As we slowly step away from the hot summer months and move into fall, it’s time to start ramping up for the best time of the year – retail season. While most assume that retail season starts on Black Friday, it has already begun! Halloween decor and Christmas trees are in stores long before the first day of fall! ‘Tis the season for getting a jumpstart on your gift lists, taking on holiday price cuts and promotions, and shopping local as much as you can. Crowds are growing in-store and on e-commerce sites. How can your company take advantage of the retail season [and beyond]? Here are a few marketing tips from the team:

Streamline The Sales Funnel

Online sales marketing is easier for large corporations because they often have bottomless ad budgets and user experience teams that test and update their websites to perform exactly how consumers expect. But, for local and small businesses, e-commerce tends to get a little complicated. There are a few things to keep on your radar as we move into retail season. First of all, make sure your website is organized, simplistic, and user-friendly. One of the biggest deterrents for online shoppers is a confusing website. This can lead to an increase in shopping cart abandonment, bad sales funnels, and a disappointing conversion rate. Look at the top products and/or services that your company provides, and identify your target audience. The earlier you do this, the better – once we get closer to the holidays, advertising and social media content tends to get drowned out as everyone starts offering specials and promotions. Also, remember to update your shipping and handling times and rates to ensure your customer is happy with the overall experience.

Year-Round Approach

Marketing holidays happen year-round! Some holidays to plan for in the new year are Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and summer vacation (while it is not an official holiday, it is important to note). Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest retail experiences aside from Christmas in the United States. Why you may ask? THE CHOCOLATE! Well, not just the chocolate, but the cards, flowers and nights out really do burn a hole in your wallet! Mother’s and Father’s Day are also celebrated with gift-giving. Incorporating holiday hashtags on your marketing posts will likely increase reach and engagement (think other potential gifting days like Grandparent’s Day or National Dog Day if your business serves pet owners). 

Holiday sale events are incredibly successful. A few to pay attention to in terms of marketing are tax season, President’s Day and Labor Day. These are huge holidays for furniture companies! You’ve seen the commercials! President’s Day sales are also big shopping opportunities for the consumer, and big marketing opportunities for businesses. Between the big holidays, you can market for certain hashtag holidays that apply to your company. We are big fans of National Donut Day!

Plan Ahead!

Some last words of advice: plan ahead! Don’t market for a season right as it starts and don’t plan a sales event for a holiday the week before. Typically, marketing teams (or you) need at least 6-8 weeks in advance to plan the campaign and roll-out should be 4-5 weeks beforehand. This might sound silly to some, but extra time is always better than rushing at the last minute and figuring out how your sales can be differentiated from the thousands of competitors out there.