The holiday season is an exciting time for businesses in Singapore, customers everywhere are in the spirit to purchase and will be actively seeking out information on their buys.
Needless to say, holiday promotions are rolling out crazily, advertisements promising the best deals are at every corner online and offline. While business opportunities are at their biggest and heaviest this season, so is competition.
Business owners in Singapore find themselves asking these common questions:
- Is a holiday marketing campaign really worth the effort?
- How do I make my offers and promotions stand out among the 'holiday noise'?
- We're only used to having banners and posters or TV ads for holiday sale advertisements, how do I successfully leverage digital marketing this year?
"Shoppers are spending more during the festive period - including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Single's Day events - according to results from a survey of Visa cardholders in Singapore." In a media release on Monday (Jan 11), Visa said that there was a close to 20 per cent increase in expenditure during the festive period in 2015, compared to the previous year. "The spike in consumer spending is driven by the popularity of international online and year-end festivities sales," said Visa.
- Channel New Asia, 2016
In this article, we dish out 7 tips that will help your business take full advantage of the consumer market in the month of November, ramping up your holiday marketing strategy.
"A solid marketing plan will help you navigate the hectic sales days and draw in more customers."
- Business News Daily, 2017
7 Tips To Creating A Successful Holiday Season Promotion In 2017
1. Plan Promotion/s In Careful Decision
This may sound obvious, but it happens more than often that marketers and business owners get ahead of themselves to launch a sale promotion before they have properly thought it through. Cutting prices might help sales, however needless to say, if your profit margins fall too far below, it defeats the entire purpose of trying to rack up higher revenue in this holiday opportunity.
Smart and effective marketing starts with a strategy. Small businesses in Singapore should think through what they are looking to achieve. For eg. promotions that aim to build customer loyalty during this season may not work as well to bring in brand new customers. It is important to define business goals for your holiday marketing campaign/s in order for accurate determination how successful they are at the end. Experiment with ideas such as free shipping or time limited coupons. Not all campigns require giving large discounts or slashing prices. In this marketing age, we should think of how to offer more value, not discounts.
2. Optimise Your Website
It doesn't matter what kind of business you run. In 2017, all focus is to provide a seamless, fast speed web shopping experience for your customers. If you lose out in this aspect, consumers will not hesitate to abandon your site just within a few seconds. This will cause a drastic drop in business.
We have all seen tons of websites that are beautifully designed, have slick functionalities and portray a strong sense of professionalism. You see, that's great but that's not going to be enough.
Time and again, we hear website owners complain and get really frustrated about spending tens of thousands of dollars on web design that don't turn website traffic into leads, sales or the engagement they desire.
Although a well-designed home page is important, business should primarily focus on finding digital web solutions and hosts that provide the necessary bandwith and speed to support their business during a higher holiday traffic.
3. Create A Sense Of Urgency
Christmas, New Year and the Lunar New Year all happen towards the end of the year till the beginning months of 2018. These months are a finite time and consumers will want to get their shopping done before the occasion. Create a sense of urgency and you'll see the effect of this consumer psychology technique on your sales results. The short time limit creates urgency making it more important to take action.
In essence, it suggests that if you want to increase the likelihood of any desired action, be it an increase in conversions, click throughs, or email engagement, you have six choices:
- Increase the clarity of your offer
- Increase the relevancy of your offer to your audience (or vise versa)
- Improve your value proposition
- Reduce anxiety (phrased differently, increase trust)
- Reduce distractions
- Add urgency to your offer (Conversionxl, 2017)
4. Reward Loyalty
The holiday season is the season to show your loyal customers your appreciation for their support. Turn up your holiday loyalty program, you will see your business reaping the benefits in many months and years to come.
Customers are always grateful when brands let them know they are thinking of them. For instance, by sending them exclusive early access to deals relevant to their interests. The payoff is especially high during the Holidays: for many companies 50% of all business happens during holiday season. -Selligent, 2015
Here are some tips on how to get your own seasonal loyalty program started:
- Points for purchases
Being upfront about how your loyalty program can benefit is important. You need to be very clear how your shoppers can earn points when they purchase from your store and how accumulating them translates into special discounts or redeems. Your aim is to charm non-loyalty shoppers into seeing the perks of being a loyal one.
- Points for new account registration
You want your shoppers to be signing up accounts with you, and not use the guest check-out. Hence, you have to give incentives attractive enough. When customers can clearly see the kind of discounts and perks immediately as they make their first purchase under this new account, they will be enticed to take that extra "easy" step to sign up with you.
- Points for referral
Asking your already-loyal customers to refer their friends and family for the holiday season is a great way to maximize sale or promotional benefits for everyone involved. This seasonal period, you should be implementing double the amount and type of reward offers in exchange for referrals. There’s no time of year to expose new customers to your products and your brand like the holidays.
- Points for sharing contact information
Give a small amount of points for customers who share their phone number, sign up to your newsletter list, or download your mobile app.
5. Pump Up Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media is the main source of "holiday shopping inspiration", and a vital part of any marketing campaign. Your business' social content on all platforms has to be at its best this season, for your holiday campaigns running on social media are going to get more attention than you are used to. If you are not leveraging this digital marketing aspect during the holiday season, you are missing abundant number of potential customers and sales opportunities.
- Update your social profiles
It is important that your pages reflect exactly what is going on. Create customised cover photos and campaign banners promoting your holiday campaign carrying the most important information in most digestable fonts and design.
- Strategize a plan
If you have more than one holiday promotion campaign going on. Strategise to see how if each individual one succeeds in their objectives, and how they interact with each other. Plan your social media content calender cleverly.
- Engage in relevant social conversations
What really makes social different from other marketing channels and platform is the interaction opportunity and accessbility with your audience. Hence, seize this opportunity as far as possible to join their conversations. Talk directly to your customers, potential ones and VIPs in the community. Social conversations are great for building relationships, while positively spreading the name and cause of your brand.
- Get ready your social media management tools
Every social tool has one thing they do best. Look into them and see use them appropriately for your business and marketing campaigns. Measure and report on your performance, collect data from your social campaigns and start analyzing.
“The best Facebook strategies are based around relevance and context. And, the holidays provide the perfect environment to engage fans using both those constructs. Ask yourself – how does your brand tie into the holidays? If you are B2B company serving sales professionals, chances are that they are scurrying to meet year end goals or they thinking about how to reward their current customers. You can share with them ideas on how to make last minute sales or provide gift ideas for their best customers. If you are a B2C food company, how about a contest for the best cookie recipe? The goal is to think like your fans, and then help them with their holiday challenges!” - Shama Hyder, CEO of Marketing Zen
6. Buff Up Your Customer Support & Shipping Services
Holiday shoppers in 2017 expect a positive customer experience online and offline. Make your contact details and customer service hotline easy to find on each webpage because customers are going to have questions about their orders. The last thing you want is to let the quality of your customer service slip during the most important time of the year.
78% of consumers cancel a transaction because of poor customer service.
Though the holiday season is the most marketing-intensive time of the year, it is a great opportunity to improve on your shipping function that gives you unique opportunities to target both existing and prospective customers at the most critical stage in their journey: when they put their hands on your product. - Shipping Easy, 2017 In order to shine amidst the aggressive holiday discounts and free seasonal shipping deals, your support team needs to provide an amazing, personalized customer service experience.
How to keep your customer support top notch durin the holidays:
- Fostering customer interactions to ensure the right person is helping the right customer at the right time.
- Improve online support center so customers can find answers to their questions 24/7.
- Create a holiday FAQ.
- Stay on top of inventory levels.
- Activate whole company support, cross train employees for the busy holiday season.
- Take advantage of real-time customer information to better suit their needs.
How to pump up your shipping services to a successful adequate standard in the busy holiday season:
- Provide an estimated delivery time date
- Increase and improve on shipping notifications
- Provide many shipping options and a variety of carriers
- Offer reliable, helpful online tracking information
- Offer free shipping
- Streamline order, processing and packing to improve speed
7. Strategise To Encourage Repeated Sales (boost post holiday sales)
Post-purchase marketing and related promotions to encourage repeated sales should be a campaign. Businesses should come up with a plan on how to use post-purchase communication opportunities to provide a greater experience for driving repeat business. Leveraging what already exists is a good starting point. Below are some ways businesses in Singapore can deploy to keep post holiday repeated sales going throughout the year:
- Recoup sales from abandoned shopping carts.
- Run a fun post holiday contest.
- Thank holiday shoppers and loyal customers with post-holiday special deals or savings.
- Target and reward mobile shoppers.
- Leverage social media retargeting based on what a customer has previously showed interest in.
- Offer valuable freebies.
- Create a drip marketing campaign.
The holiday season is upon us now. This is the time for many unique opportunities for all different types of businesses in Singapore to market to all customers in new and unique ways. We hope you will carefully use these 7 tips to implement the most successful holiday marketing campaign in 2017 and have repeating accruing sales falling over throughout next year.