Holiday Season Marketing Strategy

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Holiday Season Marketing Strategy

Some of the case studies of major U.S. retailers who have launched specific initiatives to attract customers to their stores during the holiday season involved Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Some of the best practices that these retailers apply to get shoppers to buy at their physical locations include providing sneak previews of their holiday offerings and decorating their stores to make shoppers feel the holiday shopping spirit.

Brick-and-Mortar Stores' Holiday Campaigns: Case Studies

Walmart, Target, and Best Buy: Case Studies

  • Walmart and Target defied the trend of a calmer black Friday in 2019. The two stores experienced solid "in-store foot traffic" even if shoppers are now mostly visiting online stores to buy products.
  • The two companies were considered as major ones since they are part of the Fortune 500 list.
  • The two stores were also able to get more people to shop in their brick-and-mortar stores compared to the industry average.
  • People went for electronic products and toys in these stores. TVs accounted for the bulk of electronic products that the shoppers mostly bought.
  • Walmart, Target, and Best Buy were seen by analysts as the ones that were best positioned to catch those customers before they transfer to online channels.
  • Best Buy is also a major company as it is part of the Fortune 500 list.
  • The success of these three retailers during the holidays was attributed to their massive product assortments which gave the consumers more options.

Lululemon Case Study

Nordstrom Case Study

Holiday Marketing Best Practices for Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Improving Physical Store Experiences

Applying Innovative Technologies inside Physical Stores

  • Another recommendation for brick-and-mortar retailers during the holiday season is to improve the digital experience of their shoppers while inside their physical stores.
  • As digital channels evolved to become an essential part of the buying journey, more retailers were seen to integrate technologies that can provide a more speedy and convenient shopping experience.
  • Retailers like Sam's Club are now installing various advanced technologies in their physical locations.
  • Sam’s Club’s latest revenue is $59 billion.
  • Some of the innovations that they are installing at their facilities include a mobile scan-and-go and an enhanced app that can help consumers navigate their way through the store aisles to find products.

Localized "Drive-to-Store" Approach

  • It has been observed that shopping in physical locations is still an important channel for retailers to reach their holiday sales goals.
  • However, old marketing strategies that were previously applied in these physical stores may not be effective anymore this season.
  • Installing spaces that are more enticing and convenient can still help drive more shoppers to physical stores.
  • However, retailers will still need to convince shoppers to step inside their stores first.
  • To be effective in actually driving people to get inside stores and buy products, retailers will need to formulate a successful "drive-to-store" approach that will actually increase foot traffic and sales figures in these physical stores.
  • In lieu of launching country-wide holiday campaigns, retailers should try to deploy more "localized and relevant" mobile advertisements that can entice consumers to actually set their foot inside the closest physical stores.
  • The call-to-actions from these campaigns should also be direct and easy-to-understand.
  • Advertisements that can easily be integrated into the user's mobile phone feed and have direct links to a GPS app's map will be a great way to actually lead the users to the closest physical store.
  • The Burberry retail store in New York provides a link to a GPS-enabled map in its mobile advertisements to get more people to visit its closest store.
  • Burberry earned around £2.72 billion ($3.52 billion) last year.

Sneak Peeks into Holiday Offerings

  • Obtaining insider news on the latest holiday designs, styles or trends is known to greatly excite customers. Retailers should then provide advanced peeks and let their shoppers access preview sales to display upcoming products.
  • This will also give a chance to new and returning customers to imagine themselves donning or using the new merchandise.
  • Retailers can also utilize "geo-fence re-targeting" to reach those who previously shopped at a retailer's store or in their competitor's shop.
  • Retailers can also drive more shoppers to their stores by letting them have a sneak peek of holiday coupons or limited-time discounts.
  • As an example, Target allowed their most loyal shoppers to have a sneak peek of their Black Friday exclusives.
  • They also offered exclusive seasonal deals on in-demand holiday products such as TVs and apparel.
  • Best Buy also invites its loyalty card members to "early access sales events" as part of its Black Friday marketing strategy.

Fortify the Frontline

  • Frontline employees in physical stores are typically the only touchpoint that shoppers may have with a retailer.
  • As part of the holiday rush, shoppers will typically make a beeline for the physical stores as they were usually enticed by holiday-inspired decors, personalized deals, and engaging experiences.
  • During these times, these frontline employees are more essential than ever.
  • Retailers should then invest in the on-boarding process of these employees to ensure that they are well-trained to interact effectively with customers.
  • Well-trained employees are more inclined to provide superior customer service.
  • As an example, Target spent around $50 million in payroll in 2019. This is greater than the retailer's 2018 allotment.
  • The increase in amount is to make sure that the company has sufficient number of employees to interact with their customers especially during peak holiday seasons.

Build More Followers on Multiple Channels

Research Strategy

To obtain case studies of major U.S. retailers who have launched specific initiatives to attract customers to their stores during the holiday season, we looked through various articles and reports from major retailers such as Walmart. We also search for these case studies in marketing-related articles from media sites such as the New York Times. We also looked through relevant articles from marketing-oriented sites such as Adweek. Based on the reports found, we were able to compile case studies of major U.S. retailers who have launched specific initiatives to drive customers to their stores during the holidays. We also made sure that we focus only on major retailers such as those that were part of the Fortune 500 list or those that are earning over $1 billion a year.

Meanwhile, to find the marketing best practices that were used to entice consumers to shop at physical stores during the holiday season, we looked through various marketing campaign reports from several marketing companies. We also looked for reports from analysts and from several successful retailers to determine the best practices that they apply to drive more people into their brick-and-mortar stores. Based on these reports, we were able to derive some of these best practices that several retailers have been applying to get more shoppers to buy from their physical stores during the holidays.