For many companies and retailers, the holiday season is the highest grossing period of the year. In order to capitalize on these few weeks, it’s important that you do everything you can to drive traffic and sales. This means developing and implementing effective seasonal marketing campaigns that leverage the value of coupons.
The Importance of the Holiday Season
The significance of the holiday sales season – which includes November and December – cannot be overstated. In 2014, this period produced $616.1 billion in sales, an unadjusted year-over-year growth rate of 4.6 percent. This year, projections estimate the total number of sales will gravitate closer to $700 billion.
While some businesses thrive more than others during the holiday season, everyone benefits. Jewelry stores report that, on average, 33 percent of their total annual revenues are accrued during November and December. When looking at December alone, national department stores report an average of 15.3 percent; apparel and accessory stores, 13.6 percent; sporting good stores, 13.5 percent; and electronic stores, 13.4 percent.
While your percentages may be significantly higher or lower than these averages, the point of uncovering these statistics is to reiterate the fact that the holiday season is a critical time for increasing revenue before closing out the year.
3 Keys to Successful Seasonal Marketing
So, what does a successful seasonal marketing campaign look like? How do you tactfully take advantage of consumers who are openly willing to spend more? Keep these important things in mind:
Consumers are more focused.
Throughout November and December, consumers are in a “purchasing” mentality. They know they’ll be spending money on friends and family members, so marketing messages and advertisements hold more weight during this time of the year than the other 10 months. This means your seasonal campaign has the potential be very effective, but also means it’ll be critiqued and analyzed more carefully.
Consistency is important.
Businesses that are always successful during the holiday season have usually nailed one thing: consistency. Consumers are creatures of habit and tend to expect the same things each year. If you’re known for having a good seasonal sale every December, that success will build year after year.
Urgency is a must.
Competition is extremely high during the holiday season. If you don’t close a sale, your closest competitor will. The best way to ensure a campaign is successful is to make urgency a priority. Encourage customers to get their shopping done early. Tell them that supplies are limited and going fast. Instill the risk of missing out on a well-priced opportunity. You must be urgent in your marketing efforts.
Tips for Leveraging Coupons During the Holidays
There are plenty of different tactics for increasing holiday sales, but one of the more successful strategies involves leveraging coupons in conjunction with a seasonal marketing campaign. Let’s take a look at how coupons, in particular, should be used.
As October gives way to November and Black Friday approaches, you’ll notice a natural uptick in the number of coupon campaigns and sales in the marketplace. The problem is that many of these coupons do nothing more than water down the sales environment. They’re weak coupons with no real benefit to the consumer and essentially tell customers that coupons are worthless. You have to break the mold.
From January to October, you can afford to be conservative with your coupons. Some people will bite – others won’t. That’s completely fine. However, during November and December, you have to be aggressive. A $1 off coupon doesn’t work. Even a 10 percent off coupon may be ineffective. Figure out your margins, inventory levels, and break-even points for each SKU and walk the line. Consumers are savvy and won’t bite on marginal coupon offers during the holidays.
Coupons need to be clear, precise, and specific. During the holiday sales rush, there’s no time for explaining how your coupons work or turning customers down because their purchase doesn’t meet the specific criteria on the coupon. Be extremely precise with your offers and presentation. Exclusions, rules, and requirements should be kept to a minimum.
If there are important exclusions, though, they must be clearly and boldly mentioned. This will prevent your sales employees from improperly processing transaction, which can seriously damage your bottom line.
Finally, coupons must be strategic during the holiday season. If you’ve been in business for a number of years, you know which items do sell well during November and December. There’s no sense in offering coupons and deals on items that already fly off the shelves. Instead, hone in on those items that don’t seem to move. How can you push those products without compromising the success of your other SKUs?
It’s questions like these that you have to think about when distributing and advertising coupon deals. Each coupon should be designed in a way that increases the transaction size of the average customer. If they’re coming into the store for a single deal and going through the checkout line without adding anything else to their cart, they’re winning. Your goal is to make the average customer purchase one or more additional items per transaction.
Mandlik & Rhodes: Strategic Coupon Processing Solutions
Seasonal marketing campaigns are no longer optional. If you want to compete for a portion of the multi-billion dollar holiday sales season, you must find a strategy that works and push it with everything you have.
At Mandlik& Rhodes, we understand that coupons are just one component of a successful seasonal marketing campaign. However, we also know that it’s one of the single most important components. Coupons attract customers, instill urgency, increase the average size of a transaction, and close sales. You simply can’t overlook them.
If you’re looking for a reliable and trusted name to handle your coupon processing needs, look no further than Mandlik & Rhodes. We’ve been in business since 1995 and have established ourselves as the premier partner for established and growing businesses. For additional information regarding our services, please contact us today!