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5 tips for getting your piece of the holiday shopping frenzy

Editorial Team

2 min read
Holiday shopping in a marketplace

For many retailers, the holiday season is still a pivotal time of year with nearly 20% of annual retail sales occurring between Black Friday and Christmas. This holiday season the National Retail Federation is projecting an increase in holiday spending of 3.6% to $655.8 billion—a potential 10-year high! Competition for those holiday dollars is fierce, though, so planning out a holiday marketing strategy ahead of time is crucial. Here are some tips to get started on the right track.

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Focus on unique quality, not steep discounts

Don’t get caught up in the hype of deep discounting. Yes, in the short term, it may yield higher sales, but predictable steep discounts really just train customers to wait for outrageously low prices. This devalues the products and services in the long-term. Instead, focus holiday promotions on the idea that products are worth full price—indulgences that make the perfect gifts.

Know the bottom line numbers

While it’s tempting to match competitor’s prices, don’t sacrifice profits for the sake of getting the sale. Before the season kicks off, identify limits for bottom line prices while still making your numbers. This will inform better business decisions throughout the holiday season.

Identify a promotional schedule

A typical holiday promotion schedule is shown below, but it can and should be adapted for the specific needs of a given business or service.

  • Pre-Season Sale: Christmas decorations and other seasonal items can now be seen as early as Halloween.
  • Pre-Thanksgiving sale: Many customers want a good deal, but won’t brave the Black Friday Crowds. Try to entice them with a pre-Thanksgiving sale.
  • Black Friday Sale: While November 25th, 2016, is technically Black Friday this year, most stores will extend their Black Friday sales from Thanksgiving through to Cyber Monday.
  • Cyber Monday Sale: November 28, 2016
  • Bounce-Back Tuesday: November 29, 2016
  • Christmas-Eve Sales: December 24, 2016
  • Post-Christmas/ New Year’s Sales

Determine the marketing mix

Once promotional prices and schedules are set, determine the marketing mix. Consider sending out postcards, emails, and providing coupons at the register, as all will have different impacts. Social media is also a great tool for notifying loyal followers of specials and promotions. Figuring out the best channels to advertise promotions will help in mapping out the full promotions plan.

Be familiar with marketing tools

Clover has a full suite of marketing apps to make the holidays a little easier. When offering special promotions to your loyal customers, reaching out through social media, sending emails or SMS text messages, Clover has you covered. Check out our app marketplace and learn about the apps available for use this holiday season.

[image: holiday shopping by Yisong Yue on flickr]

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