So Christmas in July may not be an official holiday (at least here in the US anyway). Still, July and August are undoubtedly great months to starting thinking about the holidays, especially when planning your Pinterest activity. If you’ve been on Pinterest in the past as a business, not just as a consumer in the past, you may already know the summer is the time to start prepping your holiday content. Prepping your Pinterest for the holidays might look like creating new content or, at the very least, creating a plan.
Pinterest people go to Pinterest to solve a problem or to look for something for the future. Pinterest pinners are planners. Try to say that five times fast! Compare this to platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where people share their photos of events and memories of things that have already happened.
Holidays 2020 on Pinterest
Traditionally after the new year, when everyone has searched and pinned their new fitness plan, budgeting ideas, organization checklists, and motivational quotes, traffic on Pinterest falls off. Historically, people on Pinterest start making holiday plans in September. This year, people around the world began searching and saving for the holidays… in April.
Yup! As if 2020 hasn’t been crazy enough, we are seeing holiday searches surging already. It really is Christmas in …April up 77% over last year! Historically, holiday plans and searches begin in September, but with Covid-19 and stay-at-home orders worldwide, Pinners crave the holiday season’s comfort and normalcy. With Pinners always ahead of what other platforms for searching, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s content is already getting started! Why the shift? They’re looking forward to looking forward. In a year of unknowns, they’re longing for that familiar feeling only the holidays bring.
As a result of this latest boom, Pinterest has released a guide about getting your audience all the holiday content they want NOW!
So what exactly are pinners searching so early? Pinners are looking to make the holidays over the top this year to not only feel normal but extra special too. What does that look like for pinners (globally)? Essentially, people are trying to make the best of their situation and they are already planning for what they believe will be the “new normal” this Christmas 2020.
- Christmas gift ideas (up 3x from last year)
- Holiday recipes (+90%) Christmas (+80%)
- 50% want help taking things to the “next level.”
- 40% will likely be “celebrating on a budget” (i.e. early-bird specials and Black Friday deals)
- 4 in 10 want help bonding with loved ones and creating special moments with family
- 7 in 10 plan to celebrate smaller moments in a big way this year (ie. Friendsgiving, New Year’s brunch, etc.)
So what does this mean to you?
It’s not too early to begin your holiday content!
Did you know 83% of weekly pinners have made a purchase based on the content they saw on Pinterest? If you use Pinterest personally, you might know it can be used as an inspiration board. So a place to plan how you might redecorate a child’s bedroom, for example. Pinterest will allow you to search and save these ideas to a board. Maybe you aren’t ready to start the decorating, but when you are, you can revisit your collected ideas and make a purchase.
I love this quote Pinterest used, “when you reach people where they make their plans, they’ll first reach for you first when they purchase.” This is such an important thing to keep in mind, especially as a product seller. You may already know you can shop directly from the Pinterest platform. Pinterest has advised online retailers to create a window-shopping experience since people may not be out and about in a traditional way this year. Shopping will be mostly online this year, and consumers have higher expectations for e-commerce.
Three Tips to Prep Your Pinterest for the Holidays
Here are three takeaways from our holiday research in 2020:
- People will miss the stores, malls, and holiday markets to window shop for inspiration.
As a product seller, it’s essential to have good imagery and put people into the holiday spirit. Help them to imagine themselves using your product for that particular holiday.
One of my favorite holiday activities living here in Chicago is visiting the “Magnificent Mile” on Michigan Avenue, it’s filled with high-end stores like Macy’s, Harry Winston, and a lot more. Every Christmas season the stores would outdo themselves decorating their store windows. I love visiting Michigan Avenue to see the beautiful light displays, look at the fantastic window settings, and more. This year, people might not be doing that. So Pinterest is suggesting you do the best you can to recreate the experience for people online virtually.
Action step: Recreate the window shopping or in-store experience by showing up where people go to browse. Invest in beautiful product imagery and video that makes online shoppers feel less stuck and more inspired. We know Pinterest is a search engine, but I like to think of it as “pretty Google.” You don’t go to Google to get inspired, but Pinterest prides itself on being the place where people go to get inspired and be your happy place.
- People are concerned with shipping speeds, delivery dates, return policies, and customer support. So people will be shopping earlier than usual.
People will be buying earlier (I already mentioned these searches around holiday gift ideas have been coming up since April). Most people, at least in the US, are aware the pandemic has affected stock availability and shipping times. So be clear in your shop’s information: how long is shipping? Are things in stock? Is there free shipping? What exactly will be received? What kind of guarantees are there? Also, what is your return policy if the customer is unhappy or the order is delayed? All of these issues need to be really clear in your messaging.
As a side note to this, make sure you have reviews and testimonials on your site. Your customers want to know they are ordering from someplace reputable. Social proof is one way to assure them they will receive their product and be happy with their purchase. Let people know that others have received their orders quickly, that it was fulfilled as promised, and all the good things that build your reputation as a seller.
Action: Be clear about what you can offer them. Will you have free shipping or guaranteed delivery? 30-day trials? Make it known. Now. Ease some of their worries—early.
- They’re more likely to treat themselves this year. They’re shopping for a me-gift.
People will also be treating themselves this year and I would say we all deserve some pampering! I had a previous client who did this for a holiday promotion, where she gave away two gift certificates, one for the special person on your list and one for the buyer. Both would be pampered and potentially have two customers instead of one! Be creative in thinking of some different promotions you might want to add. Think outside the box beyond the typical ‘buy one, get one free.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but be imaginative in the way you present it.
An example might be if you promote products around relaxation like stress management, essential oils, and such that people would buy for themselves. People sometimes treat themselves when they are buying things for others. I have a “saved for later” section in my Amazon cart just for this purpose. When I am shopping, I might browse and add something additional from that section into my cart as a little treat. Think of this almost like an “order bump” or “upsell” in sales funnel terms.
Action: Gifting for others is a key focus, but don’t make it the only focus. Play to the purchases that Pinners might make for themselves. Help them understand the unique value of self-care, beauty, and health right now. Offer gifts, buy one for a friend and get one for yourself.
Be Proactive and Creative!
As you are a service provider, you are not locked out of the idea of holiday selling and prepping for the holidays. You can still take advantage of Black Friday promotions even if you aren’t delivering physical products. Pinterest did mention that since people were shopping earlier, Black Friday might not be as big a holiday as it had been in years past.
Another point I want to make is that you don’t need to limit yourself to one day. “Black Friday” was a term used for the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s morphed into more of a season. Last year people restricted that date for visiting friends and relatives and didn’t want to be bothered by promoting their offers, so online service providers and other small businesses decided to run promotions beginning earlier in November. It seemed like every day, there were Black Friday promotions in your inbox! And there’s nothing wrong with that since there is usually a lot of competition to be seen in your inbox. Sending your promotion early is a way to cut through some of the inbox noise.
Remember the statistic about 40% of people searching “Christmas on a Budget.” Given our current climate, this makes sense. With many having been out of work since March, people are more budget-conscious. Keep that in mind and consider running early-bird specials and perhaps not wait until Black Friday for your sales. If you’re a product seller, you might want to add a coupon code earlier than you usually would.
My best recommendation is to plan your offer and start planning early. Take the time to make some eye-catching graphics and start your promotions sooner rather than later.
If you have any questions or need help brainstorming ideas, I hosted a paid live training called Prep Your Pinterest for the Holidays. It is jam-packed with information so you can get your holiday content together and create a plan to start your pinning.
Don’t let your business miss out on this year – Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, the whole holiday season people will be celebrating big, but maybe in a small way, and I want this workshop to help you. To get access to the replay here >> Prep Your Pinterest for the Holidays.