When you run a business, you can’t afford to let the holidays sneak up on you. Not only does the revenue from holiday sales now add up to over 720 billion dollars annually, holiday spending also accounts for 20-30% of total annual revenue in most sectors. Furthermore, these figures are just as relevant to small and medium-sized businesses as they are to large franchises: Every year, over 80% of consumers do at least some of their holiday shopping at small local retailers. Whether you’re a business veteran or just starting out in the world of retail, having a holiday plan that makes the most of seasonal events can seriously boost your bottom line – Especially if you come up with creative marketing campaigns that ensure you stand out from the crowd.
What Should Your Yearly Holiday Marketing Plan Include?
At the beginning of each year, you should sit down and create a detailed marketing strategy with clearly-defined seasonal goals. By planning your holiday marketing well in advance, you’ll give yourself enough time to prepare for each event. Your holiday marketing plan should include the following elements:
1. A review of last year’s holiday sales.
By assessing how much you sold during last year’s holiday events, you can get an idea of how much inventory you’ll need to stock to keep pace with this year’s promotions. You can also identify which marketing campaigns were especially successful, and try to replicate that success. (Remember to factor in engagement metrics, such as social media response and email newsletter subscription, when you measure success.) If your customers responded particularly well to a giveaway event, for example, you’ll probably want to incorporate more giveaways into your marketing strategy.
2. A budget.
To make money over the holidays, you’ll first need to spend money. Creating ad campaigns, stocking extra inventory, and hiring extra staff to handle holiday orders isn’t cheap, after all. Part of your holiday marketing plan should therefore involve setting aside some of last year’s profits to pay for this year’s promotions. If funds are scarce, you may want to secure a business loan to help you manage unexpected costs.
3. Website updates, as needed.
E-commerce accounts for a substantial portion of holiday sales, and it continues to increase in popularity each year. According to Deloitte, e-commerce sales will grow by up to 22 percent in 2020 and make up over half (57 percent) of all holiday purchases. To benefit from this surge in digital sales, you’ll need to make sure your website is responsive (that is, it provides a seamless shopping experience across multiple devices), with short load times even under heavy traffic.
4. Strong visuals.
Ideally, you should update your brand’s appearance during each major holiday. Meet with your design team and brainstorm ideas for how to incorporate festive themes into your logo, newsletter, and social media headers. These eye-catching visuals will let your customers know you’re doing something special for the holidays before they read any of your written content.
5. An outline of which holidays you want to capitalize on.
Some holidays, like Black Friday and Boxing Day, are relevant to businesses in virtually every sector. Others, however, are more specific to certain demographics. If your customers are primarily young people or parents, for example, you’ll absolutely want to have a “back to school” sale. Conversely, if your customers are mostly elderly people or childless professionals, such an event may not produce significant dividends. When you plan your holiday calender, focus on the holidays that are most relevant to the consumer demographic you’re targeting.
Which Holidays Should You Consider Adding to Your Marketing Plan?
To avoid slumps in sales, think about which Canadian holidays you can leverage during each of the four seasons:
In addition to seasonal holidays, business milestones are a great opportunity to host promotional events. If you’re opening a new store location, for example, you can mark the occasion with a special discount or giveaway. You can also choose to celebrate your business’s yearly anniversary or develop creative off-peak hours events, such as “midnight madness” sales. Remember that surprise promotions can help you increase sales during periods of the year when retail activity slows down, i.e., after New Year’s and during the summer.
A comprehensive holiday marketing strategy can put your business on the map and help you get an edge over the competition, but only if you have the branding expertise and data to make it work.
If you’re stuck on creating a website or developing marketing materials, our team can help: Contact AllinBrand to learn more about professional digital marketing services in Toronto.