Christmas is just around the corner and it means you have work to do. For a retailer, there is nothing more exciting than to see the sales graph go up during the holidays. Statistics show that holiday sales are likely to exceed $1 trillion this year, which is a humongous sum of money. The average adult in the U.S. is likely to spend over $400 on holiday related gifts. So, as a retailer, you have much to rejoice about this holiday season.

In this article, we take a look at eight innovative marketing and promotional hacks that can help you stand out from your competitors and boost your holiday sales.

1. Have a Sale

It might sound obvious, but it is one of the tried and tested strategies to increase sales, particularly during the holidays. Offer big discounts (typically 25% or more) on holiday related items and advertise it through various channels – fliers, newspapers, radio, social media, and any other medium that you can think of. You can club two or three holiday related items as a package and offer a bigger discount than what you offer on individual items. This way, the customer will be tempted to purchase the whole package and save more money, rather than buying an individual item.

2. Email Campaigns

Despite the ubiquitous presence of social media, email marketing still remains one of the most effective ways to attract customers. A report from McKinsey states that email marketing is three times more effective than social media campaign and the average customer order is likely to be 17% higher. So, sending out emails to your customers is one of the best ways to promote your products and services during the Christmas season.

The trick to a successful email marketing campaign is to make the subscribers feel special. For instance, you can offer special deals and discounts for your subscribers that are not available for the general public. Also, make sure you address each and every subscriber by their first name in your emails and try to deliver a personalized message rather than a flat, emotionless promotional campaign.

3. Run Contests

Contests are a great way to get potential customers interested in your business. You can ask them to take a picture of their Christmas tree and post it on social media, offer special discounts for people who retweet, share, and like your promotional posts on social media, you can ask them to send you an SMS about the gifts they would like to receive this season or their idea of a perfect Christmas gift hamper- the possibilities are virtually endless. It is a sure shot way to generate a buzz and a sense of enthusiasm among your potential customers.

4. Help Your Customers Out

Your customers could use a little bit of help during the holiday season. You can have a resident personal shopper, who can help your customers select the items they want and offer suggestions on the best holiday gifts. You can also gift wrap the items your customers buy completely free of cost. These are small things that can turn first-time visitors to your store into loyal customers.

5. Offer Gift Cards

Offering discounts on select items is a good idea, but sometimes your customers might not need those particular items. A gift card, on the other hand, is something your customers will really appreciate. In fact, according to the National Retail Association, gift card holders often spend more money than the total value of the card.

You can offer a free gift card for your most loyal customers to appreciate the business they have given you over the years. For others, you can offer a gift card if they purchase items worth a certain amount of money.

6. Window Display

A good old window display is what you need to make the best use of the extra foot traffic during the holiday season. The more attractive and unique your display is, the more people it is likely to attract.

Many people these days, however, are glued to their cell phones and are hardly aware of what is going on around them. In such cases, you need more than just a display to get their attention. For instance, you can have someone dressed up as Santa stand in front of your store and offer free hot chocolate to passersby.

7. Proximity Marketing

You can use proximity marketing technology to deliver targeted messages to the cell phones of people who walk by your store. These are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth based technologies and they do not require people to download an app or something. The moment they walk past your store, they will automatically receive a message on their mobile phone. It is a very subtle, clever way to send promotional offers to potential customers.

8. Rope In Your Customers for Your Marketing Campaign

Referral programs are a great way to rope in your customers into your marketing and promotional campaigns. You can offer special discounts, gift cards, or surprise gifts for customers who bring in a certain number of new referrals during the holiday season. It is a great way to cultivate a sense of loyalty among your customers and increase your overall customer base at the same time.

Preparing for Holiday Sales

The aforementioned tactics should help you gear up for the frenzy of the holiday season sale. Remember – you are likely to sell more stock during the holiday season than compared to the rest of the year. So, it is absolutely important to have sufficient stock on hand. Analyze your store’s sales graph during the holiday season over the years and calculate how much stock you are likely to need.

More importantly, let people know about your holiday deals and offers. Use every means at your disposal – distribute fliers, place ads in magazines and newspapers, send out emails, post on social media, and do everything you can to let people know all about your amazing holiday offers. Plan ahead, devise innovative promotional campaigns, implement them perfectly, and get ready to rake in the profits.

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