Strategies to Prepare for Winter and Holiday Shopping

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“Business owners that wish to grow both their sales and customer base during the most critical part of the retail calendar must plan ahead and avoid scattered marketing tactics. Companies of all sizes are developing and optimizing strategies to boost holiday sales figures,” – April Maguire

Winters bring forth pleasant weather in most parts of the world and consumers react by planning holidays and shopping sessions for themselves, their friends, and relatives. This season creates unrivalled opportunities for business enterprises to market and sell their products to a wide range of consumer interests. The sales registered during these time frames typically boost corporate bottom lines and enable commercial organizations to meet their annual sales targets. Therefore, brands and businesses should envision and execute special strategies to cater to winter and holiday shopping demand from consumers and customers worldwide.

Social media platforms should be considered a special vehicle that can be leveraged to boost commercial sales and marketing strategies. The ubiquity of the global Internet and the predominance of social media channels should be exploited by businesses to cater to winter and holiday shopping trends. For instance, a chocolate manufacturer can be advised to position a marketing pitch focussed on social media customers. The first hundred customers that visit and browse the social media page of the said business may be offered a special discount on their shopping bills. This is the initial stage of the marketing campaign and it can be followed by a pitch that encourages shoppers to share their experiences on their social media handles and pages. Participants can be offered additional hampers of chocolate in a bid to impart momentum to winter and holiday shopping practices. We must note that these campaigns should be finely calibrated and must be preceded by relevant advertising and marketing campaigns designed to raise the customer’s awareness.

Traditional business enterprises can choose to explore different devices to boost sales during the winter and holiday shopping season. These strategies must be clearly designed so as to elicit the maximum possible customer response at brick-and-mortar business establishments. For instance, a furniture retailer can offer its customers an opportunity to trade in pieces of home furniture to avail substantial discounts on new furniture purchases. This can be viewed as a variation of the traditional ‘exchange offer’ and should generate a good response among winter and holiday shopping enthusiasts. An extension of the said strategy is manifested when the business undertakes to polish pieces of old furniture at no expense when shoppers exceed a certain amount of billing dollars at the business premises. We note that these strategies have the potential to boost sales significantly, while adding to the goodwill and market reputation generated by the said furniture business.

E-commerce businesses and traditional business enterprises must acknowledge the importance of optimised websites to deal with higher trade volumes conducted by customers over the global Internet. This realization should be at the core of a marketing strategy that seeks to offer the maximum possible response to online winter and holiday shopping expeditions. An optimised website can cater to large volumes of electronic traffic and the subsequent surge in online transactions. Therefore, business managers and marketing strategists should treat corporate websites as an extension of physical stores and shopping establishments. Websites can be optimised by initiating a complete overhaul of the flagship web presence much ahead of the winter and holiday shopping season. Business managers must take the initiative to effect deep overhauls of corporate websites in an attempt to weed out dead links, as also to impart a fresh and vibrant look and feel to the website for the benefit of online shoppers. These preparations should be chalked out and executed well in advance in order to position the business enterprise to cater fully to winter and holiday shopping customers.

Every business enterprise, whether online or offline, can register significant gains when it undertakes to extend special gestures to its current and new customers. For instance, an online business operator can send customised emails to wish its regular customers ahead of the holiday season. The email can also serve as a reminder to clients and customers that the said business is proactive in its approach to the winter and holiday shopping season and that fresh stocks of products are available for the customer’s perusal. In a similar vein, traditional businesses can send out the season’s greeting cards to their customers via regular mail. These gestures represent wonderful instances of customer communication and must be adroitly designed to elicit customer excitement and to drive customer delight. In addition, these gestures help the customer to feel special and this may drive their motivation to shop during the winter and holiday shopping season.

Brands and business must brainstorm in advance to create sales bundles of products that regularly appear on bestseller lists. This is a useful strategy designed to upsell products to winter and holiday shopping customers. We note that sales bundles typically attract a minor discount in an attempt to create momentum in their sales through websites and traditional business operations. A sales bundle is essentially a grouping of products that register high sales volumes and therefore, appear attractive to most customers that frequent a retail establishment. For instance, a sales bundle from a sporting goods manufacturer may include sneakers, ankle socks, shoe cleaning fluids, and extra sets of laces. This sales bundle offers utility and economy in a single package and therefore, will likely gain high traction in open markets. That said, we must note that brands and businesses should ensure more than adequate inventory levels in order to create and market popular sales bundles. Similarly, food business can group the highest selling items for consumption as a sales bundle in order to cater to customer convenience, while boosting the sales graph of the business.

Cross-promotion should be considered seriously by business establishments that populate a certain geographical area. This strategy has been proven to significantly boost sales graphs during winter and holiday shopping sessions. Retailers and businesses can work in concert to promote each other’s products through coupons, fliers, kerbside sales, and other shared events. These devices can attract large numbers of shoppers and the benefits can be enjoyed by clusters of businesses that usually operate independent of each other. We may state that this strategy represents the outcome of shared selling techniques that can boost the business prospects of multiple businesses.

Advertising techniques should be expanded to include both online and offline publicity strategies. For instance, a confectionary business can choose to advertise its products in magazines and newspapers in addition to in-store and shop-front advertising. In addition, a certain portion of the business budget should be reserved for online advertisements in order to expand the reach of the marketing techniques. We must note that online advertising can open the gates to customers that browse the Internet for confectionary products at competitive prices. Therefore, businesses must consider hybrid advertising to boost sales during the winter and holiday shopping season.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the strategies that can help businesses to prepare for winter and holiday shopping customers. The end of the year typically offers maximum selling opportunities for commerce and the above strategies can be utilized to boost commercial performance among brands and businesses. That said, we must state that every business should exert itself to combine these strategies to gain the maximum impact in terms of commercial outcomes.

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