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3 Tips for Retail Marketing during the holiday season

Ok, so it’s the happiest time of year, or so they say, the guys saying this don’t know the stress of being a retailer during holiday season! Yes the desire to spend is up, everyone is jolly and the spirit of gift giving is alive and well. Add this to the year on year acceleration in the growth of online shoppers and most retailers should be wide grinned with a Mr Burns-like devious look in their eyes. The truth is, despite the huge potential for sales over the Christmas period, actually ensuring you make the most of the opportunity when every other retailer in the country is doing the same can be very tough indeed. Here are some of our top tips to prepare you for the next few weeks and help you make the most of the holiday season:

1. Choose your own key retail holiday season dates

The market has it’s typical flagship buying days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are marked in everyone’s calendar and consumers count down to it like it was Christmas itself. The buzz around these promotional days is huge and you’d be barmy not to participate but don’t be lured entirely by the heard.

Yes these days throw up all kinds of potential in terms of increased online shopper traffic etc. But the competition in advertising terms on these dates is tremendous and clicks will cost you big bucks to compete, especially on paid search and paid social ads. Instead of blowing the vast majority of your budget competing here, make your own key dates and have your own promotion the week following these popular dates. In essence - go hard with a promotion unique to you and your online store. The cost of the traffic will be a fraction of those on key dates and your promotion is more likely to stand out from the crowd.

2. Keep an eye on the weather

The UK is apparently set to withstand the coldest Winter of recent years, with predicted heavy snow. Be mindful of this and look to up advertising budget and bids when weather is at its worst and even typical high street shoppers are driven online to ensure their Christmas gift buying is complete. Many brands won’t be alert and reactive enough to this, so be prepared and take advantage of the extra available web traffic.

3. Use selective advertising

Many brands will simply go to town on their advertising, trying to promote every product they have, or promote the brand or the online store as a whole. This is fine most of the year round. Unfortunately at Christmas the competition is so high, it’s unlikely that generic offers will stand out from the crowd of snowflake graphic covered ads and festive search ad-copy.

Instead, be selective. Look at your offering, your product range and during the very busy and highly competitive parts of the Christmas build up, try just pushing the very best you have as individual products or promotions. If you know you have a competitive offer or pricing on a certain product line or niche e.g. ‘Pets Toys’ then go to town on Pets Toys. Raise your bids, use the products in your display and social advertising. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to compete with every other retailer out there as the ‘single go to retailer’ of the season. Instead aim to be the go to retailer for a specific niche or set of products you are particularly competitive for or which you know might attract high potential value customers.