Retail Marketing Tips for a Successful Holiday Season
Brick and Mortars have faced daunting challenges the last few years. According to Big Commerce, 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, and 96% of anyone who has shopped, ever, has made an online purchase. If that says anything, it’s that consumers are flocking to massive online distributors and spending less time in stores. For many storefronts without an online presence, this has meant a noticeable decrease in sales. The numbers from walk-in traffic in each new quarter are coming in lower than retailers would like, which makes the Holiday Season an essential time for retailers to drastically push sales and meet end of year goals.
On the BRITE side, the holiday shopping season is just around the corner. There's plenty of time for retailers to prepare for the upcoming season and take advantage of increased foot traffic. With a few tips, boutique and department retail stores can set strategies in motion that will improve results in the fourth quarter.
1. Get Ahead With Sneak Peeks and Previews
There's nothing more exciting for consumers than getting the inside scoop on the newest designs, fashions and trends. Offer sneak peeks and preview sales to show off incoming merchandise, and give new and returning customers a chance to envision themselves wearing or using the new styles. Use website re-targeting to advertise upcoming sales to consumers who have recently visited your online store. You can also use Geo-fence re-targeting to advertise to those who have visited your physical location- or even the locations of your competitors. Take advantage of the increase in viewers online and shoppers in brick-and-mortar events by driving traffic back to the store with coupons or limited time offers.
2. Plan Flash Sales
Once the season is up and running, don't waste any time putting on the first flash sale. Offer deep discounts or special discounts on highly coveted items, and provide in-store perks like free samples, discount racks or bins, and interactive activities. Draw customers in using beacons or geo-fencing that target customers who are in your area already. Then create follow up campaigns, so that you have a plan to retain new customers and transform them into loyal customers after the holidays. Plan flash sales not only for the largest shopping days, but also for days or times that hold relevance for your company or shopping audience, i.e. the night of the local fashion event for clothing retailers, or the first snow for outdoor gear and apparel. Don't forget to offer sales initiatives to your staff, to be sure their efforts align with your sales goals. Create bonus structures or other initiatives to keep everyone on staff motivated throughout the busy and stressful holiday season.
3. Build Followers on Social Media and Apps
Brick-and-mortar operations are struggling to compete with large online distributors, so retailers must make their brands available online and on social media. The brands that do the best often feature free apps that their customers can download to get sale previews, use coupons or keep track of wish lists. If building an app doesn't fit in the budget, make sure your retail website is mobile-friendly and provides an easy experience for shopping and checkout. Build your followers on the largest channels of Facebook and Twitter, but don't forget to go where young people are as well. Build a strong following on Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat as well, and offer enticing multimedia posts to convince followers to shop your brand.
4. Attract More Subscribers to Email Updates
Email newsletters and invites are still some of the best ways to reach consumers, because they arrive directly in a shopper's inbox without cluttering the house with piles of mail. Build out your website to feature places where customers can subscribe to newsletters and email alerts, then work hard to grow your subscription numbers. List building on your site is crucial. Offer discounts for signing up for discounts on purchases for first-time customers or make exclusive offers that can only be redeemed by email subscribers. On the days when brick-and-mortar shops have trouble attracting foot traffic and Facebook algorithms become hard to beat, you'll be able to reach your customers directly.
5. Implement Marketing Campaigns From Start to Finish
Develop marketing campaigns that you can implement across different mediums, ranging from print, direct mail or TV advertising to online ads, e-commerce and social media. Ensure that each marketing campaign has a clear plan of action and establish a timeline so you can meet the campaign goals along the way. Define each goal carefully, relate the goals to staff and test your campaigns before you send them live.
By creating and defining a clear plan of action for your marketing efforts through the Holidays you can easily attract and retain new customers and set your business up for a successful start of the year.