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Do More With Less: Innovative Ways Retailers Can Create a Successful Holiday Season Without Breaking the Bank

How marketers and merchandising teams can make holiday retail marketing decisions TODAY in Q2 to get holiday retail displays in store by Q3.

What many consider the most wonderful time of year, retailers tend to find the most stressful: the holiday season. 

The reality is, for marketers and merchandisers, the holidays begin long before the temperature drops. They have to make holiday retail marketing decisions in Q2…to get holiday retail displays in-store by Q3…all in time for the holiday season in Q4.

Challenges Retailers Face as They Prepare for Holiday Marketing

Marketers and merchandisers are challenged to hit a bullseye on a moving target by making the most of holiday retail trends – and to do it ASAP.

  • Budget Constraints + High Expectations → With inflation and budget cuts on the rise, and ad spend on the decline, how can retailers do more with less budget?
  • Increasing Competition + Stale “Advantage” → How can retailers get creative to stay ahead of the competition?
  • Vendor Management → Many retailers have to work with 5, 10, 20+ vendors who each handle one aspect of their marketing needs. Managing that much communication and coordination can be both exhausting and complicated. How can retailers consolidate or manage vendor communications?
  • Tight Timelines → Materials need to be in-store in 3-4 months, which means they need to be ideated, customized to individual store locations, and ordered as quickly as possible. The pressure is on and the clock is ticking. How can retailers be proactive when the holiday season is coming up so quickly?
Yes, the clock is ticking. But by breaking their prep work into manageable layers, retailers can get their ducks in a row for the busiest season of the year.

So what can retailers do today to prepare for the holidays now?

Layer #1: Spend More Time on the Work… and Less Time Coordinating With Multiple Vendors

There is a lot that goes into the preparation for the holiday season. Shopping bags, in-store signage, direct mail, point-of-purchase (POP) displays, special edition gifts… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 
Each retailer has to come up with creative ideas, think through how to bring those ideas to life, enlist a partner who can make the end-product, and then figure out how to distribute the product to individual retail locations and audiences’ homes. 
The problem is that vendors have leaned into specialties, getting more and more niche. This shift has placed more responsibility on retailers to communicate, coordinate, and manage multiple projects across multiple vendors. This takes up a lot of time AND a lot of financial resources.
It’s rare to find a one-stop-shop who can do it all from creative to execution to distribution, but not impossible. If retailers can find one of these partners, it can be a powerhouse of a combination. Here’s why vendor consolidation is often the better route for retailers:
  • Time Savings – Working with one vendor frees up countless hours of coordination, handoffs, and headache – which can make a huge difference in the face of a tight, looming deadline.
  • Innovation – When retailers have a partner who can advise them during the ideation process, they can identify out-of-the-box ways to bring their ideas to life through holiday retail displays – ways that can save on material and logistics costs.
  • Fewer Mistakes – End-to-end support from one vendor increases the likelihood of streamlined, frictionless execution. If retailers have one vendor handling the whole process, they can think through things like which inks and substrates will be required to bring the idea to life, ways to get more output from the same amount of materials, and how best to store and distribute holiday displays and signage. Put another way, with one vendor versus many, that means fewer handoffs and consequently, fewer opportunities for mistakes or oversights.
Retail marketers and merchandising teams can do more with less with Drummond
Retailers should strive to partner with a print vendor who has the capability to ideate, innovate, create, produce and distribute to become more efficient, more effective, and more resonant.
With Drummond, you can leverage our specialized Creative Services AND Innovation teams to create impactful designs without using any of your time or resources.

Layer #2 Take an Optichannel Marketing Approach to Spend Budget Where There’s Most Traction

Over the past decade, omnichannel marketing has been all the rage. But with uncertain economic times ahead, retailers might not have the budget or the bandwidth to be present on every marketing communication channel in a way that enhances the customer experience.

And that’s where optichannel marketing comes into play. 
Like omnichannel marketing, optichannel marketing is designed to offer a cohesive customer experience across multiple marketing touch points. 
But unlike omnichannel marketing, optichannel uses past campaign data to optimize marketing spend, allocating budget dollars to the channels that are most likely to return the best results. 
In optichannel marketing strategies, retail marketers can leverage performance data to use their budget dollars more effectively. If a particular channel is not performing as well as others, marketers can shift their dollars to a more successful one. 
Identifying the most effective channels for customers while creating harmony across all utilized channels helps marketers stay more effective throughout the hectic holiday season, ensuring that they’re reaching their audience where they are and creating memorable experiences.

Layer #3 Deliver an Exceptional and Consistent Customer Experience

When looking into meaningful, effective marketing materials, it’s important to consider where people do the bulk of their holiday shopping: online and in-store. So that’s exactly where marketers should meet them.

Drive Traffic In-Store with Direct Mail

Meeting customers at-home can be the key to driving them in-store – and though direct mail may sound old school, it’s incredibly effective. Just to name a few statistics:


  • The average response rate for direct mail is 4.9%, compared to an average response rate of 1-3% for email. [Data & Marketing Assoc.]


  • Direct mail also tends to have a longer lifespan than email. The average lifespan of an email is around 17 seconds, while the average lifespan of a piece of direct mail is 17 days. [Data & Marketing Assoc.]


  • According to a study by the U.S. Postal Service, 69% of people who receive direct mail will open it, while 18% of people will delete an email without reading it. [USPS]


  • USPS provides incentives for marketers who incorporate innovative technology and experiences in their direct mail, including retargeting campaigns, interactive ads, and personalized letters. [USPS]
In short, direct mail works. It’s just a matter of how it’s executed.
An effective direct mail campaign is:
  • Personalized: Adding a personal touch such as a first name or local element will make recipients feel seen and connected to the message. Retailers can include coupons to local stores, references to the town their audience lives in, or offerings tailored to previous purchases or preferences.
  • Proactive: Again, it’s crucial to get ahead of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. With direct mail, it’s important to plant the seed early so that consumers can get ahead of any promotions offered in the campaign. Additionally, getting a brand name in their mind early will make them more likely to consider that same name when they’re in the thick of their holiday shopping.
  • Visually interesting: While direct mail is more engaging than communication like email, consumers still need to be compelled to open and read a letter. Including gripping visuals on both the envelope and its contents will drive customers’ interest. Additionally, creative components like QR codes can drive further engagement with direct mail, leading customers to a landing page or social media page where they can learn more before making any big commitments.
Learn more about leveraging direct mail in our blog, What is New Mover Marketing and How to Nurture New Movers +

Elevate the In-Store Experience with POS and POP Holiday Retail Displays​

Point-of-purchase (POP) and point-of-sale (POS) holiday retail displays make it easy and straightforward for in-store customers to interact with a brand. They also drive impulse purchases by drawing attention from passersby with holiday window displays or catching their eye at an opportune moment (like right as they’re checking out). But that’s all dependent on retailers creating unique, innovative displays.

It can be daunting to personalize holiday retail displays across several different storefronts – but store profiling helps retailers create a tailored experience for customers for each location with ease. Check out our blog on store profiling to learn more +

Here are some methods to creating unique and innovative displays:

Go Big or Go Home: Wide Format Printing

Wide format print allows retailers to produce larger-than-life images, drawing attention from in-store customers via holiday retail displays. But there are several components to an eye-catching display. When assessing holiday marketing ideas, opting for vibrant colors, extremely detailed visuals, or unusual graphics ensures your display stands out from the competition and resonates with customers.
In terms of retail holiday window display ideas, wide format printing can be used in several types of marketing materials:
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Floor decals
  • Storefront window displays
  • Ceiling displays
  • Standees and cutouts
  • Backdrops
  • And more.
innovative display bjs
innovative display floor&decor

These larger-than-life displays Drummond created demonstrate how wide format printing can be eye-catching, educational, and engaging for even the most passive customer just walking by – giving them a swift introduction to your brand and an easy way to interact.

Get Involved: Interactive Retail Holiday Displays

Interactive elements make shopping more fun and engaging for holiday shoppers and can also be used to equip them with helpful information about a product. And, given that interactive displays are 32% more memorable than standard ads, it is safe to say that they’re effective. 
Interactive elements can include:
  • Touchscreens: Touchscreens are a popular way to create an interactive shopping experience. Retailers can use touchscreens to display product information, promotions, or even games or quizzes that customers can play to win prizes. By drawing the customer into an advertisement, they feel a greater connection to the brand and have a reason to continue engaging. 
Holiday Retail Marketing Trends- Interactive Store Displays

Many restaurants have implemented tabletop touchscreen tablets so diners can pass the time while they wait for their food, spark conversation at their table, and even order and pay contact-free. But on top of all of that, advertisers can include interactive ads on these tablets so customers can engage with their brand through games, surveys, or display ads.

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Christmas merchandising ideas

Mcdonald’s has begun installing interactive kiosks in their restaurants so customers can order contact-free and enjoy a more seamless dining experience – and once consumers are interacting with the kiosk, they’re more likely and more willing to engage with any QR codes or other additional elements.

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  • Motion-activated displays: Motion-activated displays use sensors to detect when a customer is near and trigger a response. This can be used to display product information or promotions when a customer is nearby, or to create a fun and interactive game or experience. Like the touchscreens, motion-activated displays provide a reason for customers to linger and continue interacting with the display.
Holiday Retail Marketing Trends - Interactive Displays

Reebok’s interactive ad challenged and involved pedestrians by installing a speed cam next to their shoe display to test whether they were truly fast enough to rock their sneakers.

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By grabbing customers’ attention through interactive holiday retail displays, retailers create a memorable shopping experience and draw them in to engage with a product. Learn how you can elevate the benefits communications experience during open enrollment in our blog, “4 Ways to Get Ahead of Open Enrollment Season: Employee Benefit Communication Strategies” +

From 3D stack wrapping to MagnaClique displays, Drummond brings often overlooked retail store displays to life, driving customer engagement and ROI.

Get Ahead of Holiday Season Headaches

A successful holiday season doesn’t start in December: it starts today.

Drummond is the print marketing partner that will propel you towards your busiest season with innovative ideas and effective, timely execution on those ideas. Get in touch today to start your holiday season off with a partner who will bring your grandest ideas to life and help you speak to your customers in a language they don’t just understand, but they’re interested to hear.

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Drummond helps brands take their customers’ experience to the next level by bridging the gap between digital and print, simplifying the process of taking an idea from concept to execution, and delivering the right solutions on time, every time. Our innovative, technology-powered, full-service printing and distribution capabilities enable greater precision and efficiency, while driving better outcomes for companies looking to connect and elevate the customer experience online, in-home, and in-store.