This week’s post is Part 4 of a multi part series on the 2017 Holiday Season. Over the next few weeks, we will feature a range of topics focused on driving sales, strategies, and trends. For Part 1 in the series, click HERE , for Part 2 in the series, click HERE, and for Part 3 in the series, click HERE.
The official retail holiday countdown is here and your entire focus is on continuing to gain momentum for your store and sales. You need to use every advantage you have to remain competitive and entice your customers to come back just one more time before they finish up their holiday shopping.
There is still time for a few quick last minute initiatives that you can begin implementing today to keep your customer hungry for more. Focus on renewed, engaging advertising and your customer’s curiosity will get the best of them. When they arrive back to your store, they will be delighted by your refreshed merchandising strategy making it fun and simple to shop for exactly what they still need to finish up their holiday lists. Here are couple advertising and merchandising strategies that you can implement tomorrow to keep it festive and fun while driving sales through the holidays.
As part of your holiday advertising campaign, implement these last minute ideas to make sure you get the most out of holiday sales this season.
create a holiday landing page
Your store’s ecom landing page is truly your first impression to your customer and what better way to show them that your store is ready for the holidays than to create a festive holiday landing page. Add new imagery that highlights the holidays and featured products available for purchase. Depending on the type of store you have, focus your holiday content specifically in on what your customers might be looking for such as holiday gifts, festive party looks, or both! This content can be reused on holiday eblasts or social media posts, so it’s well worth the investment, whether that be your time or money.
HOST A FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT
- You’ve got all your holiday product inventory out and about in your store so why not tempt your customers with it by hosting a Facebook Live event. Facebook Live is a great tool to reach your customers and showcase all your new holiday products. Pull together a small assortment of your new products and take a few minutes to share them with your audience. Don’t be afraid to describe the features and benefits of each item including material, color, and price point. Add even more value by sharing a few styling tips explaining how to wear, where to wear the items, and why they make a great gift (or even self-purchase). Feeling a little camera shy? Partner with a local blogger or stylist to give you both great exposures and cross promotion opportunities.
create a gift guide
- Gift guides certainly aren’t new but they still remain to be a fan favorite each year. Reviewing a personally curated assortment of new holiday finds is always a highlight when the seasonal catalogs and holiday magazine editions arrive at my home. You can easily create your own version sharing your amazing merchandise through eblasts, mailers, or social media.
When selecting the products you want to feature, choose a balance between sales driving key items and fun, specialty items that your customer can only find at your store. Tell a story through your gift guide such as items grouped by price point (Our Staff’s Favorite Gifts Under $100), color (Tis the Season for Red), or personality (Holiday Treats for the Hygge Obsessed). Include fun comments or staff recommendations on your gift guide for a more personal feel. Lastly, don’t forget to hyperlink your gift guide back to your own ecommerce site to make purchasing simple for your online shoppers.
A few of my favorite gift guides this year are old favorites mixed with newer bloggers and retail influencers.
Consistently fun each year and this year is no different with selections from trendy influencers.
- Cupcakes & Cashmere-"Gift Guide: For the Person You Don't Know Thaaat Well"
A new spin on a personality focused gift guide that answers an age-old question we have all had.
- Nordstrom-"Christmas Gift Ideas & Gift Ideas"
They've sorted and filtered every category, price point, and lifestyle for an easy to shop experience and to give you lots of inspiration.
Updating your merchandising strategy mid-December may sound aggressive but if you want to get repeat customers this time of year you need to give your customers reasons to come back. Creating a different experience through merchandising will both refresh your product and delight your customers as they see your store and products in a brand new light.
focus on local
Everybody loves a hometown story so create one in your store. Create a “shop in shop” by merchandising all of your locally made products together. Create emotion for your customers by adding personality to your products and feature short a writeup sharing the product’s story. Make sure you include details like where the goods are made, inspiration for the items, and background on the local artisan or manufacturer. Allow customers that purchase an item to take a write up to be included as part of the gift, giving them the opportunity to share the story. Building relationships with local artisans and manufacturers is another great way to create local partnerships and cross-promote each other.
- Cast it up to effective marketing but packaging does actually help sell products. You may be thinking that I sound little ridiculous because often times packaging ends up in the trash, but if you can offer your customer interesting packaging it will definitely entice them to buy. Beautiful, useful, or novelty packaging will appeal to your customers, particularly for gift giving because it subconsciously adds value to the merchandise inside.
I’ve included a few images of some of the clever packaging that I have seen this year and you may think that it’s too late to invest but it isn’t. Ordering beautiful tissue paper or classic brown boxes to provide to your customers as they purchase gifts will automatically upgrade their intended gifts and your customers’ experiences in your store. Consider some of the unique packaging for next year, but in the short term, make a few small tweaks and see your customer’s delightful reaction.
creative window displays
Everyone loves a festive window display during the holiday season. A beautiful, well thought out display is a perfect opportunity to showcase a few of your products and entice customers to come on in and shop. Window displays are meant to let your creativity shine so don’t be afraid to go over the top when you are designing yours. Use festive colors, unique materials and props, and add a little whimsy if it makes sense. Consider creating a living window display for key shopping days to really get your customer’s attention and draw in the crowds.
Now is the time to give it all you’ve got to really make the most of December. A few simple last minute tweaks to your advertising and merchandising strategies that are budget and resource friendly can go a long way with getting your customers excited to shop your store and spend a few more dollars on the gifts they didn’t know they still needed.
If this article resonated with you, I welcome you to subscribe to my e-newsletter. By doing so, you'll receive alerts for new features in my blog featuring retail trends and insights, exciting business updates, and much more. Or if, after reading this article, you conclude that you found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your network. Thanks!