Editor's Note: This is a sponsored blog post from Marketing AI Institute partner Persado.
Holiday spending predictions are looking good for retailers, as consumers embrace opportunities to break out of their pandemic malaise: multiple forecasts predict that holiday spending will increase by more than 5%, with particular boosts to ecommerce spending. More spending doesn’t mean that everyone will benefit, however. Competition is expected to be fierce between retailers. The race is on to capture defecting customers.
And about those customers—they have high expectations. This pandemic has created new sources of stress from job and health concerns that many are looking to the holiday season to alleviate, at least temporarily.
For retailers, that means that a season of high demand is taking place with a concurrent vibe of consumer fatigue. And that fatigue makes people less willing to deal with common retail challenges typical to the season: like a longer wait, crowded stores, or a bit more effort to get that perfect gift.
Retailers can overcome that fatigue by making shopping easy. Products should be easy to find, easy to buy, easy to receive, easy to use, easy to return. Easy is as much about communicating well to make sure people know what to expect. That starts with using the right language to grab attention and keep it. Language AI can help—and help you avoid language mistakes that turn customers off.
The language of attention is in again for retailers, but go easy...
One mistake to avoid in holiday messaging is using language that taps into the wrong emotion. For example, data from AI content generation and decisioning platform Persado shows that language geared to grab attention is typically a safe approach for retailers. In the first months of the pandemic, however, attention-focused techniques like ALL CAPS or asterisks around a word like **coupon**—big winners in normal times—didn’t perform at all.
Then the mood changed. Beginning in the summer of 2020, attention techniques were trending up again. Maybe the promotion language made people feel like they had something to look forward to, like they were ready for a S-A-L-E. Retailers that got the message right reaped the benefits.
Attention has remained a high performer in 2021, but with a twist. Gone are the full lines of SHOUTY CAPS. It’s often enough to put a simple FYI, or Hey [Name] to capture attention in a way that uses, but doesn’t over-use attention-grabbers in today’s environment.
Attitudes change, and with them the exact words, tone, and approach that will produce the best results. Retailers can confidently use attention language again, but those that see the best results are likely to do so by marrying it with easy purchase experiences that address the needs of the customer. Leveraging language AI to find the exact words and phrases to convey the spirit of the season can ensure your approach is a big winner.
To learn more about how to leverage high-performing language this holiday season, download Persado’s eBook: Easy Is the Word: The Most Powerful Language You Can Use to Win Holiday 2021.
Brooke Gocklin is Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Persado.