The summer holidays are one of the most crucial sales periods for retailers. Some of the biggest sales days of the year happen in the two months leading up to the new year, setting businesses up with the capital to grow. Are you ready? Do you have your sales and promotional ideas planned out?
In an increasingly competitive market, it’s not enough to set some storewide discounts and call it a day. You need to excite shoppers with your holiday sales and time them right so you end up with maximum profits and minimum leftover inventory.
The most important sales dates for the holidays
You could turn holiday sales on for all of November and December, and indeed, you probably should have some discounts going all season. But some days are more important than others, with holiday shopping peaking at predictable times throughout the season.
These are the days you need to base your holiday sale ideas around—your tent poles for drawing in customers.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday
The States started the Cyber Five, the period between Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, which has gained traction locally in South Africa in recent years. This blitz of sales kick off the holiday season and is currently one of South Africa’s biggest shopping periods of the year.
Typically, customers look for steep deals in-store (and even online) on Black Friday, shop at their local retailers on Saturday and finish out the week with online sales on Monday.
3 Sales and promotional ideas for the holidays
Now that you have your important dates penciled in, what kinds of sale ideas will draw customers to your store? Luckily, the answers aren’t complicated—you just need to set them up and decide how they’ll work for your store.
Here are four sale ideas you can use for the holidays.
1. Buy one, get one free sales
Ah, the classics—everyone likes a good BOGO sale. 66% of shoppers like it the most out of any type of promotion. It’s a win win for retailers and customers, after all. Holiday shoppers can stock up on gifts while you make a larger profit than if you’d held a half-off sale.
Don’t jump the gun on a BOGO sale, though. While they’re good for getting attention, if an item is able to sell multiple units at full price, you don’t need a BOGO sale to clear the shelves. That’s why it can be a good idea to roll these sales out once you have an idea of how fast your holiday stock is selling.
2. Quantity discounts
This sale idea rewards customers for buying more. Holiday shoppers could buy four bottles of wine and get a discount on each bottle, or they could buy five pairs of socks and get a discount on their overall total. The specific flavor of sale is up to you.
The key to success here is to pick the gifts customers will realistically buy in bulk. If it’s more likely that most customers will buy a maximum of two, you might have more success with a BOGO sale instead. Try setting quantity discounts on smaller items and stocking stuffers, or on gifts someone would want to receive more than one of, like golf balls or liquor.
Quantity discounts are relatively timeless. They’ll help you move inventory throughout the holiday season, so set them early and run them until the new year.
3. Loyalty-rewarding sales and perks
Your holiday sales and promotional ideas should take building customer loyalty into account.
First, encourage holiday shoppers to become loyal customers by offering bonus rewards when they sign up for your loyalty program. To encourage another purchase right away, give them enough points for a reward or a discount to be redeemed on their next purchase. Run this promotion throughout the entire holiday season for maximum impact.
Second, reach out to your loyalty program members with discount codes. You could offer them free shipping from your online store to promote Free Shipping Day, or a steep one-day-only Super Saturday discount code to ensure their last-minute purchases are from your store.
Finally, entice loyalty program members who haven’t shopped with you in a while back with a special discount just for them.
You can use these loyalty rewards to bring customers back throughout the holiday season, sending customers who haven’t been back in a month a discount for buying more gifts at your store. Once the holidays are over, you can extend the dormancy period to three or six months.
Make the most of your holiday sales
With the holiday period being as important as it is, you need to plan your sales and promotional ideas carefully. That’s easier if you have a commerce platform (point of sale system) that enables you to set different kinds of discounts and manage your loyalty program in the same place.
If you’d like to chat about how Lightspeed could supercharge your holiday sales, get in touch.