With Canadian Thanksgiving behind us, you may be thinking, “Great, now we can focus on Halloween promotions!” …Right? Unfortunately, no. By this time, you should already have all of your Halloween promotions ready for rollout (and likely already running). Now is the time to get serious about Christmas.

RJ Metrics reports that the days between Black Friday and Christmas earn retail businesses 50% to 100% more revenue than shopping days throughout the rest of the year. However, unfortunately, as all seasoned marketers and retail owners know by now, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on us! It seems like one week you’re planning your Summer Madness Sale, and before you know it, you have to decide on your Boxing Day Blowout.

If the holidays have snuck up on you, don’t fret. You still have time to create the magical holiday marketing campaign of your dreams (but seriously, not much time, so get on it right now, with our tips!).

Plan Strategy and Marketing Materials In Advance

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. Set yourself up for success by developing your plan early and getting all of your marketing materials approved, finalized and ready for launch before the holi-daze sets in.

The holiday season for retail marketing generally spans November 1st to December 31st, so plan to have all aspects of your holiday marketing campaign ready to launch as of November 1st. This includes storefront ads and in-store promotions, online ads, print ads, email marketing, special promotional web content – everything!

A seamless and effective marketing push during this timeframe can be crucial for retailers – for ecommerce sales alone, November and December have been found to generate 30% more revenue than the remaining months in the year. This is particularly true of retailers specializing in apparel/accessories and computer/electronics, as these retail sectors are particularly successful during the holiday months.

Holiday marketing can be particularly important for small to medium-sized retailers, as holiday sales can generate as much as 20% to 40% of annual sales for these businesses, according to the National Retail Foundation. As a small business, this can make or break your bottom-line for the year, so be sure to put the time into creating an effective marketing strategy that will garner results.

Online Digital Marketing

Statistics show that consumers are doing more holiday and Christmas shopping online. In 2015, shopping online between Black Friday and Christmas Eve increased by 20% over the previous year. With so much shopping happening online, it is wise to invest in your online marketing campaigns – especially during November and December. Consider running a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign during this time period to boost your brand awareness among potential customers. Also, be sure to incorporate Cyber Monday promotions, as you know shoppers are going to be online actively seeking out the best deals and new gift ideas.

Remarketing

Data has shown that as much as 81% of consumers do research online before purchasing a product. This offers online retailers a prime opportunity to target potential customers as they are looking for the best products at the best prices. Remarketing ads are a particularly efficient – and cost-effective – method of targeting, as they allow you to target past visitors to your site. These online shoppers have already shown an interest in your product, in most cases making them much more likely to convert to a sale than someone seeing your product for the first time. Remarketing ads will remind these shoppers of the products they saw on your site as they continue in their online search for the perfect gifts. Remarketing display ads are also a great way to visually showcase your holiday marketing efforts.

Social Media Marketing

Make sure your holiday marketing strategy includes a social media component. According to a Crowdtap poll, 65% of shoppers use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, to find new gift ideas – with 67% of these shoppers reporting that they went on to buy an item they found on social media. Don’t miss out on this potential audience!

The recent additions of “Buy Button” functionalities on Facebook and Pinterest have made social media even more effective for retailers, adding the ability for shoppers to start their purchase directly through the platforms. Make the most of these new social media marketing opportunities by crafting thoughtful and engaging content, as well as posting attractive images and photos to catch the eyes of your followers. Many shoppers may not even visit the mall this holiday season – they won’t see your products and displays in-person, so use social media to show them what they’re missing.

Mobile Optimization

In 2015, mobile commerce sales in the United States increased by nearly 40% from the previous year. As mobile use continues to grow among consumers all over the world, this data strongly suggests mobile will become increasingly important for online retailers this holiday season. Further, according to Google, 82% of smartphone users say they use their phones to do last-minute research on purchases they’re about to make while in-store. This means that your site is not only important for your online sales, but your in-store sales!

To take advantage of this powerful potential, it is important for your website to be quick, responsive and mobile-friendly. We at seoplus+ predict that there will be more holiday shopping purchases made on mobile this year than ever before, so make sure your business (and your website) is ready.

Now that you’re equipped with some new ideas, get back to work planning your holiday marketing campaigns! Before you know it, you’ll be hearing those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling!

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Angela Stairs

Angela Stairs

Content Marketing & PR Specialist at seoplus+
Angela is a Content Marketing & PR Specialist with seoplus+. Angela is an adaptable writer with experience in journalism, communications and marketing. She is an expert in the realm of digital communication, harnessing the power of social media, strategic PR and link building, content optimization, and online publishing tools to gain traction for clients within target audiences.