Top Ten Tips: 2012 Seasonal Marketing Musts

This month’s Top Ten Tips will make your seasonal sales soar. From in-store innovation to online excellence, make sure you don’t miss-out on what is expected to be a better holiday sales season for stores across the country in 2013.

1. Where else do your customers shop? Speak to other organizations, stores and service providers that your customers frequent about a cross-trade promotion or seasonal package. Is there a restaurant / spa / country club that your target audience uses? Work with them to promote both your and their products and services this season. If a client spends a certain amount in your store, then offer a discount or a bottle of wine at a local restaurant, or maybe a 1/2 price massage at a local spa. Speak to local businesses about holiday events they are hosting and see if you can offer a gift with purchase or ‘holiday cash’ to the guests at the event. It’s a win-win for both businesses and a definite win for the consumer.

2. Co-host Events: As you lead up to the season, you might be hosting a customer event as well. Invite the local winery/boutique gourmet food store to take part and co-sponsor with their product. Good food, good wine and great jewelry is always a crowd-pleaser.

3. Exceed Online Promises: Make sure you deliver an online service that surpasses expectations in every aspect. First and foremost, if you’re not offering free shipping, then now’s the time to do so. Consumers don’t just look for it, but they expect free shipping on all online purchases of value. Make sure that your site is functioning properly and that any promotions you are offering are included at check out. Test and re-test every aspect of your online presence.

4. Complimentary Upgrades: In the count-down to the 24th, begin offering free expedited shipping upgrades on ALL purchases, both online and in store. Offering free overnight shipping might just persuade your client to purchase an additional gift for an out of town friend or family member. Make sure last minute buyers are your new best friends.

5. Track Abandoned Cart Lists Online: Send emails reminding consumers of products they looked at previously and include that week’s specials or other holiday campaigns you’re running for the holiday’s.

6. The Choice Is Theirs: Offer a gift with purchase and let the buyer choose their gift. Provide a varied selection based on purchase price, from pearl necklaces to charms or picture frames to writing instruments. Showcase the selection in a specific area and let your clients do a little shopping for themselves.

7. Build Excitement: Increase anticipation of your holiday magic by messaging both in store and onsite visitors in the weeks leading up to the launch of your seasonal campaign. Have them sign up to your email list to receive exclusive offers and limited-time benefits.

8. Package With Love: Create a display featuring all the holiday packaging you offer. From elegant embossed boxes and novelty holders to ornate gem encrusted jewelry boxes for high-value purchases. Give the consumer the choice of how their gift will be wrapped and feature visual aids throughout the store of how their gift can be presented.

9. After-Sale Follow-up: For certain purchases or important clients, include a card (with the buyer’s consent) inside the package offering complimentary cleaning or other service for that item in 2013. After all, if the recipient loves the gift, they’re a well-prepped potential customer in their own right and this will bring them back to your store.

10. Don’t Forget Your Vendors: The season isn’t just about saying thank you to your customers – it’s also about letting vendors know how much you appreciate their service and value the relationship you have with them. Ok, so you won’t be selling them jewelry, but you do want to make sure that in 2013 you’re getting the optimum service they can offer. Be the client that they approach first with their value added offerings or promotions. Be the one they think of when they have a special item or special price available. After all, the better the relationship with your vendor, the better ability you have to build on your relationship with your clients.