The holiday shopping season is a critical time for most retailers. Although history tells us there’s only a slight lift in retail sales during the fourth quarter, most consumers are focused on gift-giving, and retailers want to capitalize on that interest.
In 2018, the retail industry saw its poorest performing December since 2009, and as of September, there were already more store closures in 2019 than any other full year, including Payless and Charlotte Russe. As rumors of a recession continue to circulate, retail brands feel the pressure to perform and close out the year strong — in part with better-than-expected holiday sales.
So how can they get there? Our brand-to-local experts have identified five ways retailers can rise above the noise of their competitors’ holiday promotions to engage customers, evoke a response, and ultimately drive revenue both in-store and online.
No. 1: Tap Into Local Purchase Intent
Every day, brands overwhelm consumers with messages. The relevant and engaging ones move the needle. The others are a waste of marketing dollars. “Fast-to-market” recommendations that combine online search with hyper-local media can complement national marketing programs while engaging in-market consumers. When you tap into purchase intent and deliver meaningful content in the right moment, you improve your chances for a sale.
No 2: Find New Customers
Expand brand awareness and reach with a multicultural playbook. Taking a fresh look at your target audience uncovers opportunities to increase web traffic and in-store visits during the busy holiday season. The playbook includes a demographic analysis, prospecting strategy, and customer-relationship management (CRM) strategy to identify new customers that can help you meet — and exceed — your fourth-quarter sales goals.
No 3: Capture Share of Wallet
Respond to the influx of holiday promotional messages and edge out the competition. Dynamic or pre-approved creative assets eliminate the lengthy review and approval timelines that normally accompany campaign planning. With a strategic creative recommendation for brand-appropriate digital channels, you can quickly respond to competitor advertising in near real time.
No 4: Drive Incremental Impact
Information is power, and the secret to driving incremental impact during the holiday season might not come from the place you’d expect. A quick national store analysis that looks at both macroeconomics and store data can give you a better understanding of top-selling products. It can also illuminate down-store opportunities that can have a positive impact on national goals. Looking at your local competitors within a designated trade area can help you cut through the clutter and heighten engagement with the local community.
No 5: Empower Your Partners
For companies with distributed sales models, the pressure of fourth-quarter goals can sometimes lead to misalignment between brand and partners. Enabling local or channel partners to pre-purchase holiday email and digital advertising campaigns can present a savings opportunity, thus enabling deployment of other retail programs with the incremental budget. Pre-planned and pre-purchased campaigns can also eliminate scheduling risk and ensure messaging stays on brand. Setting up your partners for success can translate to profitable growth for you.
It’s not too late to allocate budget to holiday retail initiatives that boost engagement and sales. Contact us today to learn more, or reach out to your client partnership lead to make the most out of your remaining budget.