Marketing Bootcamp

Smart Retailers Know There Is Plenty of Action After the Holidays

Smart Retailers Know There Is Plenty of Action After the Holidays
Image credit: peddhapati | Flickr
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There’s no doubt about it: the entire holiday shopping season revolves around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Retailers, especially those with an online presence, can count on a significant sales jump as consumers log on to scour the web for the best sales and lowest prices. What most retailers fail to realize is that Christmas doesn’t mark the end of the holiday shopping season.

In fact, Christmas Day through New Year’s Day is the peak time for sales, where consumers are either armed with gift cards or, for those who didn’t get what they wanted under the tree, are actively shopping for themselves.

Related: 5 Tips to Make Your In-Store Mobile Marketing More Engaging

The key to extending retail's heaviest sales season is post-holiday promotions. Rather than spend the majority of your marketing budget on promotions leading up to the season, consider saving part of it for the post-holiday stretch. You may even consider building your promotion calendar backward from January to October.

Here’s a roundup of promotion strategies that can be used by brands of all sizes to keep revenue coming after the holiday season:

1. Enable easy returns and exchanges

A fifth of Americans plan on returning at least one gift during the holidays. For retailers, returns are much more than trading one item for another of equal or lesser value. Convenient returns or exchanges entice gift recipients to revisit your site, providing an opportunity to upsell.

The easier the process, the more likely consumers are to spend more. One study found that consumers who received free shipping on returned items increased their purchases with that retailer by 58 to 357 percent over the next two years. Developing a comprehensive plan can reduce the resources you spend on returns, all while increasing purchases made by new and existing customers alike.

2. Re-engage potential customers

For many retailers, 20 to 40 percent of their holiday shoppers won’t return until the following holiday season. But they don’t have to wait that long. It’s important to reconnect with customers who may have browsed your site for gifts but didn’t buy -- even more so after the holiday season. 

Related: Marcus Lemonis's Top 10 Tips for Businesses This Holiday Season

One way to capture shoppers who viewed (but didn’t buy) items pre-holiday is by marking down your holiday inventory and retargeting these shoppers via email. Dynamic retargeting emails that provide customers with a curated experience are your best bet for getting prospective customers to convert.

For example, you could send an email that shows what a customer browsed and products that may pique the customer's interest or offer discounts based on products they previously expressed interest in.

3. Campaign new product launches on the 25th

Gift cards in hand, consumers aren’t just window shopping. They’re armed with cash and ready to splurge. While you’re moving out your holiday inventory at a discount for bargain shoppers, also be prepared to showcase new seasonal products at full price.

Launching campaigns for new products after the holidays is a great way to take advantage of motivated luxury consumers and welcome new customers to your brand -- all (if done correctly) without even having to offer a discount.

According to a recent Shop.org survey, more than one third of retailers are earmarking between 31 and 50 percent of their total online-marketing budget specifically for the holidays. While it’s important to promote aggressively before the holidays, it’s equally important to not neglect post-holiday promotions.

January presents a huge sales opportunity for retailers. Before you relax and enjoy your eggnog, you’ll want to ensure that your post-holiday campaigns are in place to keep customers coming back after the Christmas rush. Retailers pushing promotions before, during and after Christmas will be the ones having the happiest -- and most lucrative -- holidays.