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?
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
- 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.
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.
Layer #3 Deliver an Exceptional and Consistent Customer Experience
Drive Traffic In-Store with Direct Mail
- Direct mail has an open rate of 42.2%, compared to an average open rate of 15-25% for email. [Data & Marketing Assoc.]
- 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]
- 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.
Elevate the In-Store Experience with POS and POP Holiday Retail 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 +
Go Big or Go Home: Wide Format Printing
- Floor decals
- Storefront window displays
- Ceiling displays
- Standees and cutouts
- And more.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.