by Jonathan Roberts, Senior Manager, Content Intelligence
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Retail Language Insights for a Holiday Season Like No Other

In a year marked by dramatic retail spending dips and spikes, as well as massive gains in e-commerce adoption, retailers have the potential to end on a high note.

So what’s the best way to engage customers in the final season of a challenging year?

To answer that question, Persado leveraged its Insights-to-Ideation capability, an AI-powered data engine that leverages millions of unique and observed customer interactions to predict the ideas, concepts, and messages that will resonate best with consumers.

The data indicate there is more normal than new this year, but with a few important twists. 

We analyzed 170,000 language permutations across 6 billion messages served between March 20 and August 24, 2020 and compared the results with data on past holiday campaigns.

The results? The data indicate there is more normal than new this year, but with a few important twists. 

What’s new?

Retailers can’t ignore the pandemic reality. Be mindful of the pervasive changes so many have faced this year, acknowledge them, and perhaps offer a brief escape. This year, it’s all about empathy and performance. 

Learn more: Download the 2020 Retail Holiday Ideation Brief

What’s normal?

High-performing 2020 retail campaigns will tap into the same mix of motivations that have dominated past holiday seasons: the customer’s desire to acknowledge their wins for the year; a focus on friends, family, and connection; and attention on getting that perfect gift in time.

 

What should retailers do to engage retail customers this holiday shopping season?

The retail Ideation Brief Persado created from the analysis shows that successful retailers will activate three data-guided principles to deliver an effective 2020 holiday campaign:

1. Reward your customers

Personal wins mean extra to people this year. Speak the language of success with headlines like “You win “best chef” this holiday!” or “Holiday gift, secured.”

2. Build connections

Time with loved ones is at the top of the holiday wish list. Evoke that sense of community with invitational language that communicates belonging, such as “Welcome to the season,” or “From us, to you.”

3. Capture attention

The holidays will still be frenetic and event-filled, even if the “events” are on Zoom. Effective campaigns cut through the noise with gentle nudges like “FYI” or “Friendly reminder.”

While people and markets return to the words and emotions that are perennial performers, it’s not really a return to normal. It’s something new. Continue to be mindful.

 

Jonathan Roberts is a Senior Manager of Content Intelligence at Persado in New York, exploring connections between data-backed insights and creative content generation.