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Omnichannel commerce | Marketing

6 Holiday Tactics You Can Implement Right Now

image: illustration of a Christmas fairy elf surrounded by stars and snow
These low-cost, low-effort steps could give your Christmas sales a major lift

Last autumn we published a holiday-preparedness checklist with tips that still hold true this coming Christmas season. But we've gathered some additional suggestions as well that you can implement now with relatively little investment (in other words, we're not going to wax rhapsodic over smart shelves or beacons, as effective as they might be):

 

 

Focus on acquisition in the run-up to the season.

At this point it's probably too late to think about cobranded sweepstakes, list rentals, and the like (though there's always next year!). But you can't go wrong asking in-store customers to sign up to receive emails or to download your app. Don't rely exclusively on your sales help to ask; include signage throughout your shop. Your Facebook page should include a sign-up button as well. "You can also run a contest on Facebook and set up Custom Audiences," marketing solutions provider Listrak suggests in its "Holiday 2016 Strategy Guide." "This allows you to find new subscribers and customers that look like your best customers in time for the holidays."

 

 

If you don't have a mobile app, at least make sure your website and emails are optimised for mobile.

More than half of all searches during Christmas 2015 were made via smartphones or tablets, according to the National Retail Federation, with mobile accounting for more than 30% of all online sales. Failing to optimise your emails and website for mobile equates to missing out on up to a third of potential sales.

 

 

Create shoppable content.

Videos, images, social media posts, articles, and the like with links that consumers can buy from directly or that take consumers directly to an online product page: That's what we mean by shoppable content. Buyable Pins on Pinterest are just one example. Again, assuming that at least half of all online searches are conducted via mobile, providing this sort of mobile-friendly short cut from discovery to purchase can only boost sales. By enabling shoppers to complete their purchase with just one or two clicks, you're able to capitalise on impulse buying while reducing the likelihood that they'll shop around for a better deal.

 

 

Make sure all your online touch points—not just your website—list vital operational information.

Listrak notes that "76% of shoppers interact with a brand before visiting a store, and the majority of that interaction is done on mobile devices." So make sure your store address and locator, phone number, store hours, and other basic information appear on your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social pages as well as on your mobile shopping apps and website.

 

 

Offer integrated online/offline delivery options.

According to Listrak, nearly a third of holiday shoppers in 2015 bought online and picked up their purchase in-store —and 69% of those shoppers made additional purchases while they were in the store!

 

 

Target millennials and online shoppers with in-store events.

As the above tip points out, once shoppers are in your store they're apt to make a purchase. What's more, multiple studies have shown that millennials put a premium on experiences and are eager to share those experiences via social media—in effect becoming unpaid promoters of the companies that provide the experiences. In their "Holiday Shopper: 2016 Seasonal Whitepaper," marketing solutions providers Alliance Data, Epsilon, and LoyaltyOne cite Samsung's flagship New York store as an example: The store's "community centre hosts events—ranging from running club meet-ups to Oscar-night movie screenings—and houses an art gallery, multimedia studio, and cafe." Even if you don't have Samsung's deep pockets, you could still host a showing of art by local children—or hold an in-store fashion show, throw an invitation-only tree-trimming or gift-wrapping party, host an after-hours shopping event with wine and cheese... Here's your chance to have some fun'which makes it all the more likely your attendees will too.

 

author: Sherry Chiger

Sherry Chiger

The editorial director of Your Commerce, Sherry Chiger is an award-winning writer and editor. She was formerly editorial director of Multichannel Merchant and Catalogue e-business magazines.

 

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