Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pre-Christmas product launches, Boxing Day sales, the festive season present itself with great sales opportunities. While some say that the former might be dead, if you’re in retail and sell products to customers directly (D2C), there is no denying that the festive season overall is probably one of your most important times of the year. And let’s not forget that it is also an amazing opportunity for brand exposure, brand awareness and building your mailing list. While you’re busy with planning your sales and discounts, your competitors will be probably doing the same thing. So how you can make yourself different? Here we explore 3 different ways to maximise sales in the festive season.
UNIQUE NARRATIVE AND PROPOSITION
HAVING A STRONG CAMPAIGN THEME
Exploring and brainstorming on themes can really help make your brand to stand out. If you want to focus on specific products or collection, create a landing page or a blog post which can be promoted on social media, driving traffic to your website and your online shop. Think about what your customers are likely to be looking for to buy (because of the special discount) and create content around it. Could it be something to do with wellbeing, me-time, treat-myself-time, capsule wardrobe, home decor, escape-to-the tropical island, family togetherness or eco consciousness?
A HERO NARRATIVE
Emotional triggers are great when used in a hero narrative. Show your customers how you can solve their problem while making a saving through telling stories of problems you know your customers face and how your products can help, making the customer the hero once they use it. Think back and engage UGC (user generated content) if available.
A GOOD CAUSE
While some customers love the idea of making savings on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Boxing Day, they also feel great when they can give back or help others in the process. Brainstorm on ideas of partnering with charities (or other businesses) and suggest a percentage of sales generated over this period which can be donated by your business. Be transparent with your audience and get them involved in your journey and mission. Alternatively, you create a gift pack featuring some of your products (like a hamper or box but with your product offering) which can be donated to those in need during this period. For example, these can be knitted accessories, pampering kits, homeware essentials, art for cheering up, a story book for children, a toy set for pets, anything really so use your creative thinking and brainstorm on some out of the box ideas.
All of the above concepts require planning and a process which helps you create the content you will need.
1. Come up with a title of your campaign – explore ideas linking your product offering to your customer’s emotional needs and aspirations. The mistake I see many brands make is that they don’t consider their customer’s needs and wants enough. A deeper understanding of your customer base is necessary, otherwise your campaign may not generate the traction you have hoped for. Pay attention to every detail, review feedbacks and reviews, converse with customers if you have a store or an opportunity. Ask your audience for suggestions or send out a survey in exchange for a discount voucher. Be honest with them and show genuine interest in them.
2. Create visual content – think about the photography, graphics, quotes, mood imagery and so on which will help you to capture and communicate your campaign in the most simplistic way. When it comes to photoshoots, your campaign theme should be your main guide. When brainstorming on a location, models, props, vibe and mood you’d like to capture, go quite wide and narrow it down as you go through the process. When we do brainstorming sessions we like creating two complete opposites – unrealistic, wacky ideas on one hand and safe ideas on the other. The magic happens in the middle. Keywords can help you for reference and for keeping you on track.
TIP: Avoid being sucked into the sea of sameness. Go back to your brand story blueprint to keep focus and clarity.
3. Create written and supporting content – write blog posts, schedule a series of value-based as well as sales based newsletters, social media posts and updates. These need to be part of your overall marketing and advertising plans.
PRICE OFFER PROMOTION
Of course the most obvious festive season sales strategy is to come up with special discounts. Most customers expect that. Most businesses do it. Here are some ideas to explore, if you want to stand out:
SPECIAL SEASONAL DISCOUNT CODES
Special festive season codes can be displayed on your website on pop up and sign up forms. This way you can generate new leads before the big event kicks off. Specify the time frame for scarcity and urgency factors.
INSIDER EXCLUSIVE OFFERS
Another option to consider is creating a special (highly beneficial) discount code or offer (e.g. early-bird offers, free delivery, an offer package) only available to your most loyal customers. This code / offer can be sent out to them via email, giving them a specific time frame, highlighting the exclusive element of this promotion.
EXTRA REWARD SCHEMES
For existing (and new customers too) another incentive you can create is doubling their reward point scheme or increasing the reward in return for purchase. You may need to work out your margins so analyse exactly where you stand if you offer this alongside the main pricing discount strategy. In general, customers love to be rewarded as fast as possible, while collecting points and moving towards the reward at the end.
COLLABORATIONS AND COMPETITIONS
COLLABORATE WITH SUPPLIERS
You can also consider partnering with your supplier and offer exclusive discount only for this festive season period. If you start practising this each year, customers will realise that this is a good time to make a purchase of that specific product category or service. From accessories to certain product types explore these opportunities. Package them, cross and upsell them.
COLLABORATE WITH ANOTHER BUSINESS
Similar to the above, you can consider collaborating with other businesses in different markets and offer your customers something truly special. From small items such as print artworks, cards or recipe books to wine bottles and anything in between. Think about your narrative and link the gift back to it.
OFFER FREE GIFT OR GIFT BOX
To follow up from the last point, get your customers involved with interactive elements such as a free gift box (which can be unwrapped on your website) or included as a surprise in orders they place.
Finally, you can run your own competition or partner with other businesses for participants to win a free gift. Promote it on social media and through your newsletter for limited time only.
Written and created by STUDIO/ESTILA.
MAKE FESTIVE SEASON A SUCCESS – we have expanded on this article in our FREE FESTIVE SEASON SALES GUIDE + BONUS FREE OFFER, which you can download below.