Business owners and marketers are shifting their focus to the biggest sales period of the year: the Holiday season 🎄. Each year, the landscape evolves, consumer behavior shifts, new platforms and channels become available when others become stale. We listed five marketing tactics retailers must know to boost Holiday sales in 2021. 

2021 Holiday Landscape

Before we dive into the Holiday marketing tactics, let’s look at today’s retail landscape. Holiday sales hit record high in 2020, but are we going to see another record-breaking period this year? 

We asked the question from Adrian Padron, Director of Media at Mason Interactive. “The biggest benefit of the 2021 Holiday season is that people will be back with their families. How this will impact sales, is trickier to forecast. Perhaps you bought bigger presents for your family last year because COVID-19 restrictions kept you apart. This year, however, when together with your family, are you going to buy smaller, or even fewer, presents?”

Online shopping grew 32.3% over the 2020 holidays. Now that the restrictions are slowly being lifted, brands invite shoppers back to stores. Adrian is doubtful of shoppers’ desire for in-store experiences. “[In-store shopping] is still somewhat inconvenient to shop in-store because we’re so used to the ease of online shopping“, he says. “I believe the 2021 Holiday season is going to be a continuation of online shopping complemented by curbside pickups and free shipping, with an option to shop in-store. If you have a store, let your customers know about it. But I wouldn’t focus solely on driving foot traffic.”

Reunion of family members can boost 2021 Holiday Sales

5 Marketing Tactics to Boost Holiday Sales in 2021

#1 Diversify Your Communications

Saying the same thing repeatedly may work from an awareness perspective. But if your content calendar is nothing but sales-driven promotions, you’ll soon lose the attention of your audience. Keep your content fresh and diversify your communications to include a healthy mix of:

  • Founder stories
  • User generated content (UGC) highlights
  • Events (in-person or online)
  • Brand partnerships

The recipe for long-term success is making your customers feel like they are part of a community. If you want a customer to become more than just a one time purchaser, then you have to diversify your communications”, says Adrian. 

#2 Strategize Scarcity

How to break through the noise when Holiday content starts overflowing inboxes and social media feeds from October? Nothing incentivizes us humans more than FOMO and a sense of urgency. In addition to traditional promotions and offers, create scarcity with limited drops. Release a limited “drop” of products or collections, only available in small quantities, and set up “get it before it’s gone” campaigns. 

#3 Collect First Party Data 

It’s the most magical time of the year… 🎵 The Holiday season may be magical but it doesn’t mean there’s a magic sales button you can switch on when the season begins. So please, don’t put all your marketing dollars for Holiday campaigns and expect miracles to happen. Instead, start building your customer base months in advance through loyalty programs and email and SMS opt-ins. Nurture those customers months leading up to the holidays so that when the time comes for Holiday shopping, they’re ready to buy your products. 

Start collecting first party data early to boost holiday sales.

#4 Create Your Own Sales Events

Holiday shopping can be stressful not only for businesses, but also from the consumer standpoint. Have you ever found yourself buying last-minute presents a week or two before Christmas? If you have, you recognize the mixed feeling of disappointment and panic when you realize everything you wanted to buy is out of stock, or requires a hefty delivery fee to make it on time.

Depending on your revenue goals and plans, consider launching your own sales event before the peak season. It will save your customers (and yourself) from the Holiday shopping stress. Repeat the event annually to train your customers to expect the event to happen. 

Launch your own holiday sales event
Creating your own “Prime Day” can boost Holiday sales.

#5 Advertise Smarter During Holidays

The world is slowly reopening and we’re moving away from the stay-at-home lifestyle that was lived through screens – whether on mobile, TV, computer, or tablet. People now spend more time with families and friends, and less time on devices and platforms. What does this mean for advertisers, you may wonder?

Adrian assures it’s not the time to cut your advertising spend: “People may stream less, but they still love their content. If anything, we’ve gotten more hooked on content over the past year. On the flipside, less people on platforms has led to increased advertising costs. With so much uncertainty in the past year, it’s impossible to predict consumer behavior this holiday season. But it’s very likely that CPMs will be more expensive than the 2020 holiday season. The “pay-to-play“ environment makes it harder especially for small businesses to compete on the same scale they did last year.”

With higher advertising costs and limited targeting and measurement capabilities followed by the recent Apple iOS 14.5 update, is it even worth advertising on social media anymore? The simple answer is yes. Advertisers just need to become more strategic, especially during a peak season such as holidays. 

In between ice cold drinks in the sun 🍹 and Sunday strolls on the beach 🩴 , now is the time to start planning for a successful Holiday season. Implement these 5 marketing tactics to boost Holiday sales, or contact us today to get extra help for the most important sales event of the year. 

Mira Valjakka

Author Mira Valjakka

Mira is a Director of Growth & Marketing at Mason Interactive. She's a big believer in content marketing, well-executed design, and marketing technologies that improve efficiencies.

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