The Holidays are officially here!
For most retailers, the fall season kicks off the most exciting time of the year as we race past Halloween toward Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Many online retailers see 20% or more of their yearly sales in the holiday season. Is that your experience?
For over ten years, Brand Labs has been walking arm in arm with their clients to make sure their messaging is on point, their branding is solid, and their campaigns are effective in order to maximize profits during this condensed, high traffic shopping period.
Let us share a few things that we’ve learned that will help you during this busy season.
Have you started yet? Almost half of retailers begin their holiday marketing campaigns prior to Halloween. How about you? Now is obviously the time to be ordering your inventory and fine tuning your website, but now is also the time to be putting together your holiday campaign. It doesn’t “feel” like the holiday season should start with Labor Day; however, many consumers start shopping in October and you want to benefit from those early sales. In addition, when it gets crazy in November and early December, your focus needs to be on inventory, sales, and shipments, not on the marketing campaign.
Make It Personal
We all connect with brands on a personal level, and the old adage that “people buy from people” is true, even with online shopping. A highly effective way to express your brand’s personality and have your client’s “connect” on a personal level is to include those clients and/or your employees in your campaign. Are your clients and co-workers really the “face” of your company? If so, let them shine!
An easy way to capture customers using your product is by capturing ‘user generated’ content on social media. Try out Evocative’s Social Commerce Platform for an effective way to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) with your brand.
What story is told by your brand? How does that story touch our emotions? Budweiser sells beer, but more than one person I know has teared up at a Budweiser Super Bowl ad. Are you old enough to remember Apple’s “Lemmings” ad or Pepsi’s “Puppies” commercial?
What emotions are touched by your product? Comfort? Pride? Pleasure? Love? Goodwill? Sensibility? Fear? Safety? Dive into your brand, isolate and articulate the emotions that are generated, then don’t be afraid to use them in your Marketing Campaign.
Offer Valuable Promotions
What are your top three selling items? How could building a promotion around your top sellers attract re-orders, new orders, and increase your profitability?
The Holiday season is a time of increased promotions and increased “clutter” to your clients. It’s hard to get noticed even when you’re doing an exceptional job, so be careful that you’re not trying to “promote” the products that are stuck on the back of your shelf because no one has bought them in the past. That type of promotion might be great for you but not as great for your clients, and to be noticed during this season, any promotion has to be great from your client’s perspective.
2016 High Promotion Days:
Black Friday November 25th
Cyber Monday November 28th
Green Monday December 12th
Free Shipping Day December 16th
Super Saturday Dec 24th
Christmas Eve Dec 24th
Boxing Day Dec 26th
New Years Eve Dec 31st
“Share everything” is the first rule from the classic “All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. (That’s followed by rules like ‘Play Fair’, ‘Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody’, and my favorite ‘Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you’).
Millennials are really good at the “share everything” rule, and you can use that to your advantage. According to Social Chorus, 95% of millennials say their friends are the most credible source of product information. Encourage people to share your campaign through all channels – social, email, websites, blogs, etc. – and then track the engagement to see what performs best. A great way to encourage sharing is by offering a giveaway. For example, be entered to win “x” if you tag 5 friends or repost.
So, as we said, the Holiday’s are officially here! Take a deep breath. Take 10 minutes or an hour to think through your marketing plan while you still have 10 minutes or an hour to think. Make it personal, emotional and promotional, and have a great eCommerce holiday season!