Holidays are prime time to capture new shoppers – and wow current ones – with captivating approaches.
America is at its midpoint in the holiday arc between Halloween and New Year’s Eve. Retailers still have plenty of opportunity to rise as the seasonal go-to resource for shoppers.
1. Promote the ease, convenience and expertise that your stores provide:
- Run a chef-staffed hot line to answer shoppers’ questions about holiday meal planning and prep, as ShopRite did during the four days leading up to Thanksgiving. The ShopRite Chefs on Call line answered questions such as turkey size, cutting fat, and selecting apples for baking pies.
- Reinforce recipes and serving ideas with picture posts on social media (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter).
- Offer online ordering and delivery, or click and collect services.
- Develop the sales potential of frozen foods – emphasize efficient meal preparation – heat & eat rather than prepare & eat. Also, upgrade with assortments in the innovative style of Babeth’s Feast on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
2. Reinforce caring:
- Message consumers about donations the store makes to food banks and other important local causes.
- Encourage shoppers to donate too – let them know when collection trucks will be outside the store.
3. Promote health and wellness:
- Think beyond turkey. Amid the buzz of seasonal festivities, many people still want to eat smartly. Promote vegetable side dishes and vegetarian recipes to help make healthier choices more obvious and provide balance at holiday dinner tables.
- Flu shots at the pharmacy, tissues, saline, and related OTCs are a big part of keeping people well – especially the millions of travelers coping with seasonal storms and weather changes.
- Digestive aids help people focus on fun instead of abdominal discomfort.
4. Resolve to be better in 2015:
- Elicit e-mail addresses from shoppers - incentive them with discounts. Then create a plan to engage them often and early for major food days year-round (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl are immediate…followed by Easter, graduations and more). Watch how CVS and Staples excel at building trips via their e-mail strategies and promotional incentives tied to loyalty programs.
- Tailor marketing more precisely and sharpen execution to help shoppers complete missions.
5. Lighten the mood:
Shoppers are so stressed at holiday time, some good-natured humor could ease the pressure of hosting guests for big-event meals. A few starter thoughts for Web and store posters:
- Run a photo contest of dogs dressed as Santa.
- Remind people to stash away the Super Soakers from hyper-kinetic young cousins, and to hide the TV remote from the guys – see if they notice missing football games.
- Advise that hosts can lower their stress levels by enlisting more family members in the shopping, cleaning and related tasks.