News & Analysis

Expediting Retail Strategy for the Holiday Season

retail
Hand holding modern smartphone with online shopping application on device screen with background blurred

Chris Dessi

The holiday season is just around the corner and it’s shaping up to be a busy one. According to CNBC, consumers are expected to spend 5% more than they did on holiday shopping in 2018. Moreover, it’s been predicted that sales during this time of the year can amount to 30% of a business’s annual revenue. Is your business prepared to stand out amongst the clutter and maximize sales?

Holiday seasons present the perfect opportunity for brands and retailers to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and drive sales into the New Year. But in order to see success, businesses need to prep, test and fine-tune their retail strategy well-before the shopping festivities begin. Here are three things a strong strategy will always include.

Flawless Product Content

Today’s shoppers expect nothing less than a great product experience. In order to provide this, brands and retailers need to ensure that all of their feed-based marketing efforts are reinforced with accurate, complete and consistent product feeds.

Seamless Multichannel Distribution

Holiday shoppers are on the hunt for the best deal and will search through dozens of channels to find a product that fits their needs. To maximize sales potential, your products need to be listed wherever they’re searching – whether it’s Amazon, Google Shopping, Walmart Marketplace or any other. Importantly, all product information should be consistent across channels and contextualized accordingly.

Automated Inventory Management

Nothing turns away shoppers faster than seeing “out of stock.” In order to maintain accurate stock levels and product availability statuses across channels, an automated inventory management tool is the key. This way, once an order is placed; important stock information can be automatically updated across all your channels.

By implementing these staples, brands and online retailers are well on their way to a successful 2019 holiday season. But these shopping events are all about going big. Therefore, to really capitalize on the rise in traffic and stand out amongst the heavy competition, businesses need to take their efforts a step further. Here are a few ways they can do that this holiday season.

Be mobile-ready: It’s expected that 20% of all holiday purchases this year will take place on mobile. This means businesses need to ensure both their website and product content are optimized for a multi-device experience. Many marketplaces and shopping channels have already made sure their websites are mobile-friendly. This means listing products on sites like Amazon can be a great way for brands and online retailers to catch the attention of mobile shoppers. Moreover, businesses should also ensure they have a mobile-ready online shop that allows for quick and convenient purchases.

Implement BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store): With online holiday shopping fast becoming the norm amongst today’s shoppers, brick-and-mortar retailers need to find creative ways to drive in-store foot traffic and sales. One way to do this is by implementing an option for consumers to purchase online and pick up items from nearby stores. This concept, known as BOPIS, combines the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy and tangibility of buying in-store. Many popular retailers, like Target, have already implemented this option as a way to stay competitive in the age of technology and increase the potential of more sales.

Get creative with your campaign: When it comes to the holiday shopping season, retailers shouldn’t be afraid to be bold and creative with their campaigns. Memorable campaigns are great for capturing attention and standing out amongst the clutter. Take the example of “Thighber Monday” campaign by clothing brand, Chubbies. The campaign saw huge success after using humor to advertise its products. The campaign’s bold nature made Chubbies’ products stand out amongst the heavy competition and gave consumers another reason to check out the brand’s website.

Businesses that include the above tactics in their holiday sales strategy will be well on their way to breaking through the clutter and maximizing their online and offline sales potential.

(Chris Dessi is VP, Americas at Productsup, an ecommerce data integration company. Dessi is an industry entrepreneur, personal branding expert, author and TEDx speaker and has more than 20 years of B2B SaaS sales experience. The opinions expressed in this article are his own.)

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