The leaves have barely started to change color, but fall has just begun. This means that the holiday shopping season is only a few weeks away. While the occasional customer may moan about seeing winter decorations up in October, being prepared now, will help your business be in a place to succeed when the shopping rush begins. But, having your business ready for the season isn’t just having merchandise at the ready; it’s a larger strategy of knowing the market, trends, and the best ways to reach customers.
This month is the perfect opportunity for you to collect as much consumer information as possible in order to reach current customers and target similar ones through November and December. Offer customers a chance to join an email newsletter for your store, so you can offer them early information on sales and exclusive coupons.
When you create these emails, remember to personalize your message to consumers. Experian reports that personalized emails offer a higher transaction rate. Personalized email marketing can be more than just including the name of the recipient. You can style an email to reflect who the customer is. The message you write could offer a product or promotion that would be of interest based on previous purchases. Provide a landing page for the email that is a product/promotion specific website. Create the easiest path for a consumer to convert an email into a sale.
The email addresses you collect can also be used to grow your social media presence. In the messages you send you can create awareness of your social media channels. Your strategy can include promoting hashtags, contests, or exclusive promotional days. You can find your customers on Facebook and Twitter and invite them to “like” your page. Using social media advertising tools, you can also target consumers who match the demographic of your typical buyer in order to reach them with marketing messages.
Besides building the typical digital and print marketing campaigns, your business should also look into advertising on mobile apps as well. Invest in a search engine marketing (SEM) strategy that will give customers access to your information based on a keyword search. What apps do you notice people using in your day-to-day interactions? Create opportunities for yourself by building an ad for a popular game or news app. Investigate how to market your business on popular GPS tools, like Waze or Google Maps, that will encourage customers to visit your store as they are driving toward it.
During the next few months, you know how busy your store will be as consumers begin their holiday shopping. Investigating these marketing opportunities now will allow you to discover what methods work best to connect to your audience. Building your marketing campaigns now will leave you with more time during the season to focus on training your staff, stocking merchandise, and providing your guests with the best customer service possible.