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Hello Holidays! 3 Thoughts for Smaller Retailers

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The National Retail Federation reports that for some retailers, the holiday season can yield as much as 30 percent of annual sales. Even retailers that don’t rely on the holiday season for such a significant chunk of revenue realize how important it is to compete for holiday dollars.

The National Retail Federation reports that for some retailers, the holiday season can yield as much as 30 percent of annual sales. Even retailers that don’t rely on the holiday season for such a significant chunk of revenue realize how important it is to compete for holiday dollars.

Here are three things to think about as you firm up your strategy and execute marketing tactics at this crucial time of year.

1. Researching and shopping don’t necessarily happen at the same time

While only 16 percent of survey respondents reported actually buying holiday gifts before or in the month of September, 30 percent reported starting their research during this time period.

A full 54 percent of shoppers begin researching in October or earlier. Still, November is the month when the highest percentage of people begin researching, and also when the highest percentage of people begin completing purchases.

Consider developing marketing materials like gift-giving guides that can help you get on shoppers’ radars when they’re in research mode so you’ll be in the picture when they’re ready to make a holiday purchase.

Also, since a great deal of research focuses on product specs and reviews from others who have purchased a particular item, it will help your cause to have specs and reviews or testimonials easily accessible on your website.

2. Shoppers still get inspired in-store

While eMarketer predicts that online shopping will represent a record 11.5 percent of holiday shopping sales in 2017, a great deal still happens at brick-and-mortar locations. A NRF Survey found that 47 percent of shoppers reported browsing around physical stores to find good gift ideas, and roughly seven in ten Millennial and Gen Z shoppers said they made impulsive in-store purchases.

Consider throwing a special party for your best customers one evening and serving up cookies and cocoa while shoppers look through a specially curated selection of holiday gifts. Add some music and a slight discount and it’s a party!

3. Email marketing works well – if you can make yourself heard

Experts advise that limited-time offers presented across multiple channels work well to trigger purchasing and that email marketing is an important part of that mix. That said, you’re going to have to bring your A game because there’s lots of competition for attention and clicks at this time of year.

If you already do email marketing, split-test subject lines and experiment with different calls to action to try to optimize open and click-through rates. If you don’t, this could be a good time to get started. Compulse offers email marketing complete with targeted lists of recipients so you don’t have to spend forever building a list before you can test this tactic.

Whether you want to build a user-friendly website that works perfectly on mobile, try email marketing or test another digital tactic, Compulse can help. As a full-service digital agency, our experts excel at helping growing businesses use their marketing dollars to achieve the biggest impact. Ready to make a big marketing move? Learn more about available services or request a free consultation.

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