Christmas shoppers aren’t on their way. They’re already here, and you know your job is to attract as many of them as possible. Retailers have plenty of options beyond the tried-and-true allure of Christmas themes and window displays in order to draw a holiday crowd. In fact, you’re likely already knee-deep in it. After all, this is the season when retailers get their books from the red to the black.
Yet, even defining the start of the holiday season gets trickier by the year. In the US, there was a clear spike in online shopping in early November, driven by Veterans Day sales and or Singles Day promotions. The 29% year over year growth in eCommerce sales on November 11 highlights the effectiveness of going after the holiday crowd as soon as Halloween is over.
The nearly two-month time frame between Halloween and Christmas gives retailers more flexibility than ever to create unique marketing, sales and customer experiences to take advantage of the throngs of motivated buyers. Here are a few classic, new and novel tactics retailers are already using.
Even the grinchiest of retailers can expect an uptick in sales this season. According to one survey, US shoppers are feeling particularly good, with plans to spend more than they did in 2017. Positive sentiment may partly explain the overall 16% year over year increase in consumer spending for the first two weeks of November. Capturing a share of that holiday crowd often comes down to the basics. You sell a great product, you provide great customer service and you pay attention to details, which at this time of year has everything to do with how you present your products, whether that’s window and shelf displays in a brick-and-mortar or creating a holiday theme on a website.
People may be eager to shop, but nobody loves fighting a holiday crowd. So if there was ever a time to provide your customers with fast check-out and convenient fulfillment options, the holiday season is it. Convenience is, in fact, the prime factor for drawing customers to your brand. For multichannel brick-and-mortars, in particular, the store is where consumers will try it out and the website is where they more frequently buy. If you don’t have the capacity to provide click-and-collect, ship-from-store and (especially important at this time of year) buy online/return in store, then you may lose customers to competitors that offer that convenience. The omnichannel is how retailers deliver it.
It’s easy to see Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events as something that benefits only the biggest retailers and Amazon marketplaces. Black Friday, for example, can conjure images of holiday crowds practically rioting on the floors of big box retailers. The fact is, all retailers, can benefit from planning and marketing such events. Moreover, retailers have found success in breaking the rules, so to speak. One retailer this year heavily marketed a Black Friday event a week before the generally recognized date of November 23, reportedly taking in $10 million in a 10-hour period.
Brands that cater particularly to millennials will reap the rewards this holiday season. Christmas is still a children’s holiday. So it makes sense that the group currently raising young children, millennials, will spend more on average than other demographics. As research (cited above) shows, they expect to buy around $2,000 worth of gifts this year, well above the overall average of roughly $1,250 across the board. Millennials, moreover, comprise the target audience for omnichannel retail. This group, more than older generations, see no difference between online and physical channels. So from both a sales and customer service perspective, retailers benefit by marketing to millennials and providing them an omnichannel experience.
Make it Happen
These are just a few examples of what we see working this holiday season. You undoubtedly already use some of these tactics. You may find it difficult, however, to manage orders and stock as an omnichannel business. This is where Cin7 excels. With Cin7, you can provide click-and-collect, ship-from-stroe, cross-channel customer loyalty, branch transfers and more. Click below to find out more about how Cin7 can make the omnichannel possible for your brand.
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