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

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

Originally published on September 20th, 2021.

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

Halloween Marketing Resources

Halloween Marketing Resources

With spooky season right around the corner, retailers should be getting ready. Having a head start on marketing for a holiday is essential. The best retailers prepare at least a month in advance for most holidays. We have created a free resource page with Halloween marketing resources that any business can use!

On the page you will find various materials that you can use in your Halloween communications. This includes: Halloween hashtags, retail promotion ideas, over 20 royalty-free Halloween stock images, color schemes, a spooky Halloween font, and some inspiration for your Halloween displays.

Click here to access the TAKU Halloween marketing resources!


Some of the best marketing opportunities come during various holidays. Staying ahead of your holiday calendar and preparing is the key to boosting your sales. Check out our blog on year-round holiday marketing.

Link to Year-Round Retail Holiday Marketing blog post
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. 

Offer treats to show your appreciation: You could offer some Thanksgiving treats in-store to your customers. Things like cookies or pumpkin pie slices are a quick and easy option to show your customers you are thankful for their support. Besides a delicious treat, customers will associate the wholesome feeling of gratitude with your store.

Thanksgiving marketing idea: offer thanksgiving cookies
A cute and quirky Thanksgiving cookie, recipe here

Gratitude in your messaging too

The attitude for gratitude shouldn’t end at your sales strategies. Practice gratitude in the messaging throughout your store and to your customers. Making sure your loyal customers understand your gratefulness towards them is an amazing way to make these customers feel special. Use sentences that express thankfulness throughout your store and adverts. Sentences like the following:

  • Thank you for supporting us!/ Thanks for your support! (this one is a great little message to add on your store receipts)
  • We love our (your brand name) family! Thank you for sticking with us!
  • We’re here because of you, thank you!

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

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. 

Bonus tip: use Thanksgiving hashtags

Make sure you are using relevant hashtags in all your digital communications! This allows you to reach more people who are looking for Thanksgiving related stuff. The following hashtags are great for the holiday:

#Thanksgiving2022
#Thanksgiving
#Thankful
#ThanksgivingWeekend
#Gratitude
#Thankfulness
#TurkeyDay

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!  

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4 Ways QR Codes Can Help Retailers

4 Ways QR Codes Can Help Retailers

Invented in 1994, the QR code was originally made so that Toyota could track car parts in their manufacturing process. 28 years later, QR codes have become so much more. In particular, the COVID pandemic helped popularize the use of QR codes in businesses everywhere. Whether you’ve seen it being used by shoppers adding social media accounts or to view a digital menu, it’s an increasingly common tool that retailers can use to speed up service and improve customer experience. Here are 4 different ways QR codes can help retailers.

1. Attract more shoppers to your website

Drive more website traffic with QR codes
(Source)

QR codes can look like a complicated barcode but they are actually an image of information. For example, you can store everything from phone numbers and documents to website addresses. But sharing websites and social media accounts is definitely the most common use for QR codes. By adding a QR code to any marketing materials or signage, you are giving shoppers the fastest way for them to access your website or social media accounts. Instead of typing addresses or searching for accounts, shoppers can simply scan the QR code with the camera on their phones and access your information in 1-click.

Expert Tip!

QR codes do not need to be limited to physical materials. QR codes can also be placed on things such as email signatures, profile pictures, and social media covers.

By making it easier for shoppers to get access to your online storefront and social feeds, you will attract more shoppers to your business. After all, being found online or having an online storefront will not only increase your online sales, it helps drive foot traffic back to your physical store as shoppers have an easy way to stay up-to-date on new product launches, special offers, etc.

2. Sell from your shopfront window

Barber shop using a QR code on its storefront window
(Source)

Another way QR codes help retailers sell is to make it easier for stores to sell things from their physical shopfront window. For example, adding QR codes next to products that are displayed in your shopfront window that link to each specific product in your online catalog. This gives shoppers an easy way to scan a product to find out more or even buy online, even when your store is closed. Doing this makes your storefront window more engaging and informative – both of which are important for good customer experience.

3. Get more social media followers

Gain new followers with QR codes
(Source)

Many retailers today use QR codes to make it easier for shoppers to follow their social media accounts. Since QR codes are scanned as website links, shoppers can easily open your social media accounts with 1 click. Making it easier for people to find your accounts will increase the likelihood that they will follow you. Place these QR codes anywhere customers and business partners can see them (email signatures, profile pictures, in-store signs, counter stickers, etc.).

4. Give fast access to free WiFi

Give fast access to free WiFi with QR codes
(Source)

One of the best uses of QR codes is to give shoppers 1-click access to guest WiFi in the store. You can create a QR code that store visitors can scan to be automatically connected to your guest WiFi. This is a special type of QR code that automatically enters the network name and password into an iPhone or Android mobile phone. Shoppers love it as it means no more entering network names or long passwords. It is also better for your network security as you don’t need to disclosing the actual password.

If you want to encourage shoppers to browse, offering free guest WiFi is a great way to get shoppers to stay for a longer time in your store. It doesn’t cost you anything and it’s been shown that shoppers that stay longer in a store buy more things and spend more money.

Scroll down to learn how to create your own WiFi QR code.

How to create QR codes

QR codes are very simple to create. All you need is online QR code generator to make them. When using these platforms, creating your QR code is as simple as pasting the website address you would like customers to open. Then press the generate button, and congratulations you will have just made your first QR code!

A. Standard QR codes

Standard QR codes for retail
Creating a QR code on QR Code Monkey

For standard QR codes, we have two recommendations: QR Code Monkey and QR Code Generator. QR Code Monkey is a great free option. QR Code Generator offers a few more features and even has a premium membership. Both of these tools let you add colors and even a logo to your QR code.

B. WiFi QR codes

WiFi QR codes for retail

The main difference when creating QR codes for WiFi sharing is that the code generator needs to support WiFi information. A good tool for this is QiFi.org which was built specifically for this.

All you need to do is enter the SSID (network name) and password for your guest WiFi network. You may also need to enter the Encryption type, so check your Wi-Fi settings if you don’t already know this. Once all of the information is entered, click Generate to produce the code.

Expert Tips!

1. For better security, always create a separate guest WiFi from your main WiFi network so that you have separate password access.

2. For better security, always make sure that you hide the password so that it cannot be seen in the user’s phone. With QiFi.org, fill the Hidden checkbox before clicking Generate.

3. Always test your QR code on your mobile phone before printing any marketing materials or sharing it to make sure it is working properly!

Now you know some ways QR codes can help retailers. Time to start implementing this popular technology to your business. You can follow one of the tactics we mentioned, or get creative and try your own tactic. If you end up coming up with your own QR tactic, please feel free to share it below in the comments!

Google SWIS integration for Online Catalogs
How Retailers Can Get Shoppers To Add More To Their Store Pickup Orders

How Retailers Can Get Shoppers To Add More To Their Store Pickup Orders

If you’ve been keeping up with TAKU blogs we assume you are already offering Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS). If you aren’t, check out how TAKU can help you to easily offer BOPIS with 0 headaches! 85% of shoppers interviewed in this study have admitted to making extra in-store purchases when visiting to pick up their orders. It’s essential to be thinking about how retailers can get shoppers to add more to their store pick up orders since this is the best way to get the most out of your BOPIS offerings.

Let’s go over some strategies YOU can start using today to get more impulse purchases through in-store pick ups.

Start on the online front

Woman doing online shopping

Your first opportunity at getting customers to add more to their purchase during a BOPIS order is on the online front. Your customers are already ready to make a purchase when they go onto your website to make an order – this is the perfect time to strike! CNBC mentions that “once you’ve mentally committed to buying an item online, you know you’ll have to go through the required steps such as entering your information… so you may be more open to tossing additional stuff into your cart.” Here are two tactics you can use to upsell online.

Timed discounts

BarkBox's week long promotion
BarkBox’s limited time promotion (Source)

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real thing. Finder.com reported that more than half of consumers said they made an impulse purchase because of FOMO. Timed discounts are a perfect way to use this attitude to make more sales. When a consumer is making a pick up order on your website, you can upsell another item to them at a discount. Make sure this discount has a timer on it, so they have to make the decision quick or miss out on the offer forever.

Item recommendations

Lush's product feed to upsell
Lush uses a product recommendation feed at checkout to upsell to customers (Source)

You can upsell products on the checkout screen of your website with ease. You can recommend products that pair well with whatever the customer is buying and have them be easy to add to the customer’s cart right from the checkout screen.

Real-time stock quantities

Showing real-time stock levels for items on your website is a great way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order. Shoppers whose purchases are driven by stock availability would be excited to add more to their cart if they know those items are available and can be picked up all at once, in one visit.

TAKU Retail's real-time stock quantity with Google integrations
TAKU’s Google inventory integration in action

On top of that, you can still appeal to a customer’s FOMO with this tactic. If the customer sees that an additional item only has 1 unit left in stock, they will be more likely to reserve the item online so that they do not miss out. Adding a tool such as TAKU’s built-in integration to Google to your own online store makes it easy for you to effortlessly showcase your available store products online.

Amazon's real-time stock quantity to upsell products
Amazon’s use of stock quantity to leverage FOMO (Source)

In-store strategy to upsell

Another opportunity to increase additional sales of a pick up order is within the store itself. As BOPIS’ name suggests, your customers will have to come in-store to pick up their products. This provides another avenue to promote extra purchases. Here are some tactics that will get shoppers to add more to their pick up orders.

Transaction building with expert employees

Apple store expert employee speaking to customers
An Apple store employee providing expertise to customers (Source)

A transaction building strategy will motivate consumers to add more to orders. For example let’s pretend you are an hardware store. If a customer comes into buy a bath tub for a washroom renovation they may realize there are some other products they will need. These can include things like caulking, shower heads, and maybe even a shower curtain rod. You can train your employees to bring these subjects up when the customer comes into pick up their order, this will ideally lead to more additions to their purchase. Having well-informed employees is a huge advantage for this strategy. Think about a time where an employee’s expertise in a store has helped you make the right purchase.

Price threshold discounts

FreshWagon's spend 75 and get 15% off
FreshWagon’s price threshold promotion

Another simple way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order is to offer discounts based on their transaction price. Let’s say a customer is coming in to pick up a $180.00 order. You could tell them that if they make a $200.00 purchase they will get an additional 10% off. This will get them to look around your store for a $20 item so that they can get the discount. The urgency of the in-store offer is often enough to get them to purchase an extra item or two.

Promotions on receipts

Receipt marketing to upsell
ecrebo’s receipt marketing

If the customer has already made the pick up without adding anything to their purchase, you can make a last ditch effort through receipt marketing. You can leave messages on the receipts of transactions which communicate in-store promotions and discounts. This way the customer knows that next time they can take advantage of in-store promotions and add to their basket. Companies like Fobi offer products which can help you make the most out of receipt marketing.

Game tactics

Melie bianco's spin-to-win promotional wheel
(Source)

Who doesn’t enjoy a good game? Using the reward system that games use can help your customers feel more enticed to make additional purchases. At the pick up center of your store you could add a spin-to-win wheel that will give customers special promotions with the purchase of an additional item. You could also try to upsell a specific item which will enter the customer into a raffle to win something exciting.

Don’t sleep on food

Canadian Tire's snack display
Canadian Tire sells bags of candy right next to their checkouts

Have you ever been to a hardware store and saw their displays near the cash registers and wondered why? You know, those displays showcasing snacks like chips, candy and nuts. Well there’s a reason to include those items there. Even if you are not in an industry usually related to food, you can easily offer food items as small last minute purchases. When someone is coming in quickly to pick up an item, sometimes the convenience of having a drink or snack be easily grabbable is just what they need. Why would the customer drive to a gas station to buy a water bottle when they can easily grab one right at your store as they are picking up their order?

Make it easy to add more

In order to get the best results with any of these tips, you go to make it easy for the customer and employee. No one is going to want to add to their order if it is made a hassle. Your employees should be easily able to add additional items to the customer’s order with quickness. POS systems like TAKU make this as easy as possible.


TAKU can help your store manage BOPIS and curbside fulfillments efficiently. In addition to running all your in-store and online sales in one system, TAKU’s built-in free Google listings allow you to easily advertise your real stock availability to current customers. Want to get started? Click the button below for a free demo.

Top 100 Retail Terms Every Retailer Needs To Know

Top 100 Retail Terms Every Retailer Needs To Know

Are you wondering what “BOPIS” or “clicks to bricks” mean? Are you looking for a reliable list of the top 100 retail terms?🤔

Success in retail today involves an increasing number of technologies and concepts. But who has the time to keep up with new terms when you’re busy running retail stores?

The ultimate retailer's glossary. Top 100 retail terms.

Don’t worry, TAKU Retail has got you covered. Whether you’re a long-time retailer or a new merchant, we’re here to make things easier for you. Don’t waste time looking at questionable resources online.

As former retailers themselves, our founders have prepared a list of the most used retail terms in a searchable, sortable retail glossary. Click below for the only retail dictionary you’ll ever need.


TAKU Retail continues to be the best go-to tool for your retail needs. Besides our retail glossary, check out our free blog resources to find other ways to improve your business. All of our blog posts are written for retail owners.