Let’s be honest, as a retailer Q4 is likely to be your biggest revenue earner – period. Once Labor Day hits and summer has officially ended, consumers’ minds naturally turn to Thanksgiving (including Black Friday and Cyber Monday), Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and anything else that requires a gift purchase. Always on the lookout for the best deal, avid shoppers don’t just leave their purchases to chance but are now spending a considerable amount of time doing research to find the perfect item for their loved ones.
Unless you’re spending January – September in solitary confinement, there is no valid excuse for not having your marketing strategy in place to claim your slice of this gigantic pie. According to Fortune, total holiday spending for 2015 is estimated to hit $965 billion. Now that’s a serious chunk of change!
Forewarned is forearmed
The dates rarely change so failing to be prepared really is not an option for any retailer looking to end the year on a high. Keeping your eyes on the blogosphere certainly won’t hurt either, as there are numerous resources tracking the key trends so you know who’s looking, when they start and what tools they are using for their research.
eMarketer is forecasting $79.4 billion retail, ecommerce sales this holiday season, a figure largely influenced by the continuous increase in mobile phone usage for searches and now purchases. Such evidence is provided by Google Analytics (Sep 2014 – Sep 2015) whose research into “look on mobile but buy on the laptop” revealed that 30% of all online purchases are actually now taking place on smartphones.
Such data also reinforces the need to leverage omni-channel marketing activities to ensure a seamless transition from the online to offline (O2O) experience for mobile consumers. Having a comprehensive and flexible digital strategy that speaks to the user at each stage of their buying cycle is critical to increase your brand awareness, relevance and claim your spot as “the best fit”.
Prepare, plan and execute
Armed with this valuable trend information, putting together your marketing strategy should have 3 key components:
- Budget – identify your tactics and forecast the expenses
- Schedule – recognize the optimal time to deliver your proposition
- Audience – generic vs. clusters of like-minded individuals
These elements must also extend to your digital efforts to ensure brand engagement where the consumer prefers to interact with potential suppliers. Does this mean an increase in your hyper local campaigns, or the creation of new videos, or the development of a custom holiday campaign for your Facebook or Twitter profiles? When creating your ads, do you have the resource to ensure they are optimized for mobile plus include creative elements that are enticing and attractive? How can you re-engage lapsed consumers, and which products will have the biggest appeal for price and time-sensitive offers?
Are you a tortoise or a hare?
Finding the right blend of initiatives for your marketing strategy isn’t about speed. The ability to truly engage, connect and generate incremental revenues comes down to sheer hard work and your readiness for the oncoming holiday period.
Having access to an agency with expertise in delivering custom solutions for profitable consumer engagement, could be your secret weapon to triumph in the holiday battle. Those retailers that succeed have done their due diligence, created a robust campaign and deliver faultlessly. Why not get in touch with a professional outfit and prepare to be amazed?