Last Minute Retail Holiday Marketing Ideas and Checklist
Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday pass does not mean that everyone is done with their holiday shopping by any means. While recent surveys suggest people are shopping earlier, those are based on what people said they intended to do when they were questioned several months ago. And we all know how that tends to turn out in the real world. People say that they plan to be done by December 1st but then find themselves desperately scrambling to finish checking off names on their holiday gift list right up to 2 pm on Christmas Eve.
It’s for that reason that no retailer can afford to let up on their holiday marketing efforts and why they should basically continue making a big push right through to New Year’s (more about that in a moment). This means you are still in for a very busy December, so to help we have compiled this easy holiday marketing checklist to help you get through the next few weeks while also achieving the sales boost you are hoping for.
Week 1: December 7 – 13
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, so now it’s time to change your marketing tactics up a little:
Focus on Product and Service Highlights
Use this second week of December to focus on specific product or service highlights and offer specials for holiday shoppers in your email communications and social media posts. At the same time make sure you are pointing out additional value points that set you apart from the competition like extended shopping hours, free shipping, late deadline shipping, gift wrapping and anything else that will make this hectic festive season easier for your customers
Send a Holiday Calendar Email
Send an email with a holiday calendar to remind customers about all the important holidays coming up in December, including Hanukkah (December 12 – 20 in 2017), Christmas (December 25), Kwanzaa (December 26 – January 1), New Year’s Eve (December 31).
Add a little information about each one to make the missive both more entertaining and more useful. People often have friends and acquaintances who celebrate the holidays in a different way to them and the whole gift giving thing can get confusing and by offering a little information on the ways that each event is celebrating you are likely to be seen not only as knowledgeable and helpful but more inclusive to all consumers as well.
Week 2: December 14 – 20
Publicize Your Shipping Deadlines
For online retailers, now is the time to remind your customers of shipping deadlines and remind them a little more often. If you offer free shipping, turn this into a promotional opportunity to woo hesitant ‘window shoppers’ and bargain hunters into finally making that purchase. And with those consumers in mind you should never underestimate a customer’s ability to wait until the absolute last possible minute to do their holiday shopping, whatever their original intentions. This is a great time to reach out to them via email and social media making use of copy and phrasing that is both time-sensitive and sympathetic, making use of phrases like “it’s not too late,” or “we’ve got you covered” and you may finally tip them into making those purchases at your store or website.
Week 3: December 20th – New Year’s Day
OK, you do have to take at least a little time off to celebrate yourself but in the last few days before Christmas Eve try catching those last minute shoppers with a gift certificate. There are many people left wandering gas stations on Christmas Eve at 6 pm – as those are the only places open at that point – who would be very grateful to be able to purchase an email gift certificate rather than have to wrap up a strange selection of novelty lighters and car air fresheners as last minute gifts!
Designing and selling e-gift certificates is easier than you think if you’ve never tried it before. Many email providers offer the option to create them and if you use PayPal they do too. Alternately you can make use of a service like Gift Fly which also allows you the option of being to offer mobile friendly gift certificates as well.
Finally, returns and exchanges may be an almost inevitable part of the holiday shopping season, but they can also be a great promotional opportunity in disguise. Consider an offering an exchange promotion that emphasizes how easy it will be for customers to exchange gifts that didn’t quite fit the bill. Here are a few fun ideas to inspire you:
- “Many happy exchanges.”
“The Great Gift Exchange-aganza.”
“Turn that ugly sweater from Grandma into something fabulous.”
“Did he buy you a size 18 when you’re a 8? We can help.”
This should help discourage refunds and encourage exchanges instead, minimizing the losses you have to take on people’s poorer gift giving decisions.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.