As another frenetic year of business comes to an end, companies of all sizes will be looking to their sales and trying to understand how they can maintain or increase them as the holidays roll around. While those of you who run a brick and mortar store operation see hordes of customers come in store on Boxing Day, that trend isn't as much of a guarantee online. Remembering that online stores have the benefit of an upsurge of customers across Black Friday and Black Monday, there is certainly an art to remaining relevant online over the holiday period. Nowhere is that more prominent than in New Zealand, where our beautiful summer calls us away from our computers and out to the beach!
The first thing to understand about the post Christmas period is that it's not just about Boxing Day. It's always a good strategy to think of Boxing Day as the first day of a month long sales and marketing campaign. Your customers will be hunting around and expecting sales on Boxing Day, but their spending can continue into the New Year if you strategise correctly. With that in mind, sit down and come up with a bit of a plan that keeps your offering interesting for the whole month. For example, start the hype for Boxing Day early (so customers are looking forward to sales that are on the way), hammer those sales hard on Boxing Day, then get inventive with your offerings for the rest of the month. Think about different deals which might suit a New Year promo, as well as other ways to engage and reward your customer base.
To give you an idea of what strategies do work over the period, Big Commerce released some interesting stats on where sales came from amongst a group of surveyed companies. What the data shows is that there are definitely a number of ways to skin a cat, and that varying different offerings across the course of the month can let you have success in different ways.
Promos & Discounts - increase in sales
Of course if you don't get people to your website or store to see the above promos, you're going to be struggling to have any customer base at all. Thankfully, Big Commerce also took a look at where website traffic was coming to generate sales. Importantly, they noted that about 64% of sales were coming through companies websites (with 24.7% through brick and mortar stores). Remembering the data is from 2017 (and players like Instagram have definitely increased in prominence in 2018), below is a snapshot of what their data reveals.
So what would we do?
In our view having a clear, sustained plan over the holiday period is key. Making last minute decisions on promotions probably isn't going to happen as you get busy over Christmas, so start your lead in to Boxing Day pre Christmas and have a clear idea of what you are going to do. Be varied with your offers and specials, be inventive, and look to a range of media channels to get people to your site. Facebook advertising, Instagram posts, e-newsletter campaigns, solid Google advertising and SEO will all definitely help you start 2019 in style.