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How To Plan For Pre, Peak, and Post-Holiday Shopping

How To Plan For Pre, Peak, and Post-Holiday Shopping

October to December marks the peak shopping season for retail stores. It’s a time when many retailers plan for an increase in shoppers. As the world moves out of the global pandemic, retailers need to be ready for customers with new shopping behaviors.

Pre-Holiday

According to a Google study, 70% won’t consider purchasing something without seeing it online: whether it is an ad, browsing through a website, social media, or email newsletter. This means that retailers need to start ramping up on their online efforts early: whether it is sending weekly newsletters or updating social media on a regular basis, “online storefronts” are more important than ever to shoppers.

Think With Google, 2021

People often flip between discovery (window-shopping) and shopping (looking for products mainly based on functions or features) until they are ready to make a purchasing decision. Of the two, discovery is more emotional and can often override the rational thinking behind shopping. Which is why online “pre-shopping” discovery is so important to the entire shopping process now.

A Statista survey showed that up to 50% of people are planning to do their holiday shopping in-stores. This means that retailers need to be ready to showcase new merchandise and discounts online to shoppers even before they make it to the stores.

Retailers need to gather more customer reviews so that they appear higher than their competitors on Google searches. Read more on how to get more customer reviews here.

Peak-Holiday

In 2020, up to 79% of people left their holiday shopping until one-week before Christmas. This is good news for retailers because they are able to push their efforts to the very last minute. The same study showed that 64% of shoppers planned to shop in-stores. After more than a year of restrictions, people are eager to get out. This is great for physical stores that are able to target shoppers when they’re nearby.

Convenience plays a huge role in purchasing decisions today. “Now near me” searches have grown 100% worldwide. Options for store-managed e-commerce have also increased a lot. Because some shoppers will always leave holiday shopping until the last minute, local stores have a major advantage. After all, everybody has experienced shipping delays given the increase in online shopping. Instead, more local shoppers are searching for ways to buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS) to avoid delays.

The key to successfully offering store pickup for online orders is inventory accuracy. This means using store operations software that offers real-time stock information in-store and online. One way to make sure that your store appears online is to use Google’s free product listings and Local Inventory Ads (LIA). Learn more about how to increase foot traffic to stores with Google here.

For last minute shoppers, retailers can offer store pickup. Not only does this avoid delivery delays, it helps encourage shoppers to purchase extra items when they come to the store for their orders. Make sure that your order pickup area is well-merchandised with suitable impulse products. And consider switching to an order pickup system that will allow staff to checkout customers. There’s nothing worse than losing sales from a in-store shopper just because a customer doesn’t want to line up again to pay.

Post-Holiday

13% of all retail purchases end up being returned. This means that retailers could be juggling huge losses in January. In the US, 1.75 million packages were returned in January 2021, and that does not include returns in store!

Keeping the return process simple and painless is key. It is especially important for retailers to create an easy process as 89% shoppers who have difficult return experiences will not shop at the same store again.

As the holiday frenzy winds down, retailers should cycle back to the pre-holiday selling tactics and tips to gear themselves up for another selling season. Read more about our off-season marketing strategies here.


Want to know more about Post-COVID merchandising?

post covid merchandising checklist

Sell More: Post-COVID Black Friday Marketing Tips For Retailers

Sell More: Post-COVID Black Friday Marketing Tips For Retailers

Thanksgiving weekend (from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) is one of the biggest shopping events of the year. Black Friday will look different this year as more COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. It will be a chance for shoppers to re-emerge in store to do their shopping.

This is the perfect opportunity for retailers to attract more shoppers with Black Friday marketing to increase store visits and sales. To take full advantage of the holiday weekend, retailers need to be prepared to meet shopper demand and expectations.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Black Friday sales in 2020 were surprisingly strong. Although brick-and-mortar stores saw a decline in foot traffic and sales, 2020 was a year for e-commerce. According to Adobe Analytics, online sales in the US went up by a whopping 21.6% from the previous year.

From the same survey, it was reported that 44% of consumers planned to shop small and support local retailers. Compared to previous months, local retailers did see a 545% increase in sales around Black Friday. This is good news for local retailers who want to take advantage of the spending season.

Keep reading to find out how you can take advantage of these trends and increase your retail sales!

6 Retail Store Marketing Tips

1) Improve Your Local Online Presence 

Review your online presence for Black Friday weekend

Research shows that shoppers are looking to Google and conducting searches even more now prior to visiting physical stores. This shows that valid and accurate online information make it easier for shoppers to purchase in-store. This means that, even without an online store, it’s important to improve your online presence.

If your business cannot easily be found online, there’s a large chance that you are losing out on potential shoppers to your competitors. Here is a quick checklist that will help you review how your retail store appears online: 

  • Check to see if you business information and holiday hours are updated on Google My Business.
  • You can use tools like Yext to run a scan of how your business appears on listings / online directories across the web (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc).
  • If you’ve moved or want to be found on more local directories, sign up for a one-time local listing service through services such as The Hoth or Fat Joe.
  • Encourage or even offer a small incentive to get your happy customers to leave a positive review on your Google My Business store profile. Make sure that you reply to customer reviews whether they are good or bad. You’ll want to ensure that your customers are regularly leaving reviews as 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business. Click here to find out how you can gather more positive reviews for your retail business. 
  • Retailers with websites need to make sure that their websites are mobile-friendly. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly test to check how easy it is for shoppers to view your website on their mobile phones.

2) Engage With Shoppers After The Holiday Weekend Is Over

Black Friday Sale

Over 56% of 2018 Black Friday shoppers still had holiday shopping to complete after the weekend was over. And the majority of shoppers (92%) believed that the strong deals offered over the weekend would continue or improve throughout the rest of the holiday season.

This means that in order to capture this chunk of customers, retailers should build on the existing interest and run promotions or events even after the Black Friday weekend. To reach as many shoppers as possible, run email marketing campaigns possibly together with digital marketing ads to promote your unique products and deals! 

3) Partner Up With A Local Business 

partner up with a local business during Black Friday

It’s hard for small retailers to compete with big-box stores on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Slashing prices in an attempt to increase traffic and sales just isn’t good for your profit margins. But with 65% of shoppers indicating that good deals are their main motivation for Black Friday weekend shopping, you still need to find ways to stand out.

By partnering with local businesses, you can provide unique deals that shoppers will have a hard time passing up. And this way, you don’t have to risk low profit margins. In fact, you can still sell products at regular price or even at a premium.

The best collaboration strategies include: 

  • Selling products in bundles: Packaging products that complement each other in one product bundle is a great way to increase your store’s average order value. For example, pairing three lipstick shades with a skincare product or, bundling sweaters with a free bag. In order for this strategy to work, it’s obviously a good idea to partner with another retailer that sells complementary products. 
  • Offer partner promotions / discounts: Another effective strategy includes cross-promoting. For example, shoppers will receive 10% off of total sale or free shipping at your partner’s business when they purchase $50 or more at your store. You can print promotional material on your receipts and customers can use this as a voucher. 
  • Host in-store or online events: You can also team up with local businesses to host special events. For example, you could partner up with a nearby restaurant to host a late-night open house or extended seasonal hours. Remember a good chunk of shoppers view Black Friday as something fun – 17% of shoppers see it as a group activity with their friends / family and 21% of shoppers say that it gives them something to do

4) Offer Exclusive Benefits To VIP Shoppers

Black Friday exclusive offers

Black Friday is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your most loyal shoppers. After all, they are best customers and the ones most interested in your products.

By adding exclusivity to your email marketing campaigns, you increase psychological rewards like a sense of belonging and importance. This is why exclusivity makes your promotional offers appear more attractive to shoppers vs. simply pricing and encourages them to visit your store.

Remember – shoppers receive too many emails during this time of year. So make your emails stand out with:

  1. Clear offers in the subject line (for example: Exclusive VIP Sale) 
  2. Personalized subject lines (personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened). Or, you could include the shopper’s first name in the email opening line. 
  3. A short, simple, and to the point message. 

 5) Promote Urgency

Promote urgency during black Friday

The majority of shoppers (92%) believe that strong deals will be offered all throughout the holiday season. And with so many competitors offering deals during the weekend, shoppers are left with a lot of decisions to make. That’s why it’s necessary to create a sense a urgency with your Black Friday marketing campaigns.

Urgency is a widely used marketing tool in retail. And for good reason – creating a sense of urgency in shoppers increases demand and ultimately leads to more purchases. Create an incentive for shoppers to take action by running your promotions for a limited time. One effective way to create time pressure is to include a countdown timer on your website or in your email campaign. Show your shoppers how many days, hours, and minutes are remaining for them to get a deal on their favorite items. 

6) Highlight Stock Availability

Google Local Inventory Ads for Black Friday

Stock availability is a type of FOMO or “Fear Of Missing Out” that encourages shoppers to take action. It’s a good idea to emphasize that certain items are limited or low in stock in your marketing campaigns or on your e-commerce site. If you do not have an online store, it’s a good idea to run Google Local Inventory Ads and take advantage of digital marketing that helps you promote automatically based on product availability. If your POS is linked directly to these type of Google Ads, stock availability will adjust based on real-time shelf quantities and save you the hassle of manual updates.

These ads work by targeting nearby shoppers who are searching online for products that your store sells. Google LIAs are effective because they capture shopper intent at the moment that they are looking to purchase.  Click here to learn how your store can easily implement Google LIAs together with your POS system to increase store sales and foot traffic. 

Omnichannel Shopping Are The New Reality Of Retail

It turns out that these shoppers are more valuable too. 73% of shoppers are not just shopping either fully online or in-store. These people are called omnichannel shoppers who go through their buying experience in more than one way. According to the NRF, shoppers who used more than one way to look for deals spent up to $93 more than the single channel shopper. And according to another study, multi-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those shoppers that only purchase from one channel.

Regardless of what stage you are at, moving your retail business online, consider the strategies above to improve how well you serve your customers online this year during the all-important holiday shopping season.


Want to know more about curbside pickup?

TAKU helps you set up curbside pickup easily

Valentine’s Day Retail Stock Photos

Valentine’s Day Retail Stock Photos

Valentine’s Day is here! So, to help our store owners out, we’ve put together some Valentine’s Day retail stock photos!

All images are free for commercial use, no attribution is required. 

You can download the photos for free here


Happy Valentine’s Day!

You can join the waitlist for beta here. In the meantime, subscribe to our blog for more retail tips. 

Valentine’s Day Retail Tips

Valentine’s Day Retail Tips

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Which means that it’s time for retailers to spread the love.  

This year, shoppers are planning on spending an average of $196.31 on their loved ones. And with 55% of consumers expected to celebrate, total spending is estimated to reach a historical record of $27.4 billion

The best part is, you don’t have to be in the chocolate or gift industry to win the hearts of consumers! Keep reading to find out how you can take advantage of the record spending expected this Valentine’s day. 

3 Ways to Increase Store Sales this Valentine’s Day 

1. Add a Valentine’s Day section to your store and website

Valentine’s Day is infamous for being a last minute holiday. So, to make it easier for last minute gift buyers and shoppers, place all of your Valentine’s Day related merchandise in one section of your retail store and website.

If you own a physical retail store, dedicate a corner of your store to Valentine’s day so busy shoppers can grab and go. Consider creating a vibrant point of purchase display with Valentine’s Day colours (see the example below). Making use of signage to guide shoppers towards deals and merchandise will also help make the shopping experience more convenient. 

valentines day retail merchandising

With more and more shoppers browsing online before purchasing in-store, it’s also good practice to dedicate a section of your website to Valentine’s Day – regardless of whether or not you sell online.

Have a look at what Mejuri is doing for Valentine’s Day below. The retailer devoted a whole page on their website to Valentine’s day and even created a gift guide for shoppers. 

2. Create a retargeting strategy

Selling to existing shoppers is easier and more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. So, consider retargeting shoppers who have made purchases at your retail store during the holiday season.

To target these shoppers, you can create an email campaign to inform them of your upcoming Valentine’s Day promotions. It’s also a good idea to create a Valentine’s Day gift guide to include in your email campaign. 

In addition to email, running Facebook Retargeting Ads is an effective way to connect with shoppers. Facebook even gives merchants the option of uploading an email list when running retargeting ads. 

You don’t need a crazy budget either – retargeting ads generally perform well with a small budget of $10- $15 a day. 

valentine's day retargeting ads

3) Find a Valentine’s Day angle

Not in the chocolate or jewellery industry? That’s ok – you don’t have to sell Valentine’s Day related items to capitalize on the holiday. 

You can always find a unique angle to sell your merchandise. For example, Apple found a brilliant way to position their products for Valentine’s Day, using the slogan “Love is in the Air” to promote the iPad Air. 

And remember – about half of consumers will not be celebrating the holiday. Rather than alienating this customer segment, cater your marketing message to single people by encouraging shoppers to treat themselves. 

For example, Mac is a retailer that recognizes the power of self-love as a marketing tool. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, the retailer sent out an email campaign encouraging shoppers to treat themselves for the holiday. 


Happy Valentine’s Day retailers! And happy selling! 

Join our beta waitlist here and in the meantime, sign up for our blog updates for more retail tips. 

#valentinesdayretail #sellmore #increaseretailsales #builtforretail #cloudpos #retailpos

Sell More: 3 Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas for Retailers

Sell More: 3 Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas for Retailers

Fall is fast approaching, and for Canadian retailers this means gearing up for the Thanksgiving long weekend. 

Although Canadian Thanksgiving isn’t as closely associated with shopping (compared to the U.S. holiday), retailers can still create a unique experience for shoppers. 

Keep reading to find out how you can gobble up your fair share of sales this Thanksgiving weekend. 

3 Thanksgiving Marketing Strategies to Help you Sell More

1) Have an Attitude of Gratitude 

Retail sale

Thanksgiving is the ideal occasion to express your gratitude to shoppers. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to excite them with upcoming Thanksgiving promotions and discounts. 

So thank loyal customers for their business by offering them something in return – in the form of special deals, coupons, or gifts! The following is a list of possible promotions you can run during the weekend: 

A Free Gift with Every Purchase: This promotion type encourages shoppers to make a purchase by offering more value for the same price. In order to create a sense of urgency among customers, retailers should stress that the promotion is limited and exclusive. Meaning that the gift is only offered for a certain period of time and until stock runs out. For example, think about using the words “while supplies last” or “offer valid from October 6-14” on your promotional materials. 

Percentage Discount: This is the most straight-forward and popular promotion type. Seasonal discounts help attract new customers and get rid of slow moving or seasonal stock. 

Buy One, Get One Free: Studies show that offering shoppers something for free is oftentimes more effective than a discount. You can pair high-margin items with slow moving stock. Or, you can increase the amount of items required in the promotion. For example, “Buy 3, Get 1 Free”.  The Body Shop is a retailer that frequently and effectively employs this promotion strategy. 

Once you’ve gotten your promotion strategy in place, make use of digital marketing tools to spread the word about your’s store Thanksgiving promotions. An email marketing campaign and social media are both effective tools that will help generate a buzz and increase foot traffic for your store. 

2) Thanksgiving Email Marketing

thanksgiving email marketing

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach shoppers and drive store sales. According to Hubspot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent

Listed below are best practices to follow for creating an email marketing campaign that converts subscribers to shoppers: 

  • Include an incentive in the subject line. Many business owners overlook the importance of email subject lines. If your email headline does not grab the attention of shoppers (even if it is drafted to perfection), it is unlikely that anyone will open it. By including an incentive in the subject line, you can improve your email open rate. An example of a compelling, incentive-driven subject line is,”35% Off Thanksgiving promotion starts tomorrow”. 
  • Get the timing right. Thanksgiving is a busy time for most shoppers. On top of that, most people are expecting a bombardment of holiday emails (Halloween, Black Friday, American Thanksgiving, Cyber-Monday etc.). That’s why retailers can expect lower than average open and click through rates in November. So it’s important to start your email marketing campaign at least a week prior to the Thanksgiving weekend. Earlier in the week is also proven to be better for email campaigns – with Monday having the highest open rate
  • Personalize the email. You can do so by including the shopper’s first name in the email or subject line. Personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. a

3) Give Back to Your Community

thanksgiving marketing through charity

There are many ways to give back to the community this Thanksgiving season. 

One way is to partner up with a local food bank by holding a canned food drive at your physical storefront. Not only does this showcase your store’s community support, it also helps drive foot traffic to your store. Create incentives for shoppers to donate by giving a % discount to every shopper who drops by your retail business with canned food. 

You don’t necessarily have to partner up with a food bank either. Think about teaming up with a local organization that is related to your business. For example: 

  • A pet food store could partner with an animal shelter. 
  • A women’s clothing store could team up with a domestic violence shelter in the area. 
  • Health food stores could work with local homeless shelters.  

Supporting a cause that both you and your shoppers believe in will help you build brand awareness and create new marketing opportunities for your retail business. 

Get Ready For Halloween and Black Friday

Remember, Thanksgiving sets the stage for Halloween and Black Friday – two of the biggest shopping days of the year. So it’s a great opportunity to generate a buzz and get shoppers excited for upcoming promotions and deals! 


Did you find this article helpful?

We will be posting more holiday marketing tips in the upcoming weeks. 

Subscribe to our blog to stay updated!  

#thanksgiving #marketing #ideas #holidaymarketing #retail #sellmore

Retail Marketing: Free Thanksgiving Stock Images

Retail Marketing: Free Thanksgiving Stock Images

Fall is fast approaching. Which means that our retailers are beginning to gear up for their Holiday marketing campaigns. 

And the first stop is Thanksgiving!

 So to help you stand out, we’ve put together a collection of beautiful, high quality images. 

All photos are free for commercial use, no attribution required.

 Click here to download the images for free. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


#thanksgiving #canada #retail #freephotos #stockphotos #fallphotos #thanksgivingphotos #retailmarketing #retailpos #cloudpos