It’s hard to believe that black Friday is right around the corner. Retailers can look forward to a moderate increase in holiday sales this year. The average consumer is prepared to spend 4 percent more than they did last year according to the report by Deloitte. The competition for those holiday dollars in intense. Standing out in a crowded market will be critical this holiday season.
Pay attention to the big players
If you’re like me your mailbox has been stuffed full of holiday catalogs the last few weeks. That should be a warning that it’s time to start working on holiday assets. I love watching how other retailers approach the holiday season. What does the REI holiday catalog look like? What about Target? You can gather a lot of inspiration from what the big retailers are doing.
Come up with a plan
Now that you’re thinking about the holidays, sit down and sketch out a publishing calendar. What days do you want to send out emails? When should social media posts go out? Which channels will you use? We start planning out our campaigns on a whiteboard. I like to color code my calendar for different channels- red=emails, blue=fb posts, green=instagram, black=website updates. That way at a quick glance you can see what’s coming up.
Do you have the resources to develop a theme for a holiday campaign this year? A theme will make it a little easier to create assets as you’ll have an idea of what you’re trying to do, before you get started.
Find Overlooked Windows
Everybody is going to be sending emails and doing social media posts this holiday season. With a calendar in place look for windows of opportunity for content that might get overlooked. How about a post on Thanksgiving? Or a series of emails leading up to Black Friday. 54% of shoppers say that they plan to shop on their smartphones in spare moments throughout the day like walking or commuting. It’s more important than ever to update your brand and social media throughout the day on Black Friday.
I’ve harped on it since I started writing these posts. Use email- it’s still the most important and cost effective way to reach your customers.
Reward your loyal customers
Thank your best customers by sending them a special note or custom discount. Your loyal customers already love your product, they are low hanging fruit that will really benefit from a special deal.
Review what worked last year
You probably went through all of this last year. Go back and review your posts and emails. What worked? What didn’t? Use that data to make this year’s campaign even better.
It’s never too early to start planning for one of the most important shopping seasons of the year.