2022 Quarter 4 holiday planning guide for retailers

The festive season isn’t far away, so it’s time to start preparing your seasonal marketing campaigns. They will have to work harder than ever this year as your customers prioritize their spending with day to day costs increasing. 

There are still plenty of seasonal sales opportunities even though  the market forecast for retail sales growth worldwide in 2022 has slowed to 5% from almost 10% last year. 

Your customers will be looking for bargains so discount-driven events will be tempting. While it might be too soon to start specific Christmas promotions many customers will be stocking up for the festivities early this year so don’t wait for November’s salaries to be paid to begin your festive campaigns. 

Many retailers are making the whole of November a super-sale event, but according to a survey in the UK more than four out of 10 shoppers plan to have completed their gift buying before Black Friday, so be sure you don’t miss the opportunities to attract cost-conscious shoppers by starting early with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday themed events. 

Here’s our handy guide to help you prepare for the holiday season. 

Analyze Christmas 2021 sales – now is the right time to review what you can learn from previous Christmas buying behavior. Review industry reports, your own sales figures and website analytics. Build your seasonal sales tactics around your best performing campaigns and channels and also review what didn’t work so well to gain a better understanding of your customers’ motivations. To get ahead of the latest trends you might also survey your customers to find out what special items they’re looking for this year. 

Set your budgets – make sure you have good information about profits as well as sales so you can set realistic budgets. Since the average retail margin is just over 50% large discounts on your top selling items might not make you any money. Review your online and offline advertising budgets and decide in advance what you’re prepared to bid for keywords for your online promotions during the holiday shopping season. Explore alternatives that might be more cost effective. 

Be ready for a peak in demand – make sure your customers’ in-store and online journeys are seamless and problem free to improve your conversion rates. Add seasonal calls to action in all your advertising and promotions. Support your online channels with in-store, print and out of home advertising for maximum impact. Make sure you have customer service resources in place to handle additional enquiries and consider using chatbots online for around the clock queries. 

Audit your ecommerce site performance, including speed and your checkout process. Introduce a banner or pop-up and include a dedicated seasonal tab in the navigation to make it easy for visitors to find your deals.  

Stock up on your Christmas products supply chains are still under pressure, so order your most popular items early. You can decide later whether to include them in your Black Friday offer or wait until December to release them to your eager customers. Look for new ideas to be sure you won’t miss out on this year’s trends and influences. Order seasonally themed packaging as a final finishing touch and highlight the latest ordering dates for Christmas well in advance. 

Be creative for Christmas – global brands like Coca-Cola have been investing in iconic advertising campaigns for decades right up to the present day. Ted Baker gamified the whole process with their #TedsElfie campaign on Instagram which engaged customers by asking them to look for Santa’s missing elves. Charitable giving is another good way to appeal to your customers at this time of year. Whatever you choose, make sure it supports and builds your brand. 

Research your seasonal SEO – to be sure your offers will be discovered your website product pages should be optimized for organic and paid searches. Update your product listings, display and landing pages now to boost your organic search rankings. Set up all your goal and conversion tracking for your Christmas search-related keywords. 

Prepare your content schedule in advance – for maximum coverage include social media, blogs, press releases and media engagement in your Christmas content plan. Look out for influencers by location and sector and start to engage them as soon as you can. It isn’t too soon to start your awareness-raising activities ready for the holidays.  

Plan your email campaigns – you can start sending your festive email promotions from early October, and don’t forget to include some post-Christmas messages too. Recommend wish lists and include Christmas guides and gift ideas. Consider offering free shipping or seasonal discounts for a time-limited period. Improve your conversion rates with relevant and personalized content based on your customers’ buying histories. 

Look at personalisationtargeting customers with personalised emails and on site offers tailored for them can help ensure customers will pay attention to your seasonal campaign and will be more likely to convert.  

Be ready for the latecomers – there’s always a small but significant number of late shoppers. Be prepared with downloadable vouchers and subscriptions that won’t need to be posted and keep up to date with stocks that can be bought online and picked up in store (BOPIS). 

Get ahead with digital marketing support 

You can work with our experienced digital marketing team to make sure you have a comprehensive strategy for the festivities that is not only coordinated but effectively measured and optimized. It will be designed to help grow your online business and to achieve the return on investment you’re looking for. 

Talk to one of our team of award winning digital marketing experts today. 


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