Contributor: Katie Karpinski
Well, the time is finally here. Thanksgiving has passed and the stressful, exciting, and hectic holiday season has officially begun. The holidays are undoubtedly the busiest time of the year. People are desperate to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones; and not only do they expect to find gifts quickly and easily but to also purchase them at the best price possible (hello, Black Friday!) This sudden shopping craze certainly sparks some steep competition among retailers, with only the best rising to the top to gather (and retain) customers. Marketing during the holidays is a crucial element of obtaining a competitive edge. While there is no guaranteed tactic for success, there are some holiday insights that can help you market most effectively.
So what should marketers be focusing on this holiday season? Keep reading to find out!
While online shopping is certainly starting to eclipse the traditional in-store purchase process, there is still a very active and demanding market for the good-ol’ retail shopping experience. Some people are simply nostalgic and enjoy the atmosphere, others appreciate the personal service they receive, while others like to hold an object and inspect it before committing to the buy. Whatever the case, brick and mortar locations are expected to deliver a quality experience to anyone visiting their stores. Customers are there for a reason—they expect to receive the attention and service they wouldn’t otherwise be offered online. A more tailored and direct selling approach is appropriate, as people desire more personalized and specialized service. As marketers, this means highlighting the experiential elements of visiting a store: the music, the atmosphere, the warmth. Make it an experience, not just a chore.
Convenience is the key to driving customers through the purchasing process. With the increased use of social media and online shopping, customers not only prefer, but expect to be able to use these outlets to shop. Consistent messaging across these channels is key, and making promotions easily transferable is also an added bonus. Make sure that your advertising message clearly highlights the promotions and discounts that you offer. Also, don’t forget that with the use of digital marketing tools comes even more opportunity! Videos are a great way to promote products and services, as they give customers a sneak peak of how a product looks and performs. To sum this all up, by integrating your digital marketing and traditional promotion strategies, you can make your products and services more accessible to customers, resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction!
Last Minute Shoppers
We’ve all experienced the sudden shock on Christmas Eve after realizing that we forgot someone on our list. Don’t feel bad—it happens to the best of us! According to a recent study by Google, the phrase “Where to buy” peaked on Christmas Eve, and the term “Store hours” peaked on Christmas day. Last minute shoppers are a huge target market often lost by many retailers who hang up the towel on Christmas day. Reminding your customers of the products and services you offer consistently through Christmas Day can serve as a major advantage. Therefore, if you’re open Christmas Eve—let them know! Do you offer same day shipping on Christmas day? Let them know! You may be surprised by the response you receive. Keeping these customer insights in mind, you’re sure to have a very happy (and profitable) holiday season!