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How to Get Your Retail Marketing Strategy Holiday-Ready

two raspberry pies on top of white table

No matter the holiday, there’s a lot that goes into an effective retail marketing strategy. Brands have many factors to consider, from timing to message to current retail trends. And with so many gift-giving holidays to mark on your calendar, it might even feel like you never get to recover! Thankfully, you can help lower your holiday marketing stress by using these tips to get your retail marketing strategy ready for any holiday or special event. 

Plan Ahead 

For major gift-giving holidays, shoppers are starting their shopping earlier than you might expect. According to one source, 40% of shoppers start Christmas shopping before November even rolls around. This means your marketing strategy needs to be in place well before the holiday you’re hoping to promote around! 

Staying on top of trends can also inform your marketing strategy ahead of time. From choosing the release date of your products to picking which platforms to focus on, keeping tabs on your customers’ habits can help you reach them effectively. Knowing how many of your customers are shopping on their mobile devices versus laptops versus coming in-store, for example, can make a big difference in where you direct your marketing efforts.

Revisit Your Social Media Strategy

Any holiday you’re running campaigns around is a special occasion, so your social media should take this into account. This doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your page every winter — sometimes just switching up your grid aesthetic, creating some new profile highlights or hyping up a product launch or upcoming sale is enough to pique consumers’ interest.

As always, timing is everything. Creating good content takes time, so you’ll want to nail down your strategy at least a couple of months before you plan to start posting. Don’t forget your posts also need to go live early enough to catch shoppers’ interest before they’ve completed too much of their shopping list!

Amp Up Your In-Store Presence

Even as you put extra focus on online sales, don’t forget about in-store retail marketing. Brainstorm ways to beef up your presence in time for whichever holiday you’re celebrating. For example, you may want to revamp or add on end cap displays to capture more eyes in-store. If you’re looking for a bigger, bolder solution, try setting up an Instagrammable photo op or interactive display where consumers can test your product and you can collect user-generated content in the process. You can even host events in-store, from launch parties to sample days. 

You can also use social media to drive online audiences to your physical location. Consider running a giveaway that includes an in-store purchase to enter, or offer customers a discount if they show the cashier that they’re following you on social media. You could also have influencers create content at the point of sale so their followers know exactly where to go to find your products. 

Create Urgency

Between a lack of free time due to holiday preparations and simple forgetfulness, last-minute shoppers will always exist: two-thirds of shoppers buy their last gift the week of Christmas. Fortunately, this sense of urgency can work in your brand’s favor. Here are a few ways to harness it:

  • Crank up your retargeting ads to remind website visitors about their abandoned shopping carts. 
  • In promotional content, remind them of the encroaching timeline – “Only 3 days left to buy a special gift for your Valentine!”
  • Release eleventh-hour promotions that will snatch up those last-minute shoppers in a quick and easy gift purchase. Like reminding your followers about a rapidly approaching Mother’s Day in an Instagram grid post that also includes a discount code. 
  • Create a last-minute shopper gift guide, suggesting gifts for each person on their gift list.
  • Offer buy online pick-up in-store so customers can skip the lines.

By providing these immediate solutions after an initial panic, you’re making shopping decisions easier on your customers while also upping your sales.

40 Holidays and Editorial Timelines to Add to Your PR Calendar - Download the PDF

Push Product Recommendations

Rather than expecting consumers to browse your entire social feed or website to find suitable gifts for their loved ones, push product recommendations to them. This can be tailored to their preferences, such as an email blast with suggestions based on their previous purchases, or more generalized, such as an Instagram gift guide detailing your bestsellers for the season.

Major retailer Nordstrom did this creatively a few years ago by integrating social media experiences with their in-store shopping experience. They created a physical display that promoted their “Most Pinned on Pinterest” items. This promotion also included a digital factor, rounding up their most pinned items on a website landing page. Nordstrom was able to use this idea to their advantage because they knew their customers were on Pinterest and figured out how to tailor both their in-store and online shopping recommendations accordingly. 

Add Influencers into your Marketing Mix

When holiday content planning gets overwhelming, bringing on influencers can lighten the load. With professional content creators, you’ll alleviate some of your own marketing stress while getting a new creative spin on your message. If you’re collaborating with influencers whose followers align with your target audience, you’ll also extend your reach to new potential customers, and can wind up with some great user-generated content to repurpose on your own page (with permission). 

In addition, influencers can help increase your retail sales both in-store and online. Product recommendations from content creators can carry a lot of weight: 92% of consumers trust influencer recommendations more than traditional advertisements or A-list celebrity endorsements. This makes them a great channel for spreading the word about all of your upcoming holiday marketing promotions.

Of course, finding, pitching and managing influencer campaigns is no small task, especially amidst other holiday marketing preparations you’re likely juggling. Thankfully, Statusphere can take care of your influencer campaigns for you. Just send us your product and your creative vision, and our talented network of vetted content creators will take it from there. We even handle product shipping! Give us a shout today to see how our influencer marketing experts can help level up your holiday retail marketing strategy.