By this point, we can all take a deep breath. The biggest consumer shopping season of the year is over. According to NRF, the 2016 holidays turned out slightly better than predictions.
Holiday retail sales during November and December increased 4% from the 2015 season to a grand total of $658.3 billion in 2016.
A few more key holiday wrap-up points from this NRF post:
- The biggest shopping day of the holiday season was not Black Friday. Instead, it was December 17.
- The 156 million shoppers expected for Super Saturday exceeded the 154 million estimated for Thanksgiving weekend.
- Consumers are making the holiday shopping season longer. 12% said they wouldn’t buy their last gift until December 23, and nearly half planned to shop the week after Christmas.
We all know retail marketers plan the next holiday season year-round, so now it’s time to measure your results from this season and work hard to retain your new customers in 2017.
Here are six things that should be on every retail marketer’s post-holiday to-do list for January and February.
1. Focus on keeping email subscribers happy.
Your email list probably swelled in November and December, but that number can dwindle sharply if you don’t engage and retain new subscribers. Develop a strategy for keeping new subscribers engaged in January and beyond with loyalty initiatives and rewards, relevant content, and a preference center that allows them to decide which emails they receive, and when.
2. Find entertaining new holidays to celebrate in line with your brand.
Already missing the winter holidays? Check out Brownielocks for a slew of funny and offbeat holidays you can incorporate throughout the year (National Doughnut Day, anyone?). Choose one or two that fit with your brand and customers.
3. Tread lightly with disruptive messages, like SMS.
Similar to email, you may have attracted a large number of new app downloaders or SMS subscribers during the holiday season. You don’t want to lose these customers, so tread extra lightly in January, sending only push messages or SMS with the best offers and most personalized content.
4. Make a social swipe file.
Social media is a breeding ground for creativity and innovation for brands. Collect examples of your favorite social campaigns from the 2016 holidays so you can draw inspiration in 2017. These examples might include organic social posts, short videos that were repurposed across a brand’s digital channels like email and Vine, and perfectly targeted and timed ads.
5. Figure out where you got the most ROI with your ad campaigns.
Do a full-circle review of your 2016 holiday advertising. Gather data on the most-clicked images, best copy, highest- performing channels, and overall impressions. Also note internal processes and communications that didn’t work perfectly so they can be fixed. Build on this success as you refine your ad strategy for 2017.
6. Look for opportunities to refresh and enhance your online presence.
Take down the holiday design elements; it’s time for a new year. Set up triggered emails so customers are notified if a product in their holiday wish list comes back in stock. Offer recommendations for products that would perfectly accompany what customers received over the holidays. In the year ahead, consider a refresh of your website that puts personalized content front and center on every page.
Good luck to all the retail marketers out there who are already planning their 2017 holiday tactics.