Retailers Get Social for a Happy Holiday Season
While I’m not ready to look at Christmas decorations before Halloween, many retailers are getting a jump on the holidays and planning promotional activities. Wondering what the season will hold? The folks at Retail Touchpoints may not have a crystal ball, but they’ve gathered some of the best insights from analysts and researchers and compiled them in a report called “Holiday Outlook 2011: Savvy Retailers Can Count On A Winning Season.”
With e-commerce, f-commerce, and m-commerce cluttering up the marketing landscape, this report can bring some clarity and focus to planning efforts for the holidays and beyond. Not only does it point out the advantages - and potential pitfalls - of emerging technologies, but it shares case studies and tactics from retailers who have successfully navigated some of this uncharted social territory.
The report predicts a 10% uplift in holiday sales in 2011, while suggesting that as technology continues to evolve rapidly, marketers who aren’t already on the social bandwagon may find themselves left behind by consumers.
These days most people never leave home without their cell phone. And these “screen-connected” consumers use their phones to access email and the web, in addition to using a variety of mobile apps, as part of their shopping experience. One of the report’s insights for marketers: You need to be where your customers are, not where you think you want to be. This requires marketers to truly and intently listen to customers and follow where they lead.
Retail Touchpoints offers plenty of examples about how to experiment with social strategies and achieve successful results with real-world stories from brands like Hallmark, Kirkland’s, Coach and JCPenney. One thing to keep in mind all year long: A single tactic can’t stand alone. Success comes not from putting all your eggs in one basket, but from connecting with customers in all the places they visit and integrating tactics across multiple touchpoints.
(Shameless Self Promotion Alert: Page 5 of the report shares how redpepper partnered with Kirkland’s to create Glee Spree, a multi-channel holiday promotion that more than doubled visits to their community site!)
Photo credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times