We know that we’re in the height of summer, but a successful holiday selling season really starts now. Last year, retail sales grew 4% for November and December. This is the time when successful sellers start analyzing last year’s results if they haven’t already, and formulating a strategy for the end of the current year.
Recently, Listrak hosted a webinar highlighting advanced strategic holiday tips. We watched the hour-long webinar, and found it to be full of excellent tips for online sellers from start to finish, so we thought we would share.
- Audit last year. The first step in building a successful holiday season is analyzing the previous season. Make note of what was done that worked, as well as what didn’t work. Even go as far as looking at monthly, weekly, and daily sales numbers. Look for any selling trends.
- Watch the competition. Study the selling strategies of your competition. Look at what they are doing for their promotions, how they are handling shipping and what their checkout process is like. Use this information to help your business stay competitive as well as to differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Have a backup plan. Help yourself seamlessly handle eventual problems. Study what went wrong last year and analyze how those situations could have been dealt with more efficiently. Plan for those same situations this year, and any other potential problems you can think of. Make sure to create a promotion calendar to keep the business on track, and to study the 2015 shipping deadlines for each major carrier (include Chanukah, which comes early this year).
- Encourage early shopping. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to start the holiday promotions. The National Retail Federation says that 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before Halloween.
- Send un-triggered greetings and thanks to customers. When it’s appropriate, send your customers holiday greetings. At the start of the New Year, thank your customers for their patronage. Make sure there are no promotions included in these emails. These messages are meant to convey good-will on behalf of the brand.
Make some time to watch Listrak’s free Webinar, “Our Top 10 Holiday Tips”. It’s an excellent resource, and a great way to start preparing for the upcoming 2015 Holiday season!
Barbara AndersonMarketing Coordinator