3 Tips to Up Your Holiday Retail Game
Thanks to nearly $965 billion in sales projected between November and January — a 4 percent increase over last year, according to Deloitte’s latest holiday sales forecast — retailers are about to enjoy this holiday shopping season even more than usual.
To cash in on the opportunity, every retailer needs to have an impeccably timed, customer-focused sales strategy in place. To help out, I’ve got a few tips to set your holiday sales on a merry course:
1. Take the stress out of spending. Buyers are often stressed out when faced with the impact of holiday spending. Eliminate that stress by simplifying the purchase process and lining up buying opportunities for your customers. A great way to do this is by pushing exciting promotions and valuable coupons via email. Outbrain found shopping-related subject lines have a 21 percent higher clickthrough rate than any other holiday content during the busy season. Take advantage by making your customers’ buying opportunities more obvious than the corner house light display.
2. Get on the clock. While getting the word out is a great idea, watch your timing. Think you’re spreading cheer by getting seasonal products and holiday messaging out early? Think again. Marketers generally start promoting holiday content during the first half of November, but most shoppers don’t get into the holiday spirit until late November or early December. According to Outbrain’s recent holiday content insights, the holiday shopping highpoint happens on Cyber Monday, with 26 percent more clicks than the Sunday before.
3. Think mobile. Frankly, you should be thinking about mobile every day, but it’s especially important during the holidays. According to Outbrain, more Americans access holiday content via their smartphones during the last three weekends of November and on Christmas Day than they do via computers. If they’re not using mobile during the entirety of the purchase process, they’re using it for other shopping-related activities. In a recent study, Synchrony Financial discovered that 45 percent of all respondents used mobile devices to perform such tasks as researching, sharing, purchasing or reviewing products.
While mobile sites are tremendously important, use of retail apps also experience a holiday bump. Like Santa performs routine sled maintenance before his big trip, test the performance of your app to ensure it works flawlessly and work out any bugs before the big rush. Also, analyze your app’s security settings to guarantee your customers’ private information (e.g., credit card numbers, contact info) is completely safe. Nothing can ruin the season like a data breach.
By applying these three quick tips to your holiday sales strategy, you can cater to your customers and increase your chances of a retail stocking stuffed with goodies — the perfect holiday gift for your business.
Kevin Cundiff is vice president of retail for Fortegra, a subsidiary of Tiptree Financial Inc. Fortegra is a single source insurance services company that offers a range of consumer protection options.