Businesses must always be ready for the imminent holiday seasons, as it often accounts for a significant portion of their annual sales. Early and strategic preparation can be a game-changer during this competitive period. The holiday season not only intensifies competition but also offers a chance to attract new customers.
In 2021, online winter holiday sales generated an impressive $218.9 billion in revenue, while in-store sales reached a record-breaking $667.8 billion, as reported by the National Retail Federation.
It's essential not to overlook seasonal promotions and holiday retail strategies, especially as your competitors may have already begun their preparations. With the increasing shift towards online shopping, effective planning becomes a crucial factor in ensuring a successful holiday season.
Explore the following ideas and templates to enhance the impact of your holiday retail strategies.
What Makes Great Holiday Retail Strategies?
The following holiday retail strategies and promotion ideas will help you refine your efforts to ramp up sales during the most profitable time of year.
1. Consider your Discount Strategy Carefully
American consumers are well-informed shoppers, recognizing that businesses compete for customers. Thus, you can grab their attention by providing discounts and sales opportunities.
• Provide discount when payments are done via Debit/Credit Cards
• Provide different discount coupons to shoppers.
• Boost your sales through Exchange Offers on selected products.
Plan your strategy in advance, considering ways to cater to your customers' inclination for great deals. Consider offering a compelling, single discount to attract bargain seekers or organizing a series of weekly, short-term promotions to encourage repeat visits. Utilizing discount codes can also be an effective method to enhance e-commerce sales.
2. Share thoughtful Gift Recommendations
As the holiday season draws nearer, your customers' schedules tend to become busier. Simplify their holiday shopping experience by crafting email marketing campaigns that feature thoughtful gift recommendations. Incorporate compelling calls to action, like 'Buy Now, Pay Later' and integrate shoppable links that swiftly direct customers to your website's product pages.
Customize gift suggestions by leveraging past purchases, highlight distinctive gift ideas, and illustrate how to create ideal gift bundles from multiple items. To sweeten the deal and motivate action, provide discounts on gift bundles as an added bonus.
3. Express Your Gratitude in Advance
Distinguish your brand by expressing gratitude to your loyal customers with Thanksgiving thank-you cards, customized gifts, departing from the customary Christmas and New Year card-giving tradition.
Surprising your customers with a heartfelt thank-you card can evoke a genuine sense of appreciation, ensuring your brand remains prominent in their thoughts as they embark on holiday shopping for their loved ones.
4. Prioritize Customer Retention Efforts
While it's essential to focus on attracting new customers, it's equally crucial not to overlook your loyal clientele. Annex Cloud reports that repeat customers contribute to almost two-thirds of your total sales, highlighting the significance of maintaining their connection.
Seize the chance to express your appreciation to your most valued customers by providing them with special incentives, such as substantial discounts or exclusive previews of upcoming products. Additionally, consider sending heartfelt holiday cards through traditional mail to your loyal customers, showcasing your personal touch and genuine care for their continued support.
According to Bain & Company Report, Companies that place a higher emphasis on retaining existing customers rather than solely focusing on customer acquisition tend to achieve a 60% increase in profitability.
5. Optimize your Mobile Presence
In recent years, SMS marketing and mobile marketing have gained increasing significance in the field of e-commerce. To capitalize on this trend, it's essential to craft mobile-friendly email marketing campaigns and ensure your online store is optimized for mobile devices.
If you opt for SMS messaging in your holiday marketing strategy, customers can conveniently click on links and access product pages directly from their mobile phones.
6. Provide Free Shipping Options
If you are into an ecommerce business, free shipping is the best option you can present round the year. However, if you want to boost your sales during the holiday season free shipping is crucial. During all holiday seasons consider offering free shipping and ensure that your customers know about it.
7. Infuse your Promotions with a Festive Spirit
Shoppers aren't only looking for gifts; they seek the holiday spirit as well. Enhance your window displays, homepage, and landing pages with cozy holiday settings and a touch of sparkle. You might want to think about providing a holiday gift-wrapping service through omnichannel or showcasing a unique, limited-edition item exclusively available during the festive season.
If your company engages in charitable activities during the holidays, showcase images on your social media profiles to let customers know that you genuinely embrace the holiday spirit rather than just talking about it.
8. Leverage Specialized Social Media Platforms.
Chances are, you're already utilizing social media marketing through Instagram and Facebook, but have you explored alternative platforms?
Social networks such as Quora, Reddit, and Pinterest may not always be in the spotlight, but they boast substantial user bases eager for your content.
For instance, Pinterest is a go-to platform for users planning or making purchases, making it an ideal choice for holiday marketing. Select a niche social channel that aligns with your product and devise unique marketing or advertising campaigns for it.
9. Embrace video marketing tactics.
The trend of harnessing videos to boost your brand is gaining momentum. Consumers are drawn to behind-the-scenes videos that provide insights into their cherished brands and businesses.
This holiday season, let your company's human side shine by encouraging employees to share their cherished holiday memories or by offering customers a glimpse into the preparations behind the scenes for the festive season. Crafting a charming or humorous holiday marketing video also presents a great chance for businesses not directly related to products to engage with the holiday spirit.
10. Adopt a content-centric approach.
As online shopping continues to grow, customers have become increasingly accustomed to holiday campaigns. They often encounter similar themes year after year, potentially causing traditional sales and marketing tactics to go unnoticed.
The same ecommerce trends that have evolved over the past year will carry over into holiday marketing strategies. A central theme that remains relevant during the holidays is the "content-first" approach, favored by innovative and trending brands today. By employing content marketing to connect with customers, brands will offer more personalized shopping experiences, featuring discount codes and holiday gift guides.
Incorporating a content strategy into your holiday marketing concepts can yield significant benefits, especially when considering search engine optimization (SEO). Optimized content will drive organic traffic to your website as customers search for products you offer, even if they've never shopped with you before.
Avoid these Holiday Marketing Mistakes to Stay Ahead
While you are running holiday marketing campaigns, there are certain pointers that you should keep in mind:
• Sending too many emails
• Last-minute planning
• Focusing on only one marketing tactic
• Not understanding buyer’s personas
Consider these Important Dates in Your Holiday Planning
As you plan to start your holiday campaigns, consider these important holiday dates in your mind:
The event falls on October 31st every year. Its an indication of start of the holiday season. According to Statista Report, the average US buyers expect to spend around $108 on Halloween related items this year.
Thanksgiving Day is a US holiday celebrated on fourth Thursday of November, every year. This time it was celebrated on 23rd November. According to NRF Data, around 106.7 million customers shopped online and in-store during the year 2022.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two most popular shopping date of the year, especially for retailers. These two days are the biggest ecommerce shopping days of the year.
According to NRF Data, 72.9 million customers shopped in-store last year and more than $11.3 billion was spent on cyber-Monday alone in 2022.
Christmas & New Year’s Sale
Christmas takes place on December 25th every year, but shopping of gifts and other items starts much earlier. The end week of December to first week of January is the most golden days for retailers.
According to NRF Data, customers spend around $998 on holiday gifts during this time. Fast Company report states that customers spend around $127 billion throughout this seven-days event.
The holiday season can significantly impact the revenue goals of nearly every retailer. The combination of a growing number of online shoppers and fierce competition presents challenges for brands, but proactive steps can set your brand apart and foster customer loyalty.
Begin your preparations early, focus on content optimization, always prioritize your customers in your decision-making process, and don't overlook the importance of building lasting relationships with your brand. By doing so, the holidays can become not only the busiest time of the year but also the most successful.