Christmas has been a key calendar date for brands and retailers for decades, and its appeal continues to this day. In 2021, UK retail sales during the Christmas period are expected to increase to £84.7 billion from £79.7 billion in 2020.
According to an analysis from Deloitte, consumers across Europe have accumulated over €450bn of savings during lockdowns in the pandemic. Even if they had only spent a part of these savings, it would provide a real increase in retail spending over the busy Christmas period. For retailers, there is everything to play for this festive season – but how can they be sure they are maximizing their chance of success?
Measurability is the basic prerequisite for successful Christmas campaigns. If KPIs are clearly kept in mind, new opportunities for campaign optimization and potential savings are more likely to become apparent. Analysis of the repurchase rate in particular offers key insights in the run-up to year-end, which can help with future targeting. For example, how many new customers order a second time within a defined period? Advertising channels that deliver high-quality traffic resulting in a high repurchase rate are doubly valuable, as the profit for each marketing pound invested increases with each additional order.
Successful measures will be based on the analysis of the previous year’s activities. Marketers should therefore evaluate which channels saw particularly high customer interactions and sales. Based on this, it is possible, for example, to identify what time of the day a newsletter mailing was worthwhile or which offers were popular. What were the top sellers for each category and customer segment? How did the different days of the week differ in their purchasing power? Are there any lessons that can be learned from the past year? What went particularly well and what could have been avoided?
With the right mix of ingredients, such as an innovative storyline, the selection of the target group and monitoring of the right KPIs, as well as an analysis of past measures, marketers are able to create a Christmas campaign that is effective and cost-efficient.
In the last weeks of the year, web traffic and search queries increase significantly. Here is where marketers can take advantage of this, to prepare for the Christmas period. For example, newsletter sign-ups can be increased with customized discount displays for first-time purchasers, to generate new contacts that will be valuable for the Christmas period. Newsletters are the ideal means to stay in contact with potential customers and to activate them along the customer journey in a targeted way.
Exit intent pop-ups are used in online shops and websites to prevent site abandonment. In order to trigger the exit-intent pop-up, the movements of the mouse on the display or screen must be tracked. As soon as the mouse pointer is moved near the top of the page, for example, a pop-up window opens in the browser. The pop-up should contain a voucher code to convince the user to complete their purchase. Exit-intent ads are also used to promote product samples or to prompt a newsletter sign-up.
Another tip to win over customers for the Christmas shopping season is to increase services. For example, if an item is out of stock, companies can offer a notification by email as soon as the product is available again. This is a soft introduction to further email communication and increases trust in the brand. In addition, the Christmas campaign should be moved into the “real world” to connect online and offline commerce. One way is to also offer in-store discounts in return for a newsletter subscription or membership card – ideally directly at the checkout, where discounts are most useful for customers.
When it comes to activation, timing has a direct influence on open, click and conversion rates. By 15 December, most Christmas business is already done. Those who launch their Christmas campaigns quickly will enjoy a competitive advantage. This is because the end customer’s inbox is not yet full and there is likely to be more appreciation for offers. In addition, marketers should also link online and offline commerce here with a particular focus on timing. For example, it is usually more effective to send out location-based push notifications in the store environment than to send push notifications at random times.
To maximize the chance of advertising success, marketers need to know their customers and their individual needs. Based on the evaluation and analysis of first-party data as well as historical purchase data, marketing content can be personalized to increase the likelihood of conversion and to boost sales.
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