A Retailer Marketing Playbook – Planning for the Holiday Season
In honor of the season of giving, we’re gifting retailers a “Holiday Retailer Marketing Playbook” full of marketing tips to ensure a successful holiday season! It may seem odd to start planning your holiday retailer marketing strategy in July, but remember…it was the prepared ant who thrived during the winter while the grasshopper was left in the dust. Our point? When it comes to your holiday retailer marketing strategy, it’s never too early to start planning! Be the ant, not the grasshopper.
Build a promotional calendar.
If you haven’t created a promotional calendar for the year, NOW is the time to start building one. A promotional calendar lays out the foundation for your holiday season and can help keep your content marketing strategy on track. During this peak shopping season, it is crucial to develop a plan that highlights both new seasonal products and overstock inventory. Your schedule should include big sale days, like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday for your eCommerce store. These significant shopping days allow you to provide deep discounts and layered promotions to reward loyal customers and gain new ones. In the days leading up to your big sales, think outside of the box to keep customers engaged all month long. Keeping up with these shopping holidays helps your brand stand out from your competition. For instance, 12 days of Christmas sale with a different discount or featured product each day!
On top of outlining your promotional strategy, your calendar should include shipping deadlines. Customers value a seamless and quick shipping experience. By adding these deadlines to your calendar, you’ll set realistic expectations without over-promising. Plus, you’ll be able to mix in a “Holiday Countdown” into your ad copy!
Know your audience.
A common mistake we see is when companies are too broad with their target audience. A general audience causes a lower return on digital advertising efforts. Insert the laws of “Supply and Demand”; one user can only be served so many ads in a day – with retailers flocking to purchase ads during this season, you will see a spike in CPM. Be sure to use these impressions wisely! When it comes to your digital marketing strategy, identifying which platforms will work best for your business is critical. Nailing down who your target market is will help you determine which platforms are right for your business. Running online ads without being specific or catering to your target audience won’t give you as much of an ROI as getting to know your consumer. Each platform has a variety of targeted digital advertising options for reaching your key audience (i.e., ads based on demographics, interests, location, and retargeting). Drill down on who your audience is and where they are at during their purchasing journey. Nailing this down will ensure you’re advertising the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Get ahead of the holiday rush.
Most sales occur on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Panic Saturday (the name for the Saturday before Christmas). Because of this, consumers are trying to get ahead of the rush. Customers now start shopping as early as Nov. 1. According to a survey by Bazaar voice, the most significant spike in toy purchases was on Nov. 4, 2017, with a 119% increase. Small appliances and grills also saw an increase in shopping traffic during the first week of November.
Get ahead of the big holiday sales by starting your promotional campaigns earlier in the season. Give your potential customers something to look forward to with a teaser campaign or reward your subscribers with an exclusive deal on a new product release months before the Thanksgiving weekend. If you can give consumers a taste of new products or discounts, this will help build anticipation for your holiday promotions.
Use a multi-channel marketing approach.
It’s essential to build a cohesive campaign that works across several different platforms (social media, email marketing, and digital advertisements). A multi-channel approach ensures your company reaches your target audience with a consistent message no matter what. Taking a multi-channel approach can increase your conversion rates well over 6%. Focus on pushing out campaign assets on multiple platforms that complement each other. Doing this makes it easier for shoppers to browse your store and make a purchase.
Build customer loyalty with email campaigns.
Email newsletters and invites are one of the best ways to reach consumers because you can deliver deals directly to their inbox. According to HubSpot, marketers see a $38 return on every $1 spent promoting an email marketing campaign – that’s a 3800% ROI! Growing your subscription database is a crucial aspect of email marketing. Make sure your website includes multiple places where customers can subscribe to your mailing list. Offer discounts for first-time orders or make exclusive offers that can only be redeemed by email subscribers. On top of enticing new customers via email, it is essential to stay in contact with former customers to ensure they keep coming back.
When it comes to promoting your newsletter, don’t discount the power of social media to encourage your audience to sign up. Use paid and organic posts as a form of “pre-targeting,” which will, in turn, increase your social following as well.
The real magic happens when you develop retargeting campaigns within social for your email subscribers. You can deliver dynamic ads to those who have interacted with specific areas of your newsletter or visited particular pages on your website. Offer something they can’t refuse to consumers who have already warmed up to your brand to drive the purchase home!
Optimize for mobile.
From the ease of their couches, consumers are browsing products online, comparing items, and reading product reviews all from their mobile and tablet devices. A 2018 Forrester’s retail study uncovered that one-third of all retail sales would come from mobile and tablet devices. Also, many shoppers are using their phones to check in-store availability for an item. Your website needs to provide a robust consumer experience and a simple check out experience. Testing a “buy now” button that allows users to purchase your items across multiple online channels quickly could boost your sales. “Buy now” buttons catch consumers during their online perusing and can prevent shoppers from abandoning their carts.
Think outside the box!
Take a moment to brainstorm potential opportunities to make your brand stand out this holiday season. Maybe it’s sending personalized thank you cards with shipped orders or interactive stations at your storefront to make it the next #instaworthy backdrop. If you have space, it might be beneficial to host a holiday-themed event in-store. Of the shoppers who brave the crowds and prefer to shop in-store, 42% of them say they enjoy the festive ambiance. Plan flash sales around days that hold a special significance for your company. National holidays are a great way to plan fun promotions for your business. Think about collaborating with a few other retailers to build a gift guide or giveaway for some cross-promotion. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Last nugget of advice, know when to ask for help! Working to fulfill incoming orders, managing your operations and logistics, and responding to customer service requests is a lot to handle. Your marketing strategy doesn’t have to feel stressful. We’re here to help and ensure that you’re set up for success. When you hire BriteIdea Marketing, our team of experts will act as your internal marketing team by getting to know the ins and out of your business. We understand your company is unique and your marketing strategy should be too! We’ll develop the plan that’s right for you, your goals, and your budget. Why? Because we genuinely give a damn. Send a message for a free consultation.
Feel like you might need some holiday marketing help? Or maybe not sure where to start on optimizing your website for mobile? Shoot us a message for a free consultation.