“Gee the year went quick”…said everyone, every year. And with it, the all-important holiday sale season is upon marketers again.

Holiday marketing plans are often planned immediately after the previous season, so having a basic checklist at crunch time is a good idea to ensure key sales drivers are in place.

Shoppers are expected to spend more than $50 billion in retail stores from November 15 to December 24, 2017, according to the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan Research.

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If you extend this period to January 15, retailers routinely generate 20 per cent of their sales and 60 per cent of their profits during this holiday sale season.

“As online retailing continues to grow, we predict online gift purchases to increase by 3.96%, and expect Australian shoppers to purchase most of their gifts online this year,” said Russell Zimmerman, ARA Executive Director.

Online retail accounts for around 7.6 per cent of the traditional bricks and mortar retail sector according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Total UK retail sales will climb by around 5% year over year, adding nearly £4 billion to holiday sales and taking the seasonal total to £78.7 billion.

Spending at physical stores in the UK is forecast to drop 2.1%, the third successive year of contraction. Online sales are expected to jump by 3.6% over the holiday period, which will be the bulk of this year’s Christmas spending.

With so much at stake, it’s time to make sure all the tools of engagement and nurturing are sharpened.

Here’s four ways to make sure you get as much of that consumer exuberance as possible while purses and wallet are open.

Give incentives

You don’t have to be Oprah-generous, but know the punters are looking for reasons to buy from someone. Give them a reason to buy from you. It doesn’t have to be massive discounting, just some simple gifts that can be the difference between spending with you and a less generous competitor.

Freight incentives are an easy goal to kick. No one likes to get to the checkout and see that shipping slug. Who knows how much more shoppers will spend knowing that the much-maligned hidden tax of shipping is stripped.

Ditto with bundled discounts. Most places aren’t huge fans of discounts since margins are already often thin. Slicing some of the price off high margin items and putting it together with others is enticing and potentially creates a bigger spend.

It’s a proven way to get shoppers thinking about how much they’re saving rather than how much they’re spending.

Similarly, you could offer discounts for spending over a certain amount to encourage more savings. No one hates you for offering 10 per cent off purchases over $100, or whatever suits.

Promotion codes are also a great method to create urgency and scarcity with time-sensitive offers, and can be offered direct from your marketing automation platform.

Integrate your e-commerce with your marketing

Seeing your customer clearly helps you give them what they want. You’ll get no better view of your customer than their purchase history. It tells you everything you need to know about their interests, spend, location and everything else captured in the checkout process.

If you’re using a robust e-commerce platform such as Shopify or Neto, you could be leveraging your customer data to send highly relevant marketing campaigns to spur further sales.

When you connect your e-commerce with your marketing automation platform you get a better view of your clients. The integrated data can then be used in highly personalised campaigns based on their previous activity.

Get them back

A whopping 67 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the purchase is completed. Flicking the switch on your Abandoned Cart module will alert your customers and help you entice them back

This is best done as a series of well-crafted emails that address what happened and what they can do resume the purchase process.

Subject: Still interested in these products? Claim your free shipping today

Your Abandoned Cart series can also include product recommendations based on previous purchases. It shows you really know the customer and are actively looking for things they might enjoy.

Find new customers on Social

Trouble gathering new email subscribers? Be social and find new friends.

An eMarketer report found 71% of internet users are regularly active on social networks. Put another way, that’s around 2.46 billion people.

Social properties let you go where people are already congregating, and if your content or offer is compelling enough they’ll flock to it.

Use your email list to find people on Facebook like your existing customers.

You can segment your contacts for Facebook campaigns that target people like your most engaged email readers.

Alternatively if you add a traditional Facebook Lead Ads campaign, you’ll want to capture the email addresses in your platform to improve conversion rates.

Once a new lead from Facebook is captured in your email platform, you can then trigger an automated welcome series to deepen engagement with your brand.

Set up a mobile wallet

Marketing opportunities in the mobile wallet space are starting to show maturity.

Content that involves bespoke coupons, gift cards, event ticketing and rewards schemes are successfully creating greater customer engagement. The power of being in someone’s phone takes it to the next level in terms of return on investment.

Getting into someone’s phone has the greatest chance of success when used in a coordinated email campaign.

Digital coupons sent in an email can be created and customised with company branding and then sit inside a customer’s smartphone wallet.

  • 79% of people surveyed use their smartphone for reading email — a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls. (Email Monday)
  • 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)

Other channels can also be used to drive mobile wallet engagement. Customers can activate mobile passes via SMS, social channels, banners, QR codes and more. The means of distribution is flexible and it allows marketers to keep the conversation moving with content updates done in real time.

We hope these four simple tips add to your plans and help you better connect to your customers during this spendy time of the year.

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About Traction Digital

Traction Digital are experts in acquisition and engagement, streamlining the execution of cross-channel marketing campaigns, including lifecycle email, abandoned cart, promotions and ROI tracking.