With the festive season in full swing, many retailers are keen to announce their most impressive sales to entice shoppers and boost sales. In comparison to the success of last year, research shows that 82% of Brits will be just as or even more interested in Black Friday and Christmas promotions for 2021.
Even with the high street back open, statistics suggest that most shopping purchases will still occur online this year, rather than in store – making it even more important for online retailers to have a successful marketing strategy in place!
To help retail businesses capitalise on peak shopping periods, James Boseley, Marketing Manager at TextAnywhere has listed five tips to prepare a marketing strategy that promises to boost sales:
- Kick-off campaigns as early as possible
For many businesses, it’s no surprise if their seasonal promotions have already begun! Instead of a single day on Black Friday, Amazon kicked off their sales over the course of a week, giving their customers a taste of the huge deals that lie ahead of the big day itself- and many brands haven’t been afraid to roll out these deals even earlier.
Promoting early means that retailers are a step ahead of the competition, taking full advantage of the boom in consumer spending between November and December months. In fact, a new study reveals that 50% of people aim to have their Christmas shopping completed by December 12th and 25% aim for November 30th – nearly a whole month in advance! Different from previous years, it’s worth noting that it’s not only the Christmas period or lifting of restrictions that are set to drive consumer spending this year; many are also anxious about supply chain problems, meaning shoppers are keen to secure purchases while stocks last.
- Be sure to add value to the customer
Contrary to popular beliefs, seasonal sales are not all about flashy discounts! It’s important to note that consumer behaviours have shifted massively in recent years and value isn’t always attributed to the cheapest price point. For example, consumers are more conscious about shopping sustainably than ever before or ignoring high street brands and supporting small businesses instead – in fact, during lockdown 80% of shoppers chose to buy from an independent business instead of the larger chains, and 75% feel real sense of personal loss when a small business closes in their local community.
One way that smaller retailers can help to add value to consumers is by making the shopping experience as easy as possible. Whilst it may be difficult to compete against the impressive discounts from big high street names, creating gift guides for different members of the family is a great way to solve a problem for shoppers; ticking off the Christmas shopping with minimal stress.
- Optimise the online shopping experience
Website performance is key to success. Ecommerce has helped to level out the playing field between smaller retailers and huge household names; establishing an online presence will allow retailers to access and grow a larger audience online, rather than relying on foot-fall in-store.
A well-built website and smooth online shopping experience can help to increase customer reach (by marketing to new customers as well as existing ones!) and improve the brand’s reputation. And with more people shopping online this year, it’s critical to get this right!
- Tap into the shopper’s emotions
Whilst an age-old tactic is to create a sense of urgency around Black Friday campaigns and other similar sales, research shows that this can actually put consumers off shopping – and they are less likely to engage with phrases such as ‘hurry’ or ‘time is running out’.
With this in mind, it’s worth trying out some new tricks, and playing on some different emotions. For example, challenging and involving the consumer with a question like, ‘Are you ready?” and building the suspense of a sale with ‘Prepare yourself…’ is a recipe for success; encouragement can work too, like ‘Go for it!’, or ‘Treat yourself’ to encourage a sense of intimacy between the brand and consumer. Tapping into the fear of loss or “missing out”(FOMO) is another successful tactic, for example ‘Don’t miss out’ may just sway a shopper into making that final purchase.
- Be different and stand out from competitors
It’s believed that consumers in the UK are bombarded with as many as 6,000 to 10,000 ads or sponsored messaging every single day! All these constant messages and deals (that largely repeat similar content) can soon become boring for the shopper, especially in the run up to Christmas.
Retailers are left to fight over the battle of engagement, and standing out from the crowd; speaking directly to the consumer is a key part in being successful online. Taking a holistic approach with every marketing strategy and setting up for multichannel success; ensuring each channel works seamlessly together, will set retailers apart from their rivals online.
For smaller businesses, it’s so important this time of year to think outside the box when it comes to marketing tactics. By following these five steps, online retailers will be in a stronger position to generate new sales and boost spending across existing customers, seeing their success last far beyond the festive season!