Consumers are already gearing up for holiday celebrations, and retailers should be prepared. With an estimated 30 percent of annual revenue coming from holiday season sales, it’s important for retailers to consider how they can maximize this time of year. To start with, incorporating omnichannel strategies into retail marketing efforts can benefit both online sellers and physical retailers alike. This is particularly important when you consider the path to purchase often extends from online to offline.
In the spirit of increasing profits this holiday season, check out these five quick tips to merge your online and offline holiday promotional efforts and help make your holiday season one of your best yet!
1. Build from Your Existing Customers
When it comes to boosting seasonal sales, BigCommerce suggests, “one of the best things you can do is try to build up the ‘people that know you’ before the holiday season kicks in.” Keeping this in mind, engage customers you already have by doing things like increasing your posting frequency on social media and creating targeted email blasts that capture attention. Furthermore, use your existing customers to help reach new consumers by word-of-mouth. Rewarding existing customers when they provide you new customer referrals with a free gift or holiday discount shows your appreciation while helping you gain sales. The best part? You can build a loyal customer base along the way by delivering stellar customer service and, of course, offering outstanding inventory! Explore new, on-trend items that can help your store stand out.
2. Optimize SEO for Improved Search Rankings
Like it or not, search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessity for modern retailers. Whatever your retail vertical may be, search engines determine both who sees your content and whether your inventory comes up when customers search for specific products. To boost your business’s seasonal SEO, start by using holiday-specific keywords in your online content. Additionally, SEO experts from Moz suggest making sure that all of your business’ listing information on review sites such as Yelp and social platforms are accurate – including store hours and contact details. These fine-print details may not seem critical but remember, it’s these details that help drive physical or online traffic to your store. The reality is this digital traffic can help you gain sales this holiday season – so take the time now to ensure your SEO is as strong as possible going into the holiday season.
3. Harness the Power of Seasonal Content
Did you know that 70 percent of consumers prefer to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising? If achieving impressive holiday sales is your goal, you should get an early start on your business’s content strategy. Most social media platforms –including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – give users access to free analytics that can identify what type of content performs best with their target audience. Thus, using these free analytics to create your seasonal content strategy is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Another tip? Offer a call-to-action in your content that directs readers to your physical store or website – ultimately helping you to gain customers and increase sales.
4. Consider Which Social Media Platforms Make Sense For Your Unique Customers
Before you invest in holiday marketing, you want to make sure that the social platform you’re using is one that is popular with your core customer base. A recent study found that Gen Z most widely uses Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter while Facebook is used by almost ¾ of adults across all generations and 94 percent of 18-24-year-olds – which might explain why Facebook Advertising is one of the top marketing channels for businesses of all kinds. When you factor these details into your own marketing efforts, consider where you currently spend time promoting your business, where you should spend time, and how you can enhance these efforts leading up to and during the holiday season. After all, you want to be front and center to where your customers are.
5. Get a Jumpstart on Holiday Promotions
A recent holiday study found that nearly 53 percent of brands report that they began planning their holiday campaigns between the months of July, August, and September. Consider this a friendly reminder to get going on your own marketing promotional plans ASAP if you have not already…also, consider how you can overlap your efforts by highlighting your business both online and offline. Welcoming your employees to be a part of this planning can help generate new ideas while also strengthening employee morale for the busy season ahead. It may even help to identify which employees on your team can lead certain holiday efforts – such as social media, in-store special events, customer referral incentives, and more – while also being sure to encourage cohesive branding and communication across all channels.
Owning your own retail business can get busy, particularly in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It’s easy to put things off until the last minute, but by implementing the above tips you can begin to gain increased customer visibility to help keep your store top of mind this holiday season.
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle