In retail, there are a handful of times during the year when a store will do most of its business. Some of the more well-known dates are of course Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, but did you know there are more? Just because these are the well-known and traditional times for gift buying and big sales, it doesn’t mean we should discount other holidays and occasions. It’s important to be aware of which of the lesser-known dates are that could benefit your business, as this will boost brand exposure and customer engagement, leading to steadier, more reliable sales figures.
Using trends to drive your season promotions
For the purpose of these examples, we will speak a bit around the next holiday coming up which is Easter. We’ll show you that even if the holiday or event isn’t directly related to your vertical, there are still things you can do to take advantage of it. Now, Easter isn’t known for being a big shopping occasion, however, people love to shop during their time off, so taking advantage of this is a great strategy for your business. Easter is a time of celebration, and while this is primarily focused on chocolate eggs, aligning your marketing and commerce site with the occasion will engage with customers during this time.
Using Google Trends, you can begin to understand what people are searching for at certain times of the year. This information can be used to determine how to approach the event and exactly what people consider when they think of the occasion.
From a retail perspective, the most obvious term for Easter is ‘chocolate’, however, this also shows peaks at Valentine’s Day and Christmas, so it isn’t necessarily unique to the holiday. It seems that October isn’t the only time that people search for ‘bunny costumes’, and although it is less popular than at Halloween, “bunnies” are universally associated with Easter in particular. This might provide a unique angle for a blog or inform the keywords chosen for an Easter landing page that brings people to your site.
Using the Google Keyword Planner in conjunction with Google Trends will enable you to be more scientific with how you formulate ideas for blogs, content and ad copy.
When to start promoting your sale
Again, the answer to this can be seen through Google Trends. Google is an important source of information and their dominance of the search market means they have analytical data for virtually everything. Using Easter as our example, we can see that people tend to begin their build-up a few weeks before, with last year’s searches starting to increase in volume late February, with two big spikes – one a fortnight before Easter, and the second in the week leading up to Good Friday. This demonstrates quite clearly when you need your campaign strategy to be ready, when to kick things off and when to push that little further.
What you can do to take advantage
As Easter isn’t traditionally a gift-giving occasion, aside from the chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, it is important to bridge the gap between the holiday and your product. For example, you could promote the idea of a long-weekend road trip and the need to invest in good-quality tyres for safety. Or take on the idea of a family gathering and the importance of having a dining table for everyone to gather around. Regardless of your industry, a little lateral thinking can connect your products with pretty much any occasion.
Below are just a few ideas that could apply to any industry:
Hide and seek with discount codes hidden throughout your website
eDMs to promote the idea of gift giving at Easter and leveraging the theme of “treats” and “treating people”
Social media campaigns to source user-generated content based on their impressions of the holiday or how they celebrate
Offer a general store-wide discount or on selected items
Change your site’s colour scheme to match the occasion
Preparing for Easter sales
Once you have your marketing strategy in place, it is time to think of the practical considerations. Your site may need to have the functionality to work under a larger visitor load than normal and this will often require having the little things in place and working correctly. These include:
Ensuring your entire team is fully aware of the campaign and all hands are on deck
Functions operational for voucher generating and redeeming processes
Gift wrapping options in place
Create bundles of thematically related products for increased upselling
Key integrations to make holiday sales easier
This ones pretty obvious, but ensuring your campaign runs smoothly by using Neto add-ons to automate as much as possible is an absolute must. Software such as MailChimp, Just Uno, and Barilliance make it easy to perform consistently across your strategy.
Delivering orders on a large scale during a busy period relies on robust systems and processes. TNT Express and Australia Post ensure you provide the best possible shipping experience. Consider offering Free Shipping during this period to really entice your customers to buy.
You’ve gone to all this trouble of organising a campaign, so you don’t want any of that effort or data to go to waste. An effective customer relationship management solution will allow you to easily capture new leads while maintaining engagement with your existing database. Salesforce and Zoho provide a complete overview of your business and ensure smooth operations regardless of your size.
Keeping track of all your incomings and outgoings requires more than a spreadsheet. MYOB, Xero and SAASU ensure your books are up to scratch and accurate without requiring an accounting qualification to understand. Visit Neto Connect and discover how you can easily add these accounting integrations to your online store.
Often the success of a promotion can hinge on doing the little things right. Here are some additional tips to help along the way:
Allow discounted purchases for a few days after the holiday to capture as many sales as possible. Understand people go away on long weekends and might miss the sale. Being too stringent about ending at midnight Easter Monday will lose revenue and potentially customers.
An influx of sales can sometimes mean an increase in return and exchange requests. Plan ahead and make sure your policy is easy to find and understand. You may want to be more lenient around the rules to prevent customer complaints during a busy time.
Apply the Easter theme to other marketing collateral such as blogs, social media, Facebook ads, remarketing, and everywhere your business is visible.
Track progress through Google Analytics and apply results to future campaigns. Easter is a great test for more traditionally shopping focused times like Christmas. Practice getting it right and then scale it up in December.
We hope this information has been helpful for you - good luck with your campaign!