As if things couldn’t get crazier, 2021 did not disappoint. Just like last year, the holidays basically started in June.
With this year predicted to be one of the biggest holiday seasons yet, it is more important than ever that retailers develop strategies to not only gain new customers but have their customers spend more.
Our goal here is to share three ways to not only see an increase in sales throughout the holidays but see it carry into Q1.
By now, it’s probably become clear that we need to take our online store seriously. Whether you were online before the pandemic or have worked to reach customers online, this is an essential piece of retail today.
But a mistake that many make is seeing all their sales channels as disconnected channels, meaning there are “in-store customers”, “online customers”, customers that buy from your lives…. you get the idea.
While I understand why we may see it this way (we certainly don’t want to just split our customers up between multiple channels, ie increase our work but not our revenue), it won’t give us what we’re ultimately after.
Did you know that customers that buy from your brand through multiple channels will (on average) have a lifetime value that’s 30% higher than a customer that only buys through a single channel?
How to do this?
By using tools like Klaviyo, you can set up simple automation that sends in-store customers emails after a purchase that encourage a visit to your online store and vice versa. This important piece is to actively encourage customers to engage in other channels.
Encourage Customers to Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are gold for retailers. Why? They’re the #1 gift every holiday season and they can massively increase your revenue.
Gift cards increase revenue: Over 59% of gift cards will produce sales higher than the gift card total. This means that a customer visiting your store with a $50 gift card is likely to spend more than $50.
This gives cash flow during the slow post-holiday season and can allow for a higher average ticket.
Gift cards bring in new customers: Encourage the sale of gift cards to your raving fans wherever possible. Why? It’s an amazing opportunity for you to gain a new customer as they come in to redeem. This strategy, paired with amazing follow-up through email, SMS, and paid retargeting ads, creates a new customer for life.
Encouraging the sale of gift cards
This may seem obvious but encouraging the sale of gift cards means placing them in sight and actively suggesting it.
In-store, consider training your team to ask if they want to purchase a gift card for a friend or family member with every sale. Online, we can do this but adding it as a suggested product on your product page or as an upsell during the checkout process.
Gift Card Marketing
Gift card marketing is one of the best and most cost-effective ways of gaining new customers. Yes, it can be “giving away money” but compared to customer acquisition costs through Facebook Ads or other advertising, it’s fairly cheap.
There are a few ways I love to see this done.
Spend $X and get a free gift card worth $X: Offer a free gift card when people spend over a certain amount. Ideally, that amount should be 15-20% higher than your average ticket. First, this encourages people to spend more and, second, it encourages the second visit. This can be extra effective if you encourage the gift card to be redeemed through a different sales channel or starting in January.
Buy a gift card and get another gift card free: I like to talk about this in terms of “buy one for a friend and keep one for yourself”. We’re actively encouraging them to give a gift card away and also having them come back later (ideally in Q1).
Give gift cards away: When countless schools and charities start lining up for donations, always lean towards gift cards. This comes as a lower cost to you and brings someone into the store.
But even outside the charity giveaways, simply giving gift cards to potential customers can be a great way to introduce them to the brand. Worst case, they don’t use it and it cost you next to nothing and, best case, they come in to redeem and you now have a loyal customer.
Retailers have a lot on their plate during the holiday season. From marketing to e-commerce, there are many tasks that need to be completed before Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around. But instead of doing task after task, many times growth comes from the “simple” things that, if done well, will yield big results.
To increase revenue this winter as well as in Q1 of next year, it’s important for retailers to go omnichannel, encourage customers to buy gift cards from your store, and use gift card sales as a marketing tool.
Find this helpful? Follow us on Instagram @streamlineretail or apply for a free strategy session to discover what it could look like for your brick and mortar store to gain real traction in your online sales.