Retailers are serious when it comes to marketing during the holiday season, and it’s a great time to see new creative, innovative approaches and what’s working and what’s not. Times are changing, and retailers are trying new ways to tap into the collective consciousness of the reticent shopper and motivate them to indulge in a little retail therapy.
Black Friday = Any Day Ending in “Y”
Most years, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) traditionally signals the start of the Christmas shopping season. This year, many stores opened on Thanksgiving Day to give shoppers that one extra day to get a jump on holiday shopping. Many retailers extended their Cyber Monday (the online equivalent of Black Friday deals) for a full week. And, retailers looked to exploit any and all other ways to entice shoppers to “get this party started”. One colleague told me a local boutique in her area was promoting their own exclusive shopping event called “Pink Friday.”
Friends & Family Promotions: Our In box Overfloweth
It’s that time of year when we think fondly of our friends and family. Retailers do too. Thus, you’ve no doubt seen the plethora of “Friends & Family” promotions. Once viewed as an “insider exclusive”, the blatant overuse of F&F campaigns has killed off a lot of their cache. Does anyone get excited anymore when they get a “Friends & Family” promotion? Worse, do you resent retailers suggesting they are your friend, when really you feel more affinity toward your second cousin in Idaho that you haven’t seen in 10 years? F&F promotions can still be used effectively to improve reach and expand databases with “like minded consumers,” but they need to be authentic. One of our customers, Timberland, was recently featured as an example of a retailer doing F&F right, leveraging a true organic distribution method and an 11-digit alpha-numeric code to track response.
With U.S. mobile e-commerce revenue forecasted to reach nearly $24 billion in 2015, and the cost of mobile messaging campaigns so appealing, many retailers are diving in to solicit savvy smartphone shoppers. Retailers such as Cole Haan are launching new m-commerce sites that are phone friendly versions of their e-commerce sites in order to make holiday shopping easier. They’ve also launched a new text message program to make shoppers aware of time sensitive holiday promotions. Shoppers can text the word COLEHAAN to 888444 to receive special holiday updates.
Posted by Dave Burton, Director CRM Product & Services, Epicor