The real reason we start celebrating Christmas in July

The last day of summer was officially September 22: enter the season of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, apple picking, and … of course … the holidays. If you think retailers are promoting the holidays earlier and earlier each year, you’re not wrong. Experian data shows that 69% of marketers begin preparing for the holidays as early as July and August. Even if you’re a little late in the game, you can still get ahead of the competition with these five tips and tricks to boost your holiday sales.

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Craft Creative Cross Channel Campaigns:

Every year, Bergdorf Goodman creates elaborate holiday window scenes in their flagship New York City store. These themed displays are a highly anticipated holiday tradition that shoppers consistently look forward to every season. To build excitement, Bergdorf begins previewing their displays months in advance with Instagram and YouTubeteasers.” This is a perfect example of a cross-channel campaign that drives interest both on- and offline. When crafting a cross-channel campaign, use hashtags, promotions, or sales previews – like Bergdorf – to roll out information slowly and to encourage potential customers to engage socially before ultimately ending up in-store or on your website, where a sale is most likely to occur.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Public Relations:

If there is one time of year when you should consider engaging with local journalists and publicists, it’s the holidays. Gift guides and feel-good holiday features are an opportunity for your company to showcase your products or values within the community. If your company is committed to giving back or championing sustainability standards, the holidays are a good time to expose those ideals. Local and regional journalists are often open to these types of stories, so don’t be afraid to reach out and pitch an idea. Your marketing agency partner can also leverage any media contacts they might have to facilitate placement and fit. Similarly, gift guides such as the outlandish (but highly celebrated) Neiman Marcus “Gift Book” (and its parodies) offer easy, lighthearted ways to gain exposure.

Give it Away:

This is the season to give and receive, so give something away! Contests are a great way to encourage potential customers to share your content. In fact, Facebook data indicates that more than 63% of their user base will share a link or tag a friend in hopes of winning a promotional giveaway. Because people are often looking for gift ideas during this time, they are especially likely to engage with this type of content. Giveaways don’t need to be huge expenditures for your business. The key is ensuring that whatever you’re offering – whether it costs $5 or $500 – is of value to your customer base. This is especially easy if you work in a service industry and can offer a trial, sneak preview, or private variation of your product.

Nail the Big Sale Dates:

If you’re in retail, you should know when all the major sale dates occur. Here’s this year’s lineup: Black Friday on November 24, Small Business Saturday on November 25, Cyber Monday on November 27, Green Monday on December 11, and Free Shipping Day on December 15. You should expect to offer both online and in-store promotions for each and every one of these days (even for those specifically geared toward one channel or the other) because your customers are expecting to shop. Participation in these sale dates is the rule, not the exception, whether you’re a big business or a small mom-and-pop shop … so be prepared. Your e-commerce platform should be ready for traffic, your ads and retargeting campaigns should be scheduled, your social outreach should be polished, and your team should be ready to put all hands on deck. Use an agency partner to make sure all your bases are covered and you are appropriately staffed for extra action.

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over:

One of the most popular times to shop is directly after the holidays. People are returning gifts, cashing in gift certificates, and purchasing the items that didn’t get checked off their wish lists. This is an especially great time to launch an email marketing promotion or retargeting campaign highlighting popular items that may have gone out of stock, or items that were abandoned in your customers’ shopping carts. Use your digital data to determine exactly what you should promote or discount to enjoy maximum benefit. And remember, just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean your customers are done shopping

Click here to learn more about how BIGEYE can grant your holiday wishes with successful seasonal outreach. Although we can’t promise you a white Christmas here in Orlando, we certainly can promise you a joyful and profitable one.  

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