Do you have your holiday marketing plan mapped out? If not, you should!
Early projects put consumer spending at more than $1.1 trillion between November and January.
Whether you’re selling experiences or wrappable retail items, the holiday season offers the potential to put a ton of money on the table, and you want to pick up as much of this as you can. To give your holiday sales a boost, here are a few tips and tricks to help extend your reach and take advantage of the tremendous growth in e-commerce sales. Deloitte also predicts as much as 18% growth for online sales, opening up major opportunities for big-box and niche retailers.
1. Decorate for the Season with Signs
Festive holiday signs can attract very strong interest. The general rule is that consumers will drive about 15 minutes for shopping, but outside that radius need a push to travel. Of course, in rural areas, drive time is higher, but in densely populated areas, expect the vast majority of your customers to live within five miles of your physical location. Customers who live close by will pass your store dozens of times a month.
Quality signage offering new information and sales can help expand your reach during peak selling times like the holidays. Plus, customer surveys reveal that as many as half of all new customers found out about a store because of on-premises signage.
2. Optimize for Mobile Display
Even if you deliver all your services at your location, many of your customers are likely to shop online. According to the NRF, 73% of holiday shoppers plan to use a smartphone or tablet to research or make a purchase this year. Creating a responsive website lets you cash in on all of the traffic going mobile without the hassle of a complete re-design.
3. Add a Delivery Service
Delivery may not make sense throughout the year, but during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, shoppers may not have as much time to make it to your store. Offering affordable, or even free, delivery can give your sales a big boost.
Since the U.S. Census reports that an average of 14% of Americans move each year, offering remote shopping options helps you retain customers, even when they no longer live within a five mile radius. In fact, 79% of US consumers said that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online.
4. Master the Art of the Upsell
Existing customers are a great resource for improving your bottom line. Bain & Co. research shows that a 5% increase in customer retention can net sales increases of between 25% and 95%. So, maximizing the value of those customers translates into an immediate bottom-line boost. Repeat customers are those you already have a relationship with, so up- and cross-selling is not just a profit margin helper – it’s good customer service too.
Before the season starts, create plans for upselling and cross-selling that make sense. If you sell televisions, walk your employees through all of the peripherals that might be compelling add-ons for customers. Oh, you have a toddler in the house or a new puppy? You might want to wall-mount that new TV. Do you want to record the big game as it happens? This DVR box is compatible with your new TV. What about a product warranty? Don’t go overboard with upsells, but do provide added value with a planned strategy for every department in your store.
5. Get Active on Social Media
The occasional Facebook post is not enough to build an engaged audience via social media. For retailers, Instagram and Pinterest are often better bets. Pinterest is a particularly effective social channel, with 100 times more reach than the average tweet. With 300 million monthly active users, the audience on Pinterest is vast, and more than half of those users start their buyer’s journey with a pin. The option to use Rich Pins already loaded with direct links to your site and other information makes posting pins a one-stop action that drives traffic and offers a step right into your sales funnel.
6. Create In-store Convenience
To keep customers talking about your store, there are some add-ons you can offer during the holiday season. Gift wrapping is always popular, and it keeps buyers in the store longer, upping your chances of an additional sale.
Hire extra help before the season hits. Keeping lines moving and shelves stocked is crucial during the winter season, and additional staff makes everything move a little bit faster. When you put customer convenience first, the result is a better experience and a willingness to brave the crowds once again for a last-minute gift.