University of Maryland Extension

Make List and Check Your Christmas Sales Plan Twice

Author: 
Ginger S. Myers
Checklist

Mastering Marketing - November 2020

Christmas has not been canceled for 2020! The September 2020, issue of the Mastering Marketing newsletter featured tools for holiday planning. That article is available on the Ag Marketing website by going to https://extension.umd.edu/learn/plan-and-promote-2020-holiday-sales-and-activities-now. This article builds on those tools and features making specific marketing strategies for the 2020 Christmas season.

It’s coming up to that time of year where all businesses are planning their Christmas campaigns. The pivot for many farms to an eCommerce platform and COVID-19 protocols for in-store shopping means their traditional holiday marketing plans will need to pivot too.

With sales in flux this year, businesses need to engineer a boost in sales to prevent a big drop in holiday sales income with purchases going to other online sales giants like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and a host of others. This could be the holiday season where “Buy Local for Your Holiday Gift-Giving” can have some real traction. But, if you want to have a successful Christmas market season, it’s essential to plan in advance.

  1. What’s Your Offer? 
    Plan in advance to make sure the stock you have makes sense in the context of your campaign offer. Are you going to offer a promotional package such as a ‘buy 1 get 1 free” or a special Christmas-themed product such as special cuts of meats, or perhaps a special gift bundle? Consider offering gift certificates as a touchless option. Remember, we will probably still be social distancing and no one wants to wait outside in the cold to come inside to shop.

  2. Check Your Calendar
    Decide on your promotion dates? What date will you open the holiday shopping promotion? What is your last possible shipping or delivery date? Look at a calendar and count the weeks backwards from your closing date to determine when you need to start the promotion. You should have at least a four week time window.

  3. Know Your Target Customer 
    Think about how your customers buy your products – do they buy to use for themselves or do they buy for gifts? Or both? Your special offer during your holiday campaign needs to be tailored to your customers’ purchase behavior. If it’s a gift – make it just under $50. Bundling your special idea offer with other items could help spur purchasing for themselves as well in a week or two before Christmas. Offer free delivery, if you can do so, to help you close as many sales prior to Christmas as possible.

  4. Promote it effectively
    Once you have the dates and your offer including some images of your products, then you can promote your holiday specials. Never just send a single email to promote your eCommerce and in-store campaign! Follow-up is important. During the holiday period, consider sending 2-3 email promotions per week. Use Facebook ads to promote to new potential customers as well as to retarget your existing customers.

  5. Some Dates to Remember  
    To put this into action, you’ll need to sit down and list all the activities and tasks you’ll need to do to implement your campaign successfully. Put that list somewhere prominent and check it weekly to keep your holiday marketing campaign on track.

HERE ARE SOME KEY HOLIDAY SEASON DATES TO KEEP IN MIND.
When planning your successful holiday promotions, craft your offers and schedule your social media posts and emails in advance to take full advantage of each significant date.

                  Bow
NOVEMBER 27

Black Friday

Black Friday is gaining popularity in America. Encourage your shoppers to avoid the crowds and shop online with special promotions and shipping deals.

NOVEMBER 30

Cyber Monday

The final day in the 4 day “Black Friday / Cyber Monday” sale event. Emphasize scarcity to close as many sales as you can!

DECEMBER 1

12 Days of Christmas

There are 24 days in the traditional Advent Calendar, which is a bit long, so why not go for a “12 Days of Christmas” promo instead. The idea is to reveal a new special offer each day.

DECEMBER 12

Ship Day or Free Delivery from December 14th-22nd

Remind your customers of the last day to order Christmas gifts with standard shipping and consider offering free delivery to capture more sales.

DECEMBER 23

Gift Card Day

It’s not too late! Provide an easy way for customers to still delight their loved ones on Christmas day.

DECEMBER 26

Coupon Code Day

The holiday shopping season doesn’t have to be over yet. Offer promotions to clear out extra holiday stock and capitalize on customers still in the gift-buying mood.

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To view previous Mastering Marketing articles, you can go to the Mastering Marketing archives.

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