Amazon recently reported that the small and midsize businesses that sell on its marketplace made more than $3.5 billion during Prime Day. That’s a 60% increase over last year’s sales according to CNBC.
Although holiday shoppers’ wallets are billions of dollars lighter this year, there are still plenty of sales opportunities for market-savvy cannabidiol (CBD) brands.
Now Is The Time
Timing is everything, and the time to run holiday digital sales promotions is now.
Deloitte expects holiday e-commerce sales to surge by 25% to 35% with volume peaking between November to January.
And a survey by Coresight Research reports that three in 10 consumers expect to start their holiday shopping earlier than usual.
COVID-cautious Consumer Spending
With 31 million holiday travelers grounded this year and more than 47% of families reporting they are downsizing holiday events, this year’s holiday season will be dominated by “remote giving.”
Holiday shoppers’ traditional buying preferences and patterns are shifting in concert.
The three P’s of the promotional period–products, pricing, and promotions–don’t apply this year. This season is all about a brand’s preparation, perception, and pursuit, according to Michael Brown, a consumer market expert at Kearney.
CBD companies’ websites should be festive, fun, and filled with tons of sensational gift bundles. Brands should invest more time in packaging and marketing offers. Banners like “great gifts for moms” and “deals for dads” provide purchasing cues that are likely to convert to higher-than-average cart size.
Remote givers are looking for smaller, more practical and attractively packaged gift bundles that convey as much warmth and sentiment as can be packed and shipped.
And they want their packages to arrive on time.
Shipping Slow Downs
Surges in online shopping are putting new demands on shippers, which are already straining to keep up with increased demand. CBD brands need to examine their shipping systems and have back-up plans in place.
Understand your delivery agent’s mailing performance and adjust customer promises accordingly. We recommend that brands create an automated customer shipping update to inform customers of any projected shipping delays. And, if service delays are anticipated, proactively issue special discounts or offers to recognize the inconvenience.
One way to avoid these predictable bottlenecks is to kick off holiday campaigns (and shipments) now to avoid the rush.
Gifts Cards Are On Trend
The most popular gift this year will likely be gift cards, according to Morning Consult, which reports that 48% of adults plan to buy or give gift cards this holiday season.
Three times as many shoppers said they will spend most on gift cards versus the next-highest gift type, clothing.
“The trend is real and it’s working,” says Scott Zabka, a CBD storeowner using CBD Marketing Hub to run live gift card campaigns.
According to Zabka the majority of recipients have become repeat customers.
We agree with the growing body of retail experts that recommend that brands examine promotional strategies to avoid over-discounting products–a move that ultimately drives down pricing and profitability.
Gift cards typically offer similar value to BOGO promotions but add a valuable kicker. They look and spend like cash, and consumers are more likely to redeem them and return to restock.
A Growing Need for Self-Care
The importance of self-care has become evident as a result of the pandemic and has risen to become one of the largest trends in the US.
Nearly one-third of consumers increased their self-care behavior this past year, according to IRI, which reports that nearly nine out of 10 Americans (88%) practice some form of self-care.
Many companies, including Austra, CBD for Life, Green Roads, Uncle Bud’s Hemp, and some Your CBD Store owners, are boosting their digital storefronts and in-store offers. Green Roads’ Self-care Deluxe Bundle is among trending gift items.
“[It’s] a really great gift, especially for stressed-out moms who need a break,” says Lee Sosin, CMO of Green Roads.
In order to help brands leverage the trend, CBD Marketing Hub created a cost-free small business icon for unrestricted use by CBD brands.
The importance of seasonal holiday sales has risen. Once considered a key part of many leading CBD brands’ growth strategies, this year’s fourth quarter holiday sales have the potential to re-order the marketplace.
Consumer preferences for smaller, more practical gifts, coupled with the elevated importance of self-care create a unique opportunity for CBD brands to do better than good this holiday season.
Image Credit: Daria Yakovleva