As consumers continue to start earlier and earlier to shop for their holiday giving, merchants are honing their marketing strategies.
Their tools include advertising, brand protection, strategic pricing, staging events, and using traditional media and digital.
In essence, consumers shop earlier for a head start to capitalize on the best deals. To lure shoppers, marketers are using multi-channels – from traditional media to digital.
A 2015 Market Track, LLC study showed 83 percent of shoppers planned to complete most of their shopping for holiday gift-giving by Cyber Monday or earlier.
Companies are doing it to themselves. Thanksgiving discounting served to train consumers to shop earlier and earlier. And businesses and began discounting earlier to gain a competitive edge.
For in-store selling, Black Friday is staying dominant. Cyber Monday will lure the majority of digital shoppers.
The overall effect is that price differentials between online and in-store sales are continuing to narrow.
Retailers are pulling out all the stops to influence shoppers to purchase online, pick up items in the store, offer free shipping and accelerated deliver of online purchases.
So shoppers are hunting anywhere and everywhere for deals. That includes print ads, Web sites, TV commercials and e-mail promotions.
Consumers continue to compare prices for electronic products online – Amazon’s wheelhouse.
— As early as October, merchants are offering door-buster sales and the so-call best deals of the season.
— Businesses are strategizing to make it difficult for consumers to compare prices and product features. Merchants are focusing on bundled and layered offers, and marketing their private-label products.
— Traditional media will dominate – print ads, television and radio. They’re also using e-mail, social media and in-the-moment advertising in-stores.
— Mobile marketing will be increasingly used with a focus on user experience and convenience.
— Businesses are increasingly using event marketing and opportunities for consumers to try products before they buy.
— Strategies include in-store drawings and sweepstakes.
— They’ll continue to push gift cards.
From the Coach’s Corner, related sales strategies:
Checklist to Create Cyber Monday Sales Success — In order to celebrate your Cyber Monday sales, you must first create a happy buying environment. That means reviewing your store and Web site to attract prospects and to create happy customers.
Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed — If you want to increase your odds for Internet success, you might consider priming your Web site. Six primes motivate your visitors to make decisions.
Social Media – 5 Quick Tips to Boost Your Christmas Sales — Here are five social-media ways to increase sales by the end of the holiday season.
7 Precautions for a Profitable Layaway Program — Despite the continuous changes in technology, retailers are reverting to a sales and customer-loyalty practice that was prevalent in the 1950s. That would be a layaway program to sell more products to cash-strapped customers. Big box stores, such as Walmart and Toys R Us, have benefited from PR when they’ve announced their layaway programs.
Marketing Tips to Run Your Online Business for Higher Profit — E-commerce has made it possible for entrepreneurs to get a fast return on their investments with higher profits. Here’s how they do it.
Energize Your Customer-Loyalty Program with 6 Steps — The quickest way for established businesses to optimize revenue is to have a stellar customer-loyalty program — there are six steps you can take for repeat sales and referrals. If you’re not a great steward of your current book of business, it’s futile to look for new customers.
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.”