Amazing Holiday Sales Strategies for 2020
Posted on October 13 2020
The 2020 holiday sales season will be unlike any other in recent history and if you’re looking to distinguish your retail business from the competition and achieve success, you’ve arrived in the right place. In this article, we’ll walk you through several sales strategies that can greatly influence your sales this holiday season. Our recommendations will enable you to attract more visitors to your online store, get more customers to walk into your physical location and just as importantly help you build a customer base that you can continue communicating with long after the holidays are behind us.
The key to success is to start early. Most marketers begin planning holiday sales strategies in September so that they are ready to put them into action in October. It’s important to note that in the marketing sense, a strong holiday sales plan should span four major sales events: Black Friday (November 27), Cyber Monday (November 30), Christmas (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26). Developing a strategy for all of November and December at once will save you time and help you build stronger ideas.
Apply a combination of strategies suggested below and exceed your expectations this holiday season. Let’s get started!
1) Develop your marketing campaign early
Studies show that over 40 percent of consumers begin researching holiday gifts as early as October. While not everyone in this group will necessarily make a purchase this far ahead of the holidays, smart marketers take advantage of this knowledge to influence consumer choices well ahead of their competitors. So don’t procrastinate and start planning your holiday sales strategy today.
2) Write a holiday gift guide
Everyone loves to browse through gift guides that are chock-full of exciting products we’d all like to play with! The nice thing about this strategy is that you can get a lot of value out of the gift guide by promoting it on the homepage of your website, inside an email newsletter and of course through your social network. Writing a gift guide is something that can be easily done in your downtime, while there aren’t any customers in your store. You can also ask every member of your team to contribute 2-3 ideas to this article, and you’ll have it ready in no time. Here’s a great recipe:
- include 3 sections:
- be sure to include a good picture with every item
- sort the items in different price ranges (under $50, $50-$100, $101-$300, etc)
- include items mostly in the $50-$500 range and stay below $1,000
3) Set up a “holiday gift guide” display in your store window
If you took our advice from point #2, then you’ve already done all the brainstorming for this strategy. This idea is as powerful as it is simple to execute: build a store window display that showcases some of the products from your gift guide. Place a large “Holiday Gift Guide” sign in your window and smaller signs beside each product. You can even print out the descriptions from your gift guide and place them next to each product. And be sure to let customers know that they can purchase all these products on your website, in case they’re walking by outside of your opening hours. The more creative you are with your display, the more people will come into the store or shop on your website.
4) Send an email newsletter to your customers
Although lots of digital marketing avenues exist today, smart marketers often place email newsletters near the top of their campaigns. Email subscribers are usually your most loyal fans and even if you have a small email list, it’s still worth your time to compose a few newsletters ahead of the holidays. People have a short attention span today so don’t bother writing long newsletters. Instead, include high-quality, eye-catching pictures and short paragraphs in your newsletter -- and link each news item to your website. We recommend releasing a newsletter twice a month in November and December, and once a month during the rest of the year. What topics should your newsletter contain? New product introductions, special deals, discount codes, pictures from your store and your holiday gift guide of course! If you don’t currently send newsletters to your customers, we recommend using Campaign Monitor because it’s easy to use and they don’t charge a monthly fee (you only pay when you send each newsletter).
5) Convert store visitors into online shoppers
Lots of people walk into your store and don’t purchase anything but they clearly have an interest in the products you sell. Give them an incentive to sign up for your email newsletter while visiting your store - something as simple as offering the customer 10-15% off their first purchase in-store works very well. Prepare an email template with your 10-15% offer and send this to the customer within 1-3 days of their visit to your store. The beauty of this marketing tactic is that you can now communicate with this potential customer by sending them an email newsletter with your promotions.
6) Offer virtual store visits via video chat
Retail has been shifting online for many years now - and yes that includes audio and video products. Covid-19 has further accelerated this trend and with infection cases on the rise, forward thinking retailers are now offering virtual store visits using apps like Zoom, WhatsApp and FaceTime. Chances are you’ve already done video chats with your family or friends, and even if you haven’t these apps are super easy to use. So go ahead and create a banner for your website homepage letting customers know that they can ask questions and you can show them around the store in a live video call.
7) Give your customers a FREE gift
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Banks often incentivize customers to switch to their bank by giving away smartphones, tablets and wireless speakers. If you have a good number of inexpensive wireless speakers, for example, we recommend running a promotion like “Get a FREE wireless speaker with every purchase over $1,000”. Wireless speakers are still one of the hottest audio product categories and hence they tend to work particularly well for these types of promotions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a wireless speaker - you can also use other overstock items you might have. People love free stuff and this is a proven tactic that is frequently used to attract customers, across all industries.
8) Make a list of ideas over the next couple of weeks
Creative ideas take time to develop so don’t rush through this step. We recommend jotting down ideas over the course of a couple of weeks in order to help you identify the strongest ideas. Make it a goal to add a couple of ideas to your list daily and look over your existing ideas every day. Once you have a good list, simply prioritize it and run with your top 2-4 choices. If you need inspiration, take a look at the websites of your competitors - especially the larger players in the industry - and see what sort of promotions they’re running. Large retailers usually have an experienced marketing person on their team and you can learn much about their holiday strategy by visiting their website, and signing up for their email newsletter.
9) Be sure to promote your… promotions!
Once you’ve determined your marketing strategy for the holidays, you’ll need to figure out how to promote it by using a diverse mix of advertising channels. Here are the best way to achieve this:
- Design a few web banners with the help of a graphic designer to achieve a professional look
- Display one of the banners on the homepage of your website
- Make sure that your Google My Business listing is set up properly - this is how people see your store in Google searches. We posted a great guide about this recently which you can READ HERE. We can’t stress enough how important this is for retailers!
- Ask 2-4 audio / video websites in your local market for their advertising rates. Related websites will place your store in front of targeted consumers, and smaller websites offer affordable rates. Ask them to provide you with click data, so that you know how many people clicked on your ad. If this works well, consider advertising year-round with them.
- Send an email newsletter to all your existing and potential customers - twice in November and twice in December - to let them know about your promotions
- Run a Google Ads campaign which will allow you to target customers that have an interest in your product categories and live close to your store. If you’ve never worked with Google Ads, check out this Google article designed for beginners.
- Run a Facebook Ads campaign - it will allow you to target customers the same way as Google Ads. You’ll find a beginner’s guide to Facebook Ads here.
- Share your promotions on social media and be sure to engage in conversations on your social networks. If your posts only include promotions, very few people will see them so make sure to post “conversational” messages as well as photos and videos. Important: if you want all of your followers to see your posts, you’ll have to boost your posts [read: pay Facebook to display the post to all your followers]
- Finally, consider advertising on a local radio station. Radio advertising is still a great option for businesses targeting consumers over the age of 30 and small radio stations offer attractive rates.
If you enjoyed the strategies in this article, please also check out our Guide to Successful Retail in the Age of COVID-19 FOUND HERE where you’ll find even more information about how to attract customers to your store and how to improve your online sales.
Happy holiday sales season!