It’s always a wild moment when September is barely underway, and stores begin to fill their shelves with holiday goods and the every-yummy PSL. Ghouls, pumpkins, and fall leaves slowly get replaced by ornaments and cornucopias. But even if it seems like retailers might jump the gun with their holiday sales, it’s actually smart for businesses to get a head start on planning for the holidays. If you’re considering taking advantage of holiday ads for your business, here are some key points to keep in mind – and a gift from us of some holiday advertising ideas for you.
Proactive vs. Reactive Shoppers
We all know the people who rush out to the mall every year on Christmas Eve, trying to get those few gifts they forgot about until the last moment (we can affectionately call them the procrastinators). And then there are the proactive people who start shopping in early October, who purchase and wrap their gifts well before Thanksgiving.
But did you know there’s a third group? These individuals may not have a plan to start shopping early, but they’re very easily influenced by holiday ads and more likely to impulse buy. While you want to keep all shoppers in mind, this reactive group is important to remember when you develop holiday advertising ideas.
When it comes to shoppers who tend to wait until the last minute, there’s not as much you can do to target them. Some of the best ideas are to offer a time-bound flash sale in the week leading up to a major holiday. This is more realistic for brick-and-mortar stores than online ones since shipping isn’t a factor for them. Use physical signage to attract people to your store, and advertise your last-minute sales via email and social media as well.
Ecommerce sites can try a similar approach, and offer a printable “coupon” or gift card that buyers can use to give a representation of their gift before the real thing arrives in the mail. Advertising via email and social media are good tactics to try here too.
The shoppers who like to get things done early always appreciate sales and thoughtful store policies. For example, someone may want to buy a holiday gift in early November, but won’t be giving it to their recipient until the end of December. If you don’t already, consider making your return policies more flexible so you remain friendly to this group. And of course, advertise these amended policies.
Proactive shoppers tend to do a lot of research, so work to get your products on “top” lists (and start submitting them now, since evaluation periods are usually months ahead of the holiday season). Also, focus on your review standings. Are your products favorably reviewed online? If so, you’re more likely to get proactive shoppers to consider you. If not, try creating an automated email asking happy customers to review your products online. This can go a long way toward reaching proactive buyers.
Finally, let’s talk about reactive shoppers. This group is most likely to shop when they stumble on something they simply can’t resist. They tend to be impulsive, and often emotionally-driven. Use social media advertising with compelling images and text to drive interest when these buyers are scrolling through their feeds. The more you can do to reduce the number of clicks it takes to make a purchase, the more likely you’ll get sales here.
You can also use retargeting campaigns to appeal to reactive shoppers. They may visit your site and become interested in something you’re selling, just to talk themselves out of it and move on to another site. But your retargeting ad could be just enough of a reminder to get them back to make the purchase.
Lastly, think about emotions and painting powerful pictures when you work on holiday ads to target this group. The more you can get them to connect with the positive emotion your product provides, the more likely they’ll buy it. Also, consider bundling several products into a holiday-specific gift. If you plant the seed of a holiday theme with your products, you may just see these reactive folks make a quick purchase.
Any other questions about planning your holiday ads strategically? We’re here to help!