The holiday season is a critical time for retailers. If you’ve been in the business for a while you know that now is the time to strategize for the upcoming season that is quickly approaching. No matter what stage you currently are in your business, it’s essential to create a well-thought-out marketing plan to increase sales and customer retention.
Although we’ve all experienced recent challenges the world has thrown at us, studies by the National Retail Federation show that since 2011 holiday retail sales have been steadily increasing. In fact, the largest annual growth occurred in 2021 with a total of $886.70 billion in retail sales.
With that being said, here are five creative and helpful marketing tips for retailers this holiday season:
Holiday Marketing Tip #01: Create Gift Guides Around your Collections
We all know that shopping for the holidays can get a bit hectic. Your customers will most likely have a list of people they need to buy for and not enough time to do it. This is why Holiday Gift Guides are so helpful! By creating guides around your different collections, you can help your customers find the perfect present while promoting your products at the same time.
The best way to create a gift guide for your customers is to consider who your perfect customer is. When you know exactly who your perfect customer is, you’ll be able to create specific and personalized recommendations for them. If you’re not sure who that person is for you, you’ll want to consider their demographic data (gender, age, occupation, etc.) as well as their psychographic data (interests, values, personality traits, etc.). By having this deep understanding you’ll be able to pinpoint their needs and desires that will help tailor the perfect gift guide with your product recommendations.
Besides considering your perfect customer, you can also look at your sales data. Your data will be able to tell you what your most popular products are as well as inform you of any buying trends or patterns that seem to be forming. In addition to looking at your own data, we encourage you to use leverage tools like Google Trends to identify emerging opportunities in your specific niche.
Holiday Marketing Tip #02: Utilize SMS marketing
SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. It’s personal, timely, and you know that your message will be seen since the average person checks their phone over 80 times a day.
In fact, according to Insider Intelligence, mobile shopping sales hit $359.32 billion in 2021, an increase of 15.2%. ‘Mcommerce’ as it’s known, is predicted to account for 44.2% of retail eCommerce sales in the US by 2025 so if you’re not utilizing SMS marketing, now is the time to start.
Some specific ways to utilize SMS marketing around the holidays would be to:
- Send exclusive holidays codes just to your SMS subscribers
- Have an abandoned cart be sent through text instead of only in email
- Include a link to the specific gift guides you created
If you are just getting started with using SMS then you probably don’t have any subscribers yet. A great way to encourage people to sign up is to post on your social media accounts, tell your email subscribers, include a text sign-up in your pop-up option, or even including a sign in your store at the register. Once you start receiving subscribers you can send out SMS messages with exclusive deals and promotions to help increase sales during the holidays.
Holiday Marketing Tip #03: Partner with Another Local Shop
Collaboration over competition is always a good idea but it’s especially beneficial during the holidays. Partnering with another local shop will help increase foot traffic to both of your stores and make your businesses more visible in the community.
An idea to take advantage of when partnering with another business is to offer discounts for people who have a receipt from your partners store and vice versa. You can base your partnership over proximity or think of how your business would work complementary to another business. Some examples of this could be a clothing boutique for working women and a coffee shop, or a toy store and a childrens boutique, or a home decor shop and a home remodeling service, etc.
Another idea would be to create a joint holiday marketing campaign where you showcase items from another locatl shop in your store and they do the same for you. You could even host a an in-store event if your shops are close enough that would entice more customers to shop from all the stores you partner with. An in-store event could feature someone in the community to play live music and you could even offer beverages and desserts from a local bakery.
Whatever partnership you create we suggest promoting each other on social media, sending emails and/or texts about your partnership, as well as utilizing paid advertising.
Holiday Marketing Tip #04: Make the Most of Your Email List
If you don’t have an email list, now is the time to start building one. Although we love utilizing social media for marketing, the scary truth is we don’t actually own any of our followers on those platforms. This means if Instagram disappeared tomorrow, you would lose all of those customers and even future customers. This is why your email list is one of the most valuable assets that you actually own and can use to reach your customers directly.
Before the holidays send polls to your customers to see what brands or items they are interested in. If you use an email platform like Klaviyo, you can automate emails based on certain behaviors like opening or clicking past emails. You can also create Holiday lookbooks or Holiday Gift Guides and send them to your email list for some extra holiday inspiration.
Holiday Marketing Tip #05: Reward Your Current Customers
While it’s great to get new customers to buy from you it’s important to reward the customers you currently have. A study found that almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers.
This is why Holiday Loyalty Programs are so beneficial. You can offer exclusive deals and promotions to your loyalty members as a way to say thank you for their continued support. If you don’t have a loyalty program you can always create a specific coupon in Shopify to reward your repeat buyers and send to your email list. If you use Klaviyo for your email marketing, we suggest creating a segment of customers who have purchased from you over a certain amount of times (this will vary depending on your specific shop) and offer them an exclusive discount to use only during the holiday season.
Not only will this help increase sales but it will also create a sense of community and encourage customers to come back even after the holidays are over.
We hope you found these holiday marketing tips helpful and are able to utilize them in Q4. If you have any questions or need help getting started, follow us on Instagram at @StreamlineRetail for more helpful tips. Wishing you all a joyful and stress-free Holiday season!