From flipping through your social channels to watching commercials on television during the Thanksgiving football games, there are tons of ways merchants are starting to market products around the holidays.
The holiday season is a time when businesses of all sizes make a large lump sum of their sales and profit for the year. If you are a retail store owner now is the time to start preparing your marketing strategy to take advantage of this lucrative time period.
You might be wondering, “Strategy? Where do I start?” We have some tips for you to get started before the hustle and bustle of the season begins.
Check Historical Data
As you begin to explore your marketing efforts for the upcoming holiday season—what did your store do last year? Think about all the offers, sales and marketing efforts you’ve used in the past. Did they work? Did they create a profit for your business? What was successful? If you have a software that integrates your POS with your eCommerce, this should be fairly quick and easy to do! If you are still tracking your analytics manually, this part could take a great deal of time.
Data analytics is an innovative way to create a plan on how to improve and execute a new strategy based on historical data. It helps to predict customer behavior, manage inventory and price for sales events. Here are ways in which store owners can use historical data and analysis to prepare for the holiday season:
- Know what to sell
- Organize supply chain and logistics
- Check website readiness
- Optimize pricing
- Reduce cart abandonment
- Improve the payment success rate
- Understanding your funnel progression to target customers better
Along with checking your historical data, it’s key to make sure all your basic information is up to date!
Start Your Campaign Planning Early Using Social Media
Having a successful holiday season will depend entirely on how prepared you are for the incoming rush. The earlier you have your inventory, strategy, and resources in place, the better chances you have to take advantage of the buying frenzy. This includes posting on social media!
Most buyers start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, so you need to make sure your marketing campaign is ready to go well in advance. This will give you time to test out different promotions and strategies to find the one your customers engage with the most. Owners must research and understand social media’s “social shops” and how to leverage them to sell products easier and meet customer expectations. Setting up a social shop in addition to promotions will help consumers with easy “one click” buying opportunities.
Create holiday marketing calendars that outline when your promotions will start and end, what products will be featured, and what channels you will use to reach your audience. This will help you stay organized and on track as the holiday season approaches.
Run Giveaway Contests and Offer Promos
Giveaway contests give your existing customers a chance to re-engage with your brand and potential customers a reason to visit your store for the first time. Not to mention this strategy allows you to acquire new customer contacts and opportunities to nurture.
There are a few different types of contests you can run, but the most popular ones during the holidays are product giveaways and gift card drawings. To increase engagement, make sure to promote your contest across all of your social media channels and include a call-to-action on your website. Requiring individuals to comment, share, or like social media posts to enter the promotion will help grow your base and give long-term value to your brand.
Instead of offering discounts just to get people in the door, use discount codes as a way to clean out old inventory or only offer them exclusively to existing customers. In this way, you’re stacking the advantages your store gets, instead of putting all the eggs in one basket.
Use Paid Advertising Efficiently
You won’t grow your brand awareness using long-term SEO best practices like content marketing. You’ll need a short-term solution that gets your brand in front of the eyes of your audience in time for the holiday season.
If your company hasn’t used paid advertising before, you won’t be able to turn on the switch and watch sales increase. Run campaigns well before the holiday season to understand what works first. Then, as you find successful ads, scale them by investing more money so they show to more people during the holiday season.
Play Into the Holiday Theme
Increasing the average order value is important during the holiday season. People are buying for others so they will already be looking to spend more money. Bundling several of your products together can help give them an easier option to buy for others.
Create unique gift sets that can only be found in your store or only online. Use your data from existing sales to see what products people generally buy together. This will give you a better chance at selling more gift sets or running through more inventory.
Provide Expedited Shipping Options
If there’s one way to keep online shoppers happy, it’s expedited shopping options. From two-day shipping to overnight shipping, there’s always a way to please your customers—especially the ones who put the “pro” in holiday shopping procrastination. Of course, as long as your inventory allows you to do so!
Plan Your Inventory
Run promotions that are exclusive to each revenue channel you have. If someone buys from your physical store, give them a coupon to use on their next online purchase. If someone buys from your website, give them a discount for referring a friend.
The goal is to increase customer lifetime value by giving individuals an incentive to buy from multiple channels. By cross-promoting, you’re also increasing the chances that your customers will buy from you again in the future. However, plan inventory accordingly!
Improve the Shopping Experience for the Holidays
You can take full advantage of the holiday rush using your marketing strategies effectively. They may seem easy to integrate into your existing systems. However, these strategies take time and planning. Start your marketing planning now to drive more awareness to your store as the holiday sales competition begins heating up. By being strategic on these platforms, you can better target your customers during the busiest season of the year and make it a pleasant experience along the way.
Once you have a marketing plan in place, make sure your inventory and catalog data are in order and syncing between your point-of-sales and eCommerce site to avoid over selling! Save time and sync your inventory data in real time with a risk free 30 day trial from SKU IQ!