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A Retail Marketer's Guide to the Holiday Season

|Nov 21|magazine7 min read

The following is an excerpt from an article by Kyle Lacy, senior manager of content marketing and research at ExactTarget

In-Store

Engaging consumers who are already interacting with your brand is the ultimate win-win. Your physical store provides you a competitive advantage over your eCommerce competitors. Take advantage of the time a consumer spends in your store and promote opportunities to interact with your brand after they walk out the door. 

Tip 1: Promote your website URL, email opt-in, SMS messaging programs, social channels, and more within your store, specifically at places where consumers are waiting (e.g. near the check-out). 

Tip 2: Evaluate if collecting data at check-out is right for your business (via sales clerk, SMS capture, etc). Whether you collect personal data or geographic data, it should lead to more personalized communications—if it doesn’t, you’re just inconveniencing your customer with a lengthier transaction process. 

Tip 3: Offer to send in-store receipts to consumers via email. This is a great way to provide value and added convenience to your customers’ shopping experience, plus it gives you an opportunity to gain feedback, promote special offers, and drive web traffic. Not quite ready for digital receipts? Then focus on including a digital call-to-action on your in-store receipts to encourage further brand interaction. 

Online

Be respectful of consumers’ time. 

Tip 1: Make your email opt-in form easy to find on your website. 

Tip 2: Request only the data that you plan to use—and actually use it! If you request a name and zip code, use personalization and geographic segmentation to make your messages more relevant and engaging. 

Tip 3: Communicate the value of what you’re offering up front—make sure your customers know why they should provide you their information. 

Cross-channel. Consumers want different things from different channels especially during the holiday shopping season, so make goals and priorities for each while utilizing the strengths of one channel to promote another. 

Tip 1: Take advantage of your consumer’s down-time and promote your mobile and social programs across all of your commonly-used mediums—in-store, print, TV, display advertising, etc. 

Tip 2: Include an email opt-in form on a Facebook timeline tab and follow the same principles as you do for your website opt-in form. 

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly one-fifth of the industry’s annual sales come directly from sales made in the months of November and December, making it the top consumer spending event of the year. There’s no question on the potential impact of the holiday shopping season: it’s a great opportunity for both marketers and consumers, if done well.