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How Retail Prepares For The Holiday Shopping Season


In the retail world it's never too early to start preparing for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and all the special days throughout the holiday shopping season.

Retailers have to get their marketing, deals and sales exactly right to keep up with the fierce competition during the biggest sales period of the year. That's why smart retail businesses get started very early.

The sooner you prepare for the holiday shopping season, the sooner you're able to let shoppers know what's in store and increase the likelihood that they purchase from you.

Start Spreading The Word

You should begin letting shoppers know at least one month in advance about your holiday promotions. Some retailers start as soon as back-to-school season is over.

The way you reach out to shoppers has a direct impact on your sales. That's why it's recommended to use a multi-channel marketing strategy to engage shoppers. Paid search, display advertising, and social media are very effective marketing channels to use together. Here are some tips to help you succeed with each channel

  • Holiday Marketing Channel #1 - Paid Search

According to a recent research study by Forrester, 71% of consumers begin their buying journey by using a search engine. If you decide to advertise with paid search, then be sure you know how ad formats work. You can choose between text, shopping or call-only ads. Which one you choose depends on your retail business and the way you want to advertise your products.

For example, if your business does ecommerce, an effective ad format would be shopping ads because it lets you clearly showcase your products and help you stand out from the competition. On the other hand, if you want to use persuasive messaging to highlight your holiday deals then text ads would be a good choice.

  • Holiday Marketing Channel #2 - Display Advertising

If you plan on using display advertising, then it's important to give yourself sufficient time to A/B test and optimize based on people's behaviors by time, device and browser. By running campaigns weeks in advance, you have better opportunity to create more relevant audience segments, especially the people who are searching early for holiday deals.

An effective way to boost your display advertising efforts is to use retargeting with your ads. Retargeting lets you display ads to people who have already visited your website while they browse around the internet. This is a great tactic to get people who visited your website prior to the holidays, back to your website when the shopping rush is in full effect.

  • Holiday Marketing Channel #3 - Social Media

Social media is a worthwhile avenue to explore because businesses can use them for free. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great platforms to tease sales, run promotional contests and push high-demand products. If your retail business has a strong social following, then that's an easy way to give shoppers a sneak preview of what's in store.

What if you don't have a following? Then use social advertising such as Facebook Ads. It will allow you to segment, target and reach your potential audience directly. This can be a great approach to increasing brand awareness on social media before the holidays.

Advice from Successful Retail Marketers

By using the tactics above, you are sure to gain traction this holiday season. But to help you with your holiday marketing even further, we asked some successful retail marketers to share their best holiday marketing advice. Here's what they said:

“PPC visitors are 50% more likely to buy than organic visitors, but the holidays are rife with opportunity.” - Neil Patel

Twitter: @neilpatel

“This holiday season will be one of churn and change. Overall growth will be reasonable enough, with our forecasts indicating total spending will rise by 3.1%.” - Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail, founder of Conlumino

Twitter: @NeilRetail 

“If you’re not already getting good at selling online, you’re days are numbered.” - Doug Stephens
Twitter: @retailprophet

Prepare for Holiday Success

Maximizing your time before the holiday shopping craze is critical to your holiday sales success. Preparing early and adopting a multi-channel marketing strategy can put you in position to capture new customers, retain existing buyers and keep shoppers engaged during the holiday season.

Ready to celebrate the holidays with more sales? Download the 2017 Holiday Shopping Trends in Digital Advertising infographic to learn the digital marketing statistics that will help shape your holiday marketing strategy.


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