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Shoppers Gonna Shop

By Jose Huguez

JGA MarketingBlogShoppers Gonna Shop

This Easter weekend, American consumers will collectively spend almost $20 billion on clothing, food, decorations, and other items, according to the National Retail Federation.

Every holiday, from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving, provides retailers with a welcome opportunity for a spike in sales. Naturally, marketing departments are busy in the weeks before figuring out the most effective combination of sales promotions, advertising and customer outreach to make that spike as tall as possible.

The holiday period, however, also presents a chance to persuade those same consumers to come back after the holiday is over.

The goal is to add a marketing component that does not detract or compete with the holiday promotional effort, which should always be the priority, and that helps capitalize on every prospective visit to the site or the store for future sales. This, by the way, applies to all retailers, whether of the virtual or the palpable kind.

Some post-holiday marketing efforts that have proved effective include:

  1. Discount coupons to be redeemed at a later date: Coupons are a great motivator to drive repeat visits and purchases. Nearly 7 out of 10 consumers state that coupons generate loyalty. The most effective discount coupons have a use date within 30 days and is very time limited (2-5 days).
  2. Follow up surveys: Surveys are a good way of obtaining actionable information and engaging the consumer with the brand. Try to provide an incentive to complete the survey, keep it short, and make sure you actually use the information to improve your customer experience.
  3. E-mails and personalized ads: Most holiday shoppers can be categorized as gift-givers, so target them for ads or emails about future holidays and gift giving opportunities, perhaps informing them of other applicable store product lines and reminding them of upcoming sales events. It is important to continually gather customer e-mail addresses to build a database that can be used to reach out to consumers in the future. As shoppers, these customers have already demonstrated an interest in the brand.
  4. Personal invitations for shoppers to view new products and future sales events: Remember that your retail employees are one of your most important assets when it comes to customer experience. Make sure they are enthusiastic, knowledgeable of the merchandise and of upcoming sales event.  Make sure they invite every holiday customer to enjoy their purchase and come back soon.

With a comprehensive marketing plan for every holiday, retailers can make sure the peak of each holiday spike is followed by a long plateau rather than a sharp valley.