in the retailer’s favor for those who may have had only neutral feelings about it.

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B2CRM News

Arm & Hammer Promotes DIY Gifts for the Holidays

When flour is more sought after than flowers, the old FTD slogan is reinvented by Arm & Hammer. As it is 2020, the slogan is rendered into a hashtag: #SayItWithBakingSoda.

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Of course, hashtags imply a plan for sharing. Each share of a picture of one of those gift ideas that features the hashtag earns $1 (up to $25,000) to the children’s charity organization One Simple Wish.

I got an email from the brand with that rather surprising proposition. Along with the picture above, it featured this text:

“We’re always grateful to be home with you to help with your baking, laundry, cleaning, and crafting. As a special thank you this year, we want to help with your holiday gift-giving too by sharing our new ARM & HAMMER™ Say It with Baking Soda gift guide.”

The downloadable PDF contains instructions on turning plain old ARM & HAMMER baking soda into a wide variety of products. The genius here is linking the ideas with one edible product like Holiday Cornflake Cookies and one nonedible one like Relaxing Bath Melts to an appropriate type of recipient.

Those two products are the suggestions for the recipient described as “The Ultimate Multitaskers.”  Quite a number of us fall into that category under COVID19, according to the description: “For the teachers on video calls with 7-year-olds and the parents working remotely.”

There are also more specific types of personalities listed like Holiday Enthusiasts, Risk-Takers, Wellness Warriors, etc., making up eight personas with two gift ideas each for a total of 16 instructions. They all come with full explanation and illustrations, as well as tags like “Good for shipping.”

All in all, it’s a nice idea. Even if recipients don’t intend to use any of these things as holiday gifts, they still look like fun projects or tasty treats that can be enjoyed within one’s own family.

The two main advantages of this campaign are: the surprise factor of the slogan that is bound to attract attention combined with a guide that actually does deliver on its promise with the understanding that one gift does not fit all. The charity idea is nice, as well, given ’Tis the Season for Giving.

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B2CRM News

People In the Streets, and UberEats: The BodyShop Cares

Together with Charity Partner End Youth Homelessness, The Body Shop launched a two-part series of films on young female homelessness, Unseen Kingdoms. 

In partnership with Channel 4, the documentary film explores the lives of homeless youth in the U.K. and was created to provide a platform for women to share their stories through spoken-word poetry. 

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Last year alone, 100K young people lived on the streets in the U.K. with no shelter, while 67% were forced to leave home because of family breakdown. According to charity akt, 24% of homeless young people are LGBTQ+, and 77% believe coming out is what caused it.  

Being The Body Shop’s first T.V. campaign and launching it just in time for Christmas – is an excellent way to show customers the brand’s commitment to being ethical and a force for good.  

 

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A post shared by The Body Shop Official (@thebodyshop)

“It has been a tough and turbulent year for many, especially for those without the safety and comfort of a home,” said Linda Campbell, UK and ROI managing director at The Body Shop. 

“Many women who experience or are at risk of being homeless can often find themselves hidden and their voices unheard, so it’s been wonderful working with Channel 4 whose vision and platform has helped bring these tough stories to the fore in a powerful, thought-provoking and uplifting way.”  

TBS has acknowledged the fact that the rules of marketing have changed this year. Going into 2021 with innovative and timely customer retention strategies that include creating smart CRM campaigns that talk to the conscious consumer is a must. 

“Customers want to know that the brands they shop with are trying to make the world a better place. This partnership demonstrates The Body Shop’s commitment to this, and by raising awareness of the plight of young women affected by homelessness,” said Caroline Manning, partner at Craft Media.  

“We are thrilled to have been involved in this partnership and look forward to working with The Body Shop to further demonstrate their commitment to activism in 2021.” 

Faster Delivery This Christmas 

To further build strong relationships with customers, The Body Shop also announced that they have teamed up with Uber Eats for same-day delivery options.  

The partnership already launched on November 23rd in New York, Orlando, Austin, Houston, and Dallas, as well as in Toronto, Canada. 

Drivers will pick up the ordered products, which includes a selection of 91 personal care and skincare items, from TBS stores and deliver them to the homes of customers within 90 minutes. Just as convenient as food delivery.  

“The goal was to meet our customers in a way that they wanted to shop with us, and knowing Covid and everything that was going on, we immediately thought we should partner with a delivery service,” said Aliza Birnberg-Perruzzi, head of U.S. brand marketing at The Body Shop.  

The decision to work with Uber to launch the delivery service “was completely inspired by the way that things have changed due to the pandemic. People are shopping differently now, and we needed to adapt,” she added.  

Through its D2C site, customers can also use click-and-collect delivery methods – making it even faster, safer, and most convenient to shop throughout this “Shipaggedon.” 

“The shorter Christmas delivery cutoff and shipping delays during the busiest shopping season are super critical. We’ve had to go several days earlier than in years past, in order to get products to customers before the holiday,” Birnberg-Perruzzi concluded. 

 

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B2CRM News

Kohl’s Making the Right Moves at the Right Time…

The pandemic has shifted consumer priority in so many ways, creating new windows of opportunity for brands to open wide and take advantage of. Just over a month ago, we told you about five brands that have moved fast into leading the athleisure space. 

Kohl’s was one of them – perhaps a bit less predictable than the other four on the list – but their new FLX private label is already available in select stores and will be online at kohls.com in March 2021.

 

Along with the athleisure trend in today’s global fashion movement, it is evident that consumers continue to seek ways to look and feel good while still mostly at home – and Kohl’s has announced another initiative to answer to customers’ wants and needs. 

Kohl’s reported that it will be investing more into its beauty space – bringing in new brands of makeup, perfumes, nail products, and more. 

In fact, according to a recent article by CNBC, Kohl’s says it plans to triple its sales in beauty at least. To do so, the brand will launch a wide range of personal care products and bring in a greater assortment of cosmetics to its shop called The Wellness Market. 

CEO Michelle Gass said Kohl’s is “highly committed to the beauty category, which is a very large and attractive market.” 

“Our customers want beauty, and given the disruption in the marketplace, we have a real opportunity to introduce new elevated brands to our customers,” she said, adding that they are “in talks with a number of smaller, indie beauty brands.” 

 

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Kohl’s also just announced that the prestige beauty brand, Sephora, will also be making its way to the department store – opening mini-shops in 850 Kohl’s stores by 2023. 

“We announced one of the most significant new initiatives in Kohl’s history—a long-term strategic partnership with SEPHORA, the largest specialty beauty retailer in the world. I couldn’t be more excited about how we will bring an elevated and transformational beauty experience to millions of customers across the country—by combining Kohl’s expansive reach with Sephora’s unparalleled beauty expertise, prestige product selection, and renowned service,” CEO Gass wrote in a LinkedIn post. 

The Numbers – Data Proves Where Kohl’s Wants to Be 

 Back in March, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, most industries were battling to retain existing customers. Optimove research suggested that skincare and cosmetics brands have witnessed new customers with a 70% surge in acquisition. A more recent study from Salesforce’s quarterly shopping index states that online sales in makeup and beauty products have increased by 54% in Q3.  

What’s interesting here is that a Media Post article says that brands should practice what PostFunnel preaches: “66% of survey participants are more likely to buy from brands that use technology that recommends new or relevant products that are similar to what the consumer’s shopping to find.” Therefore, customers don’t only love personalization but are also expecting it. 

In another survey by the retail analytics firm, First Insight, conducted on November 11th, out of 1097 consumers who participated, 22% said that this holiday season they plan on buying more beauty products compared to last year. 

To further gear up for the holiday season and prepare for its consumers who are ready to shop, Kohl’s will expand its toy departments that feature the toys in greatest demand. 

In general, it seems like Kohl’s is right on trend in many ways – and that its making sure to let customers know, “One special holiday season is coming…” this year. Will your brand be ready?

 

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B2CRM News

How About Staying in A Christmas Movie Come to…

It’s a holly, jolly Christmas! Vrbo, the American vacation rental online marketplace (recently announced to be merged with its sister brand, HomeAway), just announced a collaboration with Lifetime, the American cable channel – to make almost everyone’s childhood dream come true.  

For just $100 a night, guests have the chance to stay at the real-life version of a holiday movie-inspired home called, It’s a Wonderful Lifetime Holiday House 

We saw a similar nostalgic marketing initiative with $4 A Night for The Ultimate 90s Sleepover at the last standing Blockbuster store in the world. 

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But this is extra magical. Together with the star of “The Christmas Edition,” Carly Hughes, the Vrbo team wanted it to “Resemble a house made of gingerbread and be a small-town escape, preferably within walking distance of a bakery or coffee shop.” 

Additionally, “Every room of the house had to be covered in Santa’s workshop amounts of holiday decorations – no fewer than five Christmas trees, 10 wreaths, and two larger-than-life nutcrackers to stand guard.” 

To complete that extra special holiday getaway – customers can watch all 30 Lifetime Holiday films over and over again during their stay if they like.  

Or enjoy: 

  • Magical Christmas trees with twinkling lights 
  • Fake snow on command – a winter wonderland! 
  • A nook for writing to Santa Clause 
  • A backyard polar bear lodge – with delightful weather 
  • A gingerbread house selfie station – perfect for Instagram 
  • Giant nutcrackers from A Welcome Home Christmas

 

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The Greenwich, Connecticut 2100 sq. ft home was to be available for rent between November 23 and December 27, exclusively on Vrbo, with a three-night minimum stay. 

Guide to reengaging churned customers

So, if the idea got you excited after reading this and you’re thinking to book the place, too bad – the property is no longer available. 

But it could still inspire you for future marketing plots! Being able to pull off such a cheerful way to catch your audience’s attention is always worth a shot. 

The best part, though? The $100 a night and all rental fees will go directly to charity. It’s a wonderful way to humanize your brand, which is a staple in building meaningful customer relationships. Kudos, Vrbo! 

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B2CRM News

Miller Lite Celebrates Cancelled Office Holiday Parties

Not having to endure holiday parties? I’ll drink to that!

If your response to your employer’s canceling the annual holiday party is “Shew, I dread going every year!” you are not alone. Now there’s a survey to prove it.

In the announcement of its farewell to the work holiday parties campaign and art installation, Miller Lite Beer shares the findings of an ENGINE INSIGHTS survey in which over half of full time workers said they shed no tears over the loss of these parties, and if given the choice 70% would prefer time off to a holiday party.

Miller Lite considers this a cause for celebration, Courtney Carter Dugan, director of activation for Miller Lite, declares: “Not having to make awkward small talk or being forced to take photobooth pictures with co-workers is a holiday gift in and of itself.”

As an introvert, I agree wholeheartedly.

To drive home the silver lining of what we’re missing this year, Miller Lite teamed up with visual artist, Alex Prager, to construct the “cringiest moments” associated with holiday parties. See the commercial here:

The awkward gathering made up of the life-like sculptures in an office setting is contrasted with the warmth and friendliness of real people gathering in a home (fewer than 10, so don’t get on their case, Governors).

The 15 sculptures starring in the first part of the commercial are now starring in an art installation on display outdoors at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Nov 21, 2020–Jan 3, 2021 and in a virtual experience at LACMA.org.

Now I know that I don’t speak just for myself but for over half when I said, “I’m so glad not to have to attend one of these things in real life.”

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B2CRM News

Raining with a Chance of Delays

As early as this last summer, experts predicted the 2020 holiday shopping season would be a special kind of bonanza. To top off an over-the-top year, customers have already started feeling the effects of it all when shopping online – tons of out-of-stock items, limited supply chains, and most infamously – shipping delays.

“Demand has been strong, and a friend of mine calls it ‘Shipaggedon,’ or concern about what’s going to happen in the transportation network,” David Bolotsky, Founder and CEO of the online retailer Uncommon Goods, said, echoing a notion many share right now.

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“What I think it means for shoppers is if you see something you want, I would buy it now; stick it under the tree.”

As Adobe Projects puts it, this holiday shopping season will be a record-breaker in terms of online sales, said to hit $189 billion.

Back in October’s delayed Amazon Prime Day is when consumers got the first hit as carriers had to refuse deliveries. But what about the retailers and suppliers on the other side of the Shipaggedon?

With the jolliest time of the year around the corner – experts say that delays and REAL chaos are coming as parcel companies, as FedEx and UPS, are already stretched thin, tackling a surge in holiday packages.

“Worldwide supply chains are in disarray. The current pandemic affects everything, and the transport and logistics sector is in the thick of it. Shipping companies and ports across the country are already struggling to keep up with consumer demand, and the worst is yet to come,” said David Aitken, CEO of National Road Carriers Association (NRC).

With a potential shortfall of as many as 7 million packages a day, this will surely be an unprecedented peak season for both sides of the party.

Retailers, make sure your brand is ready in terms of suppliers, inventory, and carriers – as this year is said to make online shopping history!

Customers, if you’re usually a last-minute shopper, you definitely want to avoid waiting for the eleventh hour to get those Christmas presents this year!

Look at the bright side; you can make more thought out and spaced-out purchases that are less frantic.

More Adobe Projections listed by Retail Customer Experience:

  • From November 22 – December 3 – online sales will pass $3 billion a day.
  • Black Friday – projected to generate $10 billion in online sales, an increase of 39% YoY.
  • Cyber Monday – will generate $12.7 billion, a 35% jump YoY – remaining the biggest shopping day of the year.
  • Smart Phones – Americans will spend $28.1 billion more on their smartphones in comparison to last year, accounting for 42% of all online sales.

Watch this space for updates on the issue in the coming weeks.

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