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How Tech has Transformed Holiday Commerce

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The holidays have always been a busy, busy time of year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas and even beyond, people shop ‘til they drop. However, the landscape of shopping is far different today than what it once was.

Before the advent of technology, we actually had to get off our behinds, go out into the cold, and join the masses in the hunt for gifts galore. If that weren’t enough, we actually had to seek high and low for the right presents, instead of having them delivered right to our door. Technology, you can say, has changed how we shop, how we select presents for our friends and loved ones, and much more.

Technology makes commerce much more simple for the consumer. With gift ideas showing up in your inbox and your purchases arriving to your door by drone, we do not even need to look up from the computer to complete all of our holiday shopping in less than 30 minutes. It’s amazing.

Email marketing and marketing automation have completely altered the way businesses sell to their customers. Using data, businesses deliver tailored products to their target market, greatly increasing their conversion rates. Why? Because, instead of us consumers having to come up with ideas on our own, businesses literally put our wishlist in our faces. We don’t have to do anything but press a couple of buttons, and poof, mission holiday shopping, completed.

Marketing automation is a powerful tool for commerce because it allows a business to consistently put their brand infront of their consumers, targeting them based on demographics and activity. Businesses know what you buy, when you buy it, and what you might like to buy next. This personalized shopping experience now accessible to all with a smartphone or a computer, making it a huge generational shift in how all commerce, holiday or not, is done.

Timely and relevant messages, such as the ones marketing automation is able to send out help increase conversion rates because of their accurate targeting. While a department store may have all types of clothing and accessories, marketing automation lets the department store show you exactly what you want to see without having to peruse their entire inventory. The easier you make it for a customer to buy, the more likely they will. 

Beyond just targeting us with the right messages at the right time, you can no longer hide what you are trying to buy for a friend or loved one. Why? Because ad targeting has become so on point, that when you open up your Facebook or other ad filled platform, you see everything you’ve been searching the web for lately. Basically, do not let anyone use your computer during the holiday season, or your present isn’t going to be too much of a surprise.

This is great for the company because it puts the product infront of your face until you buy. It’s like playing with a puppy for longer than a few minutes. The more your play with it, the more you fall in love, and boom you are walking away with a new friend. Companies are using technology to inspire purchasing of their products and services. However, the consumer, even though we seemingly have more options, feel more tempted to buy certain products because of their effective targeting and messaging. The companies that make use of powerful CRM and marketing automation platforms will flourish because they understand more about their audience and their preferences.  

As marketers, we can all collect data, but it is how we use the data that counts. Hmmm, I think I’ve heard that somewhere before…

Commerce continues to evolve, and what and how we buy will only become more targeted as consumers expose their behaviors online. This isn’t a bad thing for consumers, it makes our busy lives easier. However, companies need to make sure they are not becoming overbearing with their targeting and advertising because as the past has shown, desensitization to these tactics is a reality.

So, this holiday season, take note of how businesses are using data and advertising to target you as a consumer. Does it make your life easier or more confusing? Do you miss the old ways of shopping?



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