The biggest shopping season of the year is on the horizon with sales galore and the opportunity to boost your retail sales, and it’s never too early to prepare. So, let’s explore:
- How to use research and customer insight to plan ahead
- Finding new revenue streams and marketing opportunities
- Ways to be seasonal with your shoppers
Festive sales can make for a very merry Christmas, so take a look at what you can do…
1. Using research and customer insight to plan ahead
One of the most reliable ways to inform your marketing plans is by finding what motivates your customers based on your data. But what sort of data matters? Well, you need to consider the following:
- When does the season start in your sector?
The majority of Brits start their Christmas shopping in October-November either in-store or online, but most businesses will have a little bit of wiggle room here.
Start by taking a look at your sales last year – can you identify a point where your consumer habits began to change in October or November? This date is your sweet spot to kick off your festive marketing and should be regarded as your all-important festive marketing deadline!
- Which products did well last year?
Two of your main sales drivers should be trends and popular products. You’ll have a range of products that tend to do better as seasonal gifts, but it’s important to consider the underlying yearly trends that affect all retail businesses.
For example, if you’re a toy shop – you might have a couple of flagship products that do well around Christmas like Scrabble or Monopoly, but the yearly trend might be fidget spinners or bubble popping toys. Ensuring all your bases are covered and that you’ve checked out seasonal trends personalised to your business is part of the recipe for festive business success!
- What queries are common in your industry?
It’s crucial to get familiar with queries that are searched for around this time of year. These searches are a great early indication of what people will be looking for in-store, so keep an ear close to your analytics.
Find out which keywords are people using to find your store, which search terms increase near the festive season and what sort of questions customers are asking and answer them.
2. Finding new revenue streams and marketing opportunities
So, what’s the best way to find new revenue streams? The most important thing to identify is what the current purchasing and product trends are. Then you can let these insights lead the way.
New research conducted into the impact of personalisation has shown that a whopping ‘80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences.’ So, what does this mean for a retail business?
Well, it’s not just personalised product packaging that consumers are looking for – a truly personalised product means something unique. What products do you have that might lend themselves to a personalisation service?
Another relatively recent trend, and a throwback to giving charity sponsorships or magazine memberships as a gift, is subscription-based models. The subscription model has successfully been applied to a range of products from monthly beer or wine packs, razors, clothes and more.
Does your business offer consumable products or items that have a high rate of repeat purchases? Consider offering a seasonal subscription model targeted at those looking to buy gifts for those with that specific interest.
It’s safe to assume that the high street will have less footfall in 2021 following the 2019 pandemic and how it created a big shift in the way consumers like to shop. As a result, consumers have now come to expect a fully omnichannel experience.
Can your customers collect points from in-store purchases to use online or collect their online orders in-store? Are you offering free delivery? Try and ensure the online and in-store experiences are as aligned as possible to keep up with the modern retail competition.
Finally, have a look at what your competitors are doing, especially the ones in your sector that are larger than you. Competitor research is an important factor in identifying new marketing opportunities. They’re not to be copied, but to be used as clues as to what your mutual audience will come to expect.
Larger organisations lead the way, so watch what others are doing and identify how your skills as a small business can be leveraged to beat the big players!
3. Ways to be seasonal with your shoppers
The festive season offers countless new ways and opportunities for bringing in some extra revenue – here are a few top tips for festive success:
- Add value to your offering
When shopping for Christmas gifts, consumers are hyper-aware of product presentation and value. For example, you’ll see clothing retailers repackaging popular products like socks in gift boxes or pulling several products together for a gift basket or advent calendar. Think about how you could add festive value to the products in your shop.
- Maximise in-person sales
When Christmas shopping, consumers are always looking for a good deal or extra items to add as stocking fillers. Consider the layout of your retail store and encourage smaller impulse purchases by stocking specific items around or near the tills. You could also offer extra services such as product personalisation, gift wrapping and make use of multi-buy offers.
- Build on your loyal audience
In a saturated market, it’s important to make sure that your regular customers feel appreciated to keep them coming back. Loyalty works both ways, after all!
Find a way to thank your loyal fans by providing a festive customised thank you card in each bag or packages, you could introduce loyalty card schemes, exclusive discounts and early access to new product releases too.
Now you know how to take your festive marketing strategy to the next level to boost sales for your retail store this Christmas – which method will you try first?
Author: Kano Anafora
Newslibre is a media company that provides informative news, technology, entertainment, web, startups, gadgets, and open source projects across the world and Uganda.