According to a National Retail Federation study,¹ United States holiday retail sales eclipsed $680 billion in 2017. As consumers abandon traditional in-store purchases in favor of other channels to make their holiday purchases, retail marketing strategy has shifted. While today’s customer may come into the store to complete the purchase, online channels such as search, social, a brand website, affiliate marketing, or email give customers choice and convenience. However, following these holiday marketing strategy tips can bring customers back into stores to enjoy an experience they once loved.
1. Create Offers on Search and Social to Engage Holiday Shoppers
Promotion redemption rates are higher during the holiday months in comparison to the rest of the year, according to our new holiday promotions benchmarking report. While every channel sees an increase, social and search promotional offers have the highest redemption rates in the holiday months of October, November, and December.
For customers, holiday shopping is often difficult when they are unsure of the gift recipient’s interests. Retailers can capitalize on this uncertainty by optimizing products and promotions with relevant holiday-based keywords to improve their standing among both paid and organic search results. In addition, RevTrax offers trackable codes that can be integrated into paid advertising campaigns to collect engagement data.
While opportunities still exist in November on social channels, leveraging social media remains one of the most reliable retail marketing strategies around the holidays. Marketers can directly engage with targeted offers on social channels based on consumer behaviors. Social channels often show advertising based on browsing history, follows, and likes, giving marketers an excellent opportunity to connect with holiday shoppers.
2. Integrate PromoTech into Retail Marketing Strategy
Beyond traditional channels like search and social, RevTrax has several PromoTech solutions to facilitate engagement and generate in-store sales during the holiday season. Affiliate and email offers can build advocacy for products through the delivery of smart or personalized content that resonates with the buyer.
While most marketers view affiliate marketing as an online strategy that becomes difficult to track offline, our technology enables retailers to deploy secure, trackable offer codes to their affiliate partners for customers to redeem in stores. RevTrax Receipt Upload is a modern solution that allows retailers and manufacturers to quickly launch in-store affiliate marketing campaigns around the holidays, and give customers the opportunity to receive rebates directly to their mobile devices. Affiliate marketers see the greatest success with the offers closer to the holidays because customers seek last-minute deals. Codes are individualized and contain information to connect the online-to-offline purchase journey and create successful holiday offers.
Similarly, dynamic email offers built on path-to-purchase data allow retailers to deliver fully-trackable personalized promotions based on past consumer behaviors, winning over their business. These offers are secured with unique codes to prevent fraud and abuse. Many retailers even offer customers a buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) feature. Despite coming into stores knowing what they want, nearly 40% of consumers who use BOPIS make additional in-store purchases spending on average $40 more. Buy online, pick up in store is a win-win for all involved as customers get to pick up their purchases right away, and retailers now have an upsell opportunity.
3. Improve Holiday Marketing Using Offline Retargeting
Retailers have long been able to facilitate online retargeting, using emails, display ads, or social ads when customers leave unpurchased items in their shopping carts. However, RevTrax took that one step further with a solution that connects online-to-offline marketing efforts through offline retargeting. Businesses can send personalized offers through direct mail that target customers in specific regions or have particular interests. While not receiving any personally identifiable information, retailers can leverage offer redemption and purchase history to make marketing decisions about target demographics.
Given that holiday shoppers have so many options when it comes to where, when, and how to purchase their gifts, it is important to use direct mail as a driver to connect with them on a personal level, to make your store is their location of choice. In the direct mail materials, include an offer with a secure, unique code that the shopper can redeem in store to make their purchase. As a retailer, this will ensure you are receiving the data you need to shape a marketing strategy, and the customer is satisfied that you are meeting their personal needs.
Related blog: Boost Your Holiday Promotions Using Offline Retargeting
Bringing customers back into stores has been the goal of retailers over the last several years. Following our holiday marketing tips like optimizing keywords for search results and implementing new PromoTech-based initiatives like dynamic emails and affiliate marketing offers can help your retail business stand out among the crowd this holiday season.
Jonathan Treiber is the CEO & Co-founder of RevTrax