Every year we get closer and closer to having Christmas displays fill the store aisles in July to remind us that the time for buying gifts is upon us. Most people roll their eyes when they haven’t even bought Halloween costumes yet but see holiday decorations in the aisles. However, in reality, that’s how our shopping culture has evolved to become. Since we’re all shopping on our mobile devices, relying on online comparisons and reviews and no longer waiting until the day before Christmas to go out and buy gifts (well, some of us), marketers have met this demand by showing they are ready for consumers before they can even think about hopping online to shop. It’s a “get to them while they are already there” mentality. And it’s not just about getting Christmas merchandise out in their face; it’s about setting clearance and sale schedules early too.
Most stores, in early November, are already pushing percentages off and special deals for shoppers. At this point, any retailers and brands that wait to start their holiday sales will have already missed the mark. I’ve noticed this year that several stores have come out with new techniques like “one day specials” and stackable coupons and discounts to get shoppers into their stores and buying early. While this has been successful for bigger brands, there is some still struggling to get buyers engaged with their brand and into their doors buying.
A recent article by Barb Pellow for whattheythink.com looks at some proven strategies for brands looking for holiday shopping guidance.
Topping this to-do list is the need for personalization. Getting shoppers to become loyal to your brand requires more than offering top notch products today. With so many options on where to buy, you really need to deliver something beneficial and speak to their needs on a more personal level. Loyalty programs that offer good incentives are one way to create loyal buyers. The more they buy from you, the more you reward them with points or money to come back and spend – everyone wins.
Then there is also the need to pull at heart strings. No matter how much we plan and research online about what the best buy is, there is always a way to gain buyer interest when you involve emotions. These holidays are especially focused on family and togetherness – think about tying that into your advertising and messaging.
Another tip is to think about all of the channels people are using today. You’ll need to have a consistent experience across them. Putting a focus on the social channel is especially important. You’ll want to make sure your marketing messages are easy to utilize via social media for things like sharing and perhaps you’ll even want to pull in more eyeballs by hosting a contest via these platforms.
The possibilities are endless really – but you cannot wait – those sleigh bells are already “ jingling, ring ting tingling!”