Foreword Online

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November 2016: 12 Days of Giving Sale

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 11/3/16 11:39 AM
Topics: business intelligence, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans, Marketing to Students

Once students return to class from Thanksgiving, the countdown is on for the extended holiday break. Lasting anywhere from two weeks to more than a month, students are counting the days until they have time away from the books.12 Days of Holiday Promotions

Consumers are expected to spend more than $650 billion this holiday season, not including the more than $115 billion expected to be spent online. Shoppers also expect deep discounts and lines at checkouts. However, this annual chaos is no reason to shudder. Foreword Online has compiled a plan for you to have a 12 Days of Giving sale.

We will help you along the way with planning, bringing customers through your door on more than one occasion and show you how to measure the success of your sale. Here are five suggestions and tools designed to keep your cash registers ringing and your customers engaged.

Download: 12 Days of Giving Kit
12 Days of Giving
Download Kit

1. Plan – Go into your holiday sale period with direction. Know where you want to be at the end of the sale season, know where you are today, and clearly define your goals. Know the products you are going to have on sale, the method in which you are going to sell them, and how you are going to market each item. Marketing is an investment, but it should not exceed the overall value of the product. We have produced a sales planner to help move you in the right direction.

2. Build long-term engagement – Encourage your customers to return to your store on more than one occasion. This gives you multiple opportunities to sell more and capitalize on ancillary purchases. A great example is Starbucks. The Starbucks Coffee holiday special, has multiple items which are bundled on a daily basis. The result is multiple days that speak to multiple customers encouraging multiple purchases. Make sure your team and your customers know you are doing something different each day AND each day is going to be amazing!

3. Promote at buyback – Use this time, and your holiday sale, as an opportunity to promote buyback and build your used textbook inventory. "More cash for the holidays. Sell your books today.” While your competition is speaking to the same group of students, adding more value to your buyback will be the key to garnering more customers. Gift cards continue to be a top purchase,and will encourage further purchases at your store. “Sell your books and receive a gift card for X% (you pick the value) of the total value on the spot.” A gift card with a cash value will ensure a return visit, and they can use the gift card at your holiday sale. Win Win. If you are more comfortable offering a discount instead, feel free.

4. Keep it social – Holiday consumers spend time on social media looking for deals and doing product research. This group of people is asking you to sell to them. Be prepared to be active on multiple social media channels, outside of normal business hours, to keep buyers informed on why they need to visit your store or website. Ensure you are updating your social channels with photos, digital coupons, even a short video of the items being stacked, ready for the consumer onslaught. Facebook, Twitter, Google and other channels are constantly changing how search results show up organically, so for the social channels to work for you, they need to be updated on a regular basis. Using a social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite will help keep your social posts dynamic.  Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Cougar Store has had great success promoting flash sales on Twitter. Give it a look.

Here are some social media tools and templates you can use for Facebook and Twitter:

5. Measure, measure – Look at what you did last year during the holiday season. Were there specific times with higher sales volumes? Were you staffed accordingly? What were the hot items? Knowing what you did in the past will lay the foundation for what you do today. Furthermore, if you are doing a multi-day single product sale (similar to Starbucks), then know how many of each product you have, how many you sold, and your ROI for your marketing campaign. Build a history of success by keeping smart data. Use this ROI calculator sheet to help you measure how successful you’ve been.

Using these tools will set you up for success this holiday season and keep you primed for rush in the New Year. Happy selling.

Foreword Online Monthly Marketing Plans

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