Preparing Your Business for the Most Wonderful (Marketing) Time of the Year
The holidays seem to sneak up on most of us, teeming with long lists of things to do and too little time. To add to the pressure, marketers know that the holidays are integral for the success of most retailers’ fiscal year. In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales can represent anywhere between 20 percent to 40 percent of a retailer's annual sales. To ease the tension and face the holiday season prepared, your 2013 holiday planning should already be underway.
There's no denying that promotions can drive foot traffic and website visits during the holiday months. For example, Vapour Organic Beauty's four-day holiday sale last year, which lasted from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday, accounted for approximately 7 percent of Vapour's annual web sales. This is equal to approximately 25 days of web sales in just four days.
Whether you conduct business online, in-store or both, now is the time to map out your marketing and promotional plan for the upcoming holiday season. Here are the top four best practices to ensure you're prepared for the most wonderful (marketing) time of the year:
1. Review historical data. Take a look at the performance of promotions on key days from previous seasons. Days that are highest value during the holidays typically include:
- Black Friday (Nov. 29);
- Cyber Monday (Dec. 2);
- Green Monday (Dec. 9);
- National Free Shipping Day (Dec. 16)
- Christmas Eve (Dec. 24); and
- the day After Christmas (Dec. 26).
Make sure you understand what's worked well in the past, what hasn't and why. For Vapour, it's four-day sale works best. "Our four-day sale allows for us to benefit from social sharing and also reduces confusion for customers," says co-founder Krysia Boinis. In addition, retailers should use this historical information to ensure that this year's master holiday promotions calendar will be even more effective than last year's.