If you think it’s too early to start your retail marketing strategies for Christmas, think again! In fact even though back to school just ended, some larger retailers have started their Christmas marketing campaigns already.
Kmart started their push for Christmas layaway, specifically calling it “not a Christmas commercial.” No it is not too early, you need to be putting your Christmas marketing plans in action for ecommerce, email marketing and traditional marketing, not just in a single marketing channel.
Start with online, email and ecommerce, strategies. Most consumers do some portion of their holiday shopping online. That means that for brick and mortar stores, getting their attention online is really important. Begin by promoting your online presence: your website, Facebook page and other social media outlets. You should be targeting key shopping keywords now like “Best Technology Christmas Gifts for 2014″ and “Hot Christmas Presents for 2014″. While it is tempting to try and make these evergreen and not year specific, Google definitely rewards sites that have current information available.
That means also working on your social media campaigns. Use your social media presence to allow customers to do online shopping with you. How? Specials only available through your social media. Tie them to an “order online, pickup in-store” kind of deal that will get them shopping and also in your store. That can help drive in some in-store impulse buys.
You can definitely use email to reach current and past customers. Have exclusive email offers to drive traffic into the store as well, tracking which messages drive the most engagement and sending that type the most often to your list.
Don’t forget your offline strategies too. Some are as simple as getting into the spirit, but be careful with this one, it can backfire if you start too early! Once you get into the season, appeal to the senses. Sight, smell, hearing: decorate, music and smells like cinnamon, vanilla and other “Christmassy” smells. For example, food smells get people wandering in and buying.
Don’t forget that people are in a much more giving mood during the holidays. Use the time to support local food banks, or a current charitable situation. Not to be Machiavellian about it, but make sure to alert local media or take pictures so that you can get the marketing impact down the road.
Lastly, be grateful for your customers and be sure to give them something extra as well.
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