September Holiday To-Dos

August Has Come and Gone, and We’re Steadily Heading into the Busy Season for Retailers

If you haven’t turned your attention to your holiday strategy, not to worry—you still have time to get your ducks in a row. In fact, 2018 holiday trends showed that consumers spent 40% more per day the three weeks after Cyber Monday than they did during the first three weeks of November. Translation: create a strategy that nurtures relationships past the Thanksgiving 5. As you get ready for the holidays, here’s a list of your September to-dos:

1. Create a Multi-Channel Strategy

The most important part of your holiday strategy is how and where you’re going to market your brand and goods. Holiday 2018 online shopping trends saw short-term marketing strategies of pushing deals and offers worked only half the time in getting consumers to purchase products. Moreover, 50% of online holiday revenue can be attributed to marketing directly impacting the customer journey (think: paid search, email, social, display), and 50% of revenue came from unaided tactics such as direct traffic and natural search. What does this tell us? That we need to create a multi-channel approach to selling. When thinking through your holiday strategy, you’ll want to take a look at what channels usually convert well for you and double down in those areas. At the very least you’ll want to examine the following channels:
  • Email (this is a must)
  • Facebook advertising (check out this blog on lookalike campaigns for the holidays)
  • Referrals through partner websites
  • Google Ads
  • Influencers – if you’ve mastered the art of influencer marketing, this is a great time to put this to use (unboxings anyone?)
  • Events (opportunities around the community or nationally to raise brand awareness)

2. Hone in on Your Holiday Line Up

Take a look at your current inventory and understand what’s sold well and what maybe hasn’t. Figure out what products you’ll want to feature in your holiday campaigns and start tackling the tasks of creating key marketing pieces for each. A great place to start is with holiday gift guides that showcase your products in “real life” situations. Whether you create multiple gift guides, i.e. “Gift Guide for Her,” “Gift Guide for Him,” “Gift Guide for Everyone,” etc. think through which products you’re primarily trying to sell and which ones will play a supporting role. Note: if you have products that have separately sold add-ons, this is a great way to upsell and cross-sell to your customer base.

3. Review Last Year’s Holiday Campaigns

Understanding what worked well and what didn’t work well last year can help inform everything from how you set up your campaigns, to the products you sell, to the language and messaging you use. Walk back through last year’s campaign and pull out the pieces that went well and the pieces that flopped and analyze the “why.” Use this information to inform every decision you make and help inform your strategy.

4. Boost Subscribers

With the holidays approaching, you’ll want to start implementing strategies to increase subscribers. More subscribers mean more eyeballs on your marketing campaigns, which should mean more sales. Check out this article on creating an irresistible subscribe button for more on that.

5. Create Your Segments

As you get your multi-channel strategy together, don’t forget to outline your key segments and which segments you want to target on each channel. The more you can tailor your message to the right audience on each channel, the higher performance you’ll see from your efforts. A few to get you started are:
  • Best customers from the last holiday season
  • Big spenders from last holiday season
  • Best customers (overall)
  • Procrastinators
  • 2x buyers during the holiday season

6. Audit Your Website

Do an audit of your site to ensure that it can handle an increase in traffic, that the user experience makes sense, and that your checkout process isn’t a barrier to a sale. One of the best ways to do this is to ask people to test your site. Ask your volunteers to do small tasks, such as “find the women’s sweaters” or “edit your cart,” to understand where your pitfalls might be. You’ll want to run the same type of test on your checkout experience.

7. Audit Your Staff

With the busy seasons comes a lot more balls to juggle in the air. Take a look at your current staff and decide whether you need to hire seasonal help or hire-up for the holiday season. If you do need to hire, start now.

Need Some Extra  Holiday Help?

If you’re looking for holiday marketing inspiration or checklists to help you through the holiday seasons, download our Holiday Checklist today. And if you need help with strategy or execution of your holiday campaigns, get in touch with us. Our Full-Service Agency can assist you with everything from creating a marketing strategy, to designing your campaigns, to executing your marketing campaigns for you.

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