Shopping for the holidays has always been a large revenue earner for retail stores. However, holiday shopping is important for other reasons. How retailers market and cater to clients for the holidays reveals important insights about effective ways to communicate with customers. Retailers and even those in the restaurant industry can learn from these trends in holiday marketing campaigns.
The best part of holiday shopping is that there is a huge demand as virtually every adult on the planet has at least one person they need to shop for. The downside is that everyone knows how valuable holiday shoppers are to businesses, so the competition is fierce. To stand out, stores focus on how they talk to clients.
This doesn't just mean interacting with customers on social media or through emails but encompasses the way brands talk to shoppers. Retailers report success with email marketing campaigns that are simple and include a greeting and concise messages. Overall, the content must be personalized. These results come from a survey of over 500 companies.
Email Marketing is Most Effective
While social media gets a lot of focus when talking about customer engagement, email marketing is still superior when reaching clients. 66% of those surveyed found email marketing the most effective form of advertising over online and print ads and social media. Perhaps because it feels more intimate and friendly to receive a message tailored to you than to read posts anyone can view on social media.
If you use social media, use Facebook
When talking about social media, Facebook remains king for marketing campaigns. A whopping 88% of companies surveyed invest marketing dollars into the site. In second place is Twitter with 46% investing there.
During the holidays, the biggest revenue driver is said to be identifying and aligning seasonal marketing strategies with eCommerce promotions. Preparing promotions and marketing content early was the most helpful strategy for the holiday season for 62% of companies. Ranked less important was having a responsive mobile website. Of those who reported a profitable holiday season, only 22% had success when preparing in September or later. Of those who started prepping before September, 33% had success.
Using These Lessons
Whether gearing up for the holidays or not, topical promotional content that is also personalized makes an impact on customers. These two points can be used by retailers and restaurant owners in any season. Success requires planning early and making genuine connections with customers.
Let's imagine a mid-priced restaurant called Hank's Bistro. They specialize in hot soups and sandwiches, and their business often drops off in the summer when the weather turns warm. In anticipation of the summer, they start planning early in the year and have the Bloom Intelligence Analytics Dashboard to help them.
They host a March Madness contest that ties in with basketball season and ask clients to vote on different sandwiches. The winners will go on their summer menu. During the period where clients can try the sandwiches, they sell each on a different day. They're able to establish a baseline then view days where the Popular Visitor Time increases at lunch. This gives them two ways to gauge their efforts, through feedback and the numbers.
Hank's advertised their contest on social media and through email. They had moderate success but are already planning how to improve their next campaign. While their contest tied in with the season, they've learned that it didn't appeal much to their audience. The sensor technology has given them a demographic breakdown and shown that middle aged women are their core audience. Their next effort has to appeal more to this group.