Marketing Eye

Holiday Marketing Survival Guide: Retailer Edition

Now that Halloween is over the countdown is on!  With 7 weeks till Christmas there are a few large retailers who have already put together their Christmas displays and holiday marketing campaigns.

Here is your retail holiday marketing survival guide to help you ease through the holidays.

1. Connect With Customers Early

In today’s marketing world, there are so many ways to connect with your customers. When it comes to marketing at Christmas time, the earlier, the better! Especially when it comes to those big ticket items that require online research.

Start by sending incentives and loyalty packages out as quickly as possible. This is to lure customers to your store. Make sure your customers know all about the latest products. Give them a reason to purchase your products early to ensure that they don’t miss out.
Gift ideas 1
Gift idea

2. Drip Feed Campaign

Drip feed campaigns linked to marketing automation software throughout the entire Christmas period is critical. Start with a plan for what you want to talk about in the countdown to christmas, then break it down into a series of campaigns or stories. Marketing Automation helps for scheduling your stories by providing data as to who is interested in each one. It also provides an analysis after each campaign that allows you to tweak and improve the next one.

Be sure to keep your stories interesting and ensure that your visuals are of the highest quality!

3. Social Media Is Everything

Start your social media campaign early by using a teaser campaign encouraging consumers to be inspired by your products and services. Instagram is the new Facebook, so don’t ignore the impact of Instagram on your Christmas marketing campaign. Using both along with Twitter will ensure that your gifts are top of mind, shared and most of all “liked”.
               Gift ideas 2                            Gift ideas 3                             Gift ideas 4
     @shopwaitingonmartha               @bathandbodyworks                  @urbanoutfitters     

4. Have online buying capabilities and order taking

Whether you are selling an ipad or the latest kids craze, buying Christmas gifts online fast and efficiently is a lifesaver. If you have online shopping cart make sure it works effectively and that you have plenty of stock of all your Christmas goodies!

5. Reconnect With Past Customers

Customers who have bought from you in the past will appreciate you touching base with them and informing them what’s new in stock this holiday season. Give people a reason to come back and buy from you by sending them a VIP Christmas offer that’s just for them. Everyone loves a bit of personalized attention and your great customer service will remind him or her why they bought from you in the first place!

6. Reach Out To Bloggers

Bloggers are the modern day experts on everything hip, cool and worth having. They post the latest products and gift ideas online and in real time, to thousands of followers. So if you want your products to be where the cool kids are… send them to a blogger for a shout out.

There are bloggers across all industries and retail sectors, and here are some good ones to help market your Christmas products:

 @tommyismyname  @chloemorello  @garypeppergirl        

7. Product Placement In Magazines

Do you ever look at the “best buys” and “hottest trends” pages in your favorite magazines? The editors of magazines are recognized as experts in their fields, and a trick from them is worth a thousand likes… not to mention worth its weight in gold from an advertising perspective.

Send your product to the editor of relevant magazines, and remember to do it early… September/October at the latest for the monthly glossies as they go to print early.

Some good examples are Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, WIRED, ELLE, Gourmet, Choice, Vogue, Belle, Real Living.

And don’t forget that editors also have massive social media followings, and will share their latest favorites every day. So even if your product doesn’t make it to print, there’s still a good chance of being shared to thousands if you can snare their interest in your product.

8. Christmas Windows
There is nothing more inspiring when you’re out shopping than a gorgeous, eye catching window display. Then add in some Christmas fun and multiply that by a thousand! The most important things to remember when you are creating your shop front window are:

Make it eye-catching – make people stop dead in their tracks

Relate it to your overall promotion - what is it you’ve been emailing, posting and talking about? Those products and themes should be reflected in your merchandising when customers come into your store

Inspire people- there is a reason you’re in this business….you are good at what you do. People want to be inspired by what you know and your creativity.

9. Integrate Your Offline and Online Marketing Campaigns

Its one thing to have a great product, but does it match and translate to what you are saying and doing online? If you are selling the worlds greatest reindeer cupcakes how can you translate those delicious goodies into beautiful images? Communicate through an enticing story to capture the imagination of your readers. Most importantly, how do you get the customer to come in and buy?!

Make sure your story, imagery, service and product offer are consistent at every stage of the selling process. If you can achieve this you’ll have loyal customers for life.

10. Get Your Timings Right!

Timing can be everything when it comes to shopping at Christmas. Educate your customers on the latest gift ideas and crazes that everyone will want in on. Share this information through email newsletters and social media, and keep them going throughout the holiday countdown to Christmas.

Technology gadgets are a November purchase.

Why, you may ask? People need to put more thought into technology gadgets and they also need to make sure that that new Apple Watch is available. There is nothing worse than promising your child or loved one the latest gadget and waiting until the last minute to purchase only to find out that there is none in stock anywhere.

Hold off on Novelty Gifts Until mid December.

It’s proven that people purchase novelty gifts mid-December, and right up to Christmas eve, so that means books, wine, chocolates and flowers orders.

So let’s get started! Reach out and connect to your customers, share some great content with them, and most of all have a fantastic and profitable Christmas season!

If you need any help with your retail marketing campaigns contact Lisa O’Keeffe at Marketing Eye, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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