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How to get your business ready for holiday sales

Have you started thinking about the holiday sale period for 2019?

While it might still seem a way off, the Christmas time has a tendency to sneak up on us which is why it’s so important to get your ducks in a row early on.

To help you knock it out of the park this holiday season, we’ve put together 8 helpful tips for preparing a successful holiday campaign.

Key stats from 2018 holiday sales (source: Hitwise, 2019).

  • Consumers are spending their Christmas cash earlier, some starting in October but really kicking off in November
  • In-store traffic declined as online traffic increased
  • While Click Frenzy & Black Friday mark the start of the shopping period, Boxing day is still the primary sales day in the Australian market

What can you take away from last year’s sales?

The best way to move forward is to learn from past experiences. So, to help you optimise your holiday marketing campaigns for 2019, try thinking about which campaigns worked well for you last year and which ones didn’t.

For example, if Free Shipping Day was a massive hit, but other key dates didn’t fare as well, you might try offering free shipping throughout your other campaigns, too.

You can also think about campaigns run by other businesses, whether they are your competitors or not. If you saw something really effective, think about how you can utilise the same principles for your own campaigns.

Make your customers aware in advance

There’s no use offering a really great sale only for it to end before your customers are even aware that it ran.

Particularly if this is your first attempt at running a seasonal campaign, it’s important to give it enough time and energy to gain traction.

In the weeks leading up to your sales, consider sending emails to your database, advertising on social media and using your website to notify your customers of your upcoming promotions.

As an alternative method of building intrigue about your sales, you can also prompt your site visitors to sign up to a newsletter to receive “special deals”. This helps to build awareness of your upcoming sales while also building your database for future campaigns.

Optimise your key date campaigns

While Boxing Day is still seen as the key shopping date in the holiday season, there are a range of other important shopping campaigns that should be locked into your diary.

  • Click Frenzy – 12th November
  • Black Friday – 29th November
  • Cyber Monday – 2nd December
  • Free Shipping Day – 15th December
  • Boxing Day Sales – 26th December

To make the most out of these seasonal events, try extending your offers over multiple days for maximum impact.

Start your key campaigns in November

With the introduction of various American holidays into the Australian market, domestic consumers are beginning their holiday shopping as early as the start of November.

To help ensure you’re capturing as much of the holiday market as possible, aim to kick off your seasonal campaigns at the beginning of November and make sure you’re prepared for the key dates ahead.

Tap into consumer emotions

The holiday period is a great time to forge an emotional connection with your consumers. With feelings of gratitude, love and joy at the forefront of the season, it can be really effective to play on these emotions in your marketing campaigns.

Create consistency across all channels

Statistics show that people interact with your business multiple times across various platforms before making a purchase. They might first see you through an ad, then research you on mobile, read some reviews on social media and then finally make a purchase at their local store or through a desktop computer.

Being consistent across all channels can help potential customers better understand and build a deeper connection with your brand. It can also make you seem more credible and encourage people to remember who you are.

As a time of the year where you might be talking to people who don’t necessarily know who you are, creating consistency is a really important process to encourage new prospects to buy into your brand.

Build trust among new shoppers

As well as demonstrating consistency across your channels, building trust is another really important aspect of capturing new customers.

With so much choice in the market, customers need to trust in the quality of your product or service and the security of your checkout process to even consider spending their money with you.

To help demonstrate the trustworthiness of your brand (and to encourage new customers to become repeat purchasers) utilise your web real estate to include reviews and other methods of social proof.

You could also try offering money back on all returns to demonstrate trust in your products.

Running a business on its own is hard work enough. Now add in the pressure of organising the holidays and things can get a little crazy. If you’re keen to optimise your seasonal marketing campaigns but don’t have the time to make it all work, we’d love to help! Just remember, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by leaving it too late.