Don’t believe that Q4 is in full swing? Walk into any big box or retail store right now and you’ll surely be greeted by the seasonal sights and sounds of Halloween on one side of the aisle and the winter holidays on the other.
For retailers, it’s also a time of heightened competition and the opportunity to make a significant portion of their annual revenue. In fact, eMarketer reports that retail ecommerce sales will grow nearly 12% this year whereas brick and mortar will see less than 3% growth. Mobile sales will also come out on top with an anticipated growth or more than 5% YoY.
And in this season of giving, one gift that retailers can truly bank on is partnerships. Partnerships not only provide a host of benefits, but they can make the holiday season considerably more profitable.
Let’s briefly unwrap why partnerships are a gift that keeps giving to retailers this holiday season:
- Extended Reach and Exposure
Partnerships have proven reach that extends far beyond a retailer’s immediate audience. A variety of affiliate partners, content-oriented partners, bloggers, and influencers diligently promote products to their dedicated followers. During the holidays, when consumers are actively seeking gift ideas and deals, this extended exposure is invaluable. Retailers can tap into the trust and credibility their partners have built with their audiences, reaching potential customers they might not have otherwise connected with.
- Cost-Effective Marketing
The holiday season typically involves a surge in marketing expenses. But with partnerships, retailers can benefit from a cost-effective approach. Unlike traditional advertising, publisher partners are typically compensated based on performance, meaning retailers only pay for actual sales or leads generated through their efforts. This performance-based model helps retailers optimize their marketing spend, ensuring a positive return on investment.
- Enhanced Credibility and Trust
Publisher partners are often seen as trusted sources of information by their followers. When a partner recommends a retailer’s product(s), it comes with a built-in level of credibility and trust. During the holiday shopping frenzy, this trust can never be underestimated. Consumers’ most trusted sources of online information are endorsements from friends and family, followed by consumer and expert reviews, and comparison websites. In fact, recent research conducted by Gen3 indicates that younger age groups are significantly more likely than older age groups to say that a range of information sources are ‘very trustworthy’ while almost three-quarters of 18-34-year-olds and 35-54-year-olds say they trust brand-sponsored endorsements, recommendations, and reviews. Bottomline: Consumers are more likely to make a purchase when it’s recommended by someone they trust, leading to increased conversion rates for retailers.
- Diverse Audience Targeting
Partnerships allow retailers to diversify their audience. By collaborating with partners from various niches, demographics, or categories, retailers can reach a broader and more diverse audience than they could on their own. Further, partners help reach audiences through a diverse set of channels, tactics and mediums, including mobile which is poised to experience 15%+ growth in 2023 in US retail ecommerce during the holidays according to eMarketer. This is especially beneficial during the holiday season when shoppers have diverse interests and gifting needs. Retailers can tailor their partnerships to align with specific holiday themes and consumer segments.
- Scalability and Flexibility
The holiday season is marked by fluctuating demands and changing consumer behaviors. Partnerships offer scalability and flexibility that traditional marketing methods often lack. Retailers can quickly adapt their partnership strategies based on real-time data, ensuring they remain agile and responsive to market dynamics. Whether it’s ramping up promotions during peak shopping days or pivoting to target emerging trends, retailers have the agility to optimize their partnerships.
- Data-Driven Insights
Partnerships provide retailers with valuable data and insights into consumer behavior. Retailers can track traditional performance metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, even customer demographics but they can track even greater insights on a per partner basis – including by which items or SKUs are selling, profit margin and new versus repeat customers. This data allows them to make more informed, data-driven decisions, refine their marketing strategies, and allocate resources effectively, ensuring a successful holiday season.
- Risk Insulation
While an anticipated time of the year, the holiday season can be high-stakes for retailers, with substantial inventory investments and marketing expenditures. Partnerships mitigate a good portion of this risk. Since partners are compensated based on performance, retailers can align their affiliate spending with their actual sales, reducing the risk of overcommitting resources.
While there are many reasons why partnerships are gifts that keep on giving for retailers during the holiday season, the truth is that they efficiently provide extended reach, cost-effective marketing, enhanced credibility, diverse audience targeting, scalability, data-driven insights, and reduced risk. While the channel consistently delivers a 12:1 ROAS, leveraging partnerships for profitable growth can help retailers unwrap the full potential of the holiday season and delight customers with the perfect gifts, all while enjoying a boost in their own bottom line.
Interested in learning even more trends, predictions, and insights from the 2022 and 2023 holiday seasons? Visit the Partnerize Holiday Hub page right here.