We know that more consumers started to shop for the holidays before Thanksgiving, with shopping trips during the month of December declining.
In addition to changing when they shop, where they shop has also changed. Consumers no longer do most of their shopping at a department store; they are spending their time online. In fact, 30% of shoppers plan on doing most of their holiday shopping online, up 2% from the previous year, while shopping at department stores is down 4%, according to a new survey from the Integer Group, a PROMO 100 agency, and M/A/R/C. They also plan to spend less.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the Top 10 holiday specials shoppers are taking advantage of according to the survey.
1. Free Shipping If a consumer feels they will pay the same whether they buy in your store or online, they will most likely choose to purchase online to save time and for the sake of convenience, Craig Elston, senior vice president of insight and strategy at Integer, said.
2. Coupons Offer coupons through Facebook and other social media platforms to incent purchase of unexpected items. Include coupons on neckers or slip them into product packaging or other unexpected places.
3. Buy-One-Get-One-Free This is a smart offer that allows busy shoppers to cross multiple people off their lists with one purchase.
4. Online Offers Via Email We all know that Cyber Monday broke records and many shoppers found out about special deals that day via email. Keep those cards and letters coming, but gear them toward retail stores where consumers are now shifting their shopping habits.
5. Special Deals Here’s an idea: offer a $40 gift card when shoppers spend $200 dollars or more to reward the shopper, but more importantly, drive a return trip, Elston said.
6. Instant Rebates Using an instant rebate to grab shoppers’ attention is attractive to consumers who might be struggling to come up with gift ideas. Instant rebates offer instant gratification and an on-the-spot incentive to purchase. Rebates are also the most effective way to drive sales without resorting to permanent price reductions.
7. In-store Offers Via Mailstream Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are part of the history books, shoppers are heading to stores. Give them a reason to stop by.
8. Loyalty Rewards Surprise your loyalty members with giveaways or exclusive content and don’t forget your Facebook fans, they’re passionate about your brand too. Or offer these fans special deals before the general public or deals targeted only to them, Elston said. (Here are five steps to improve your loyalty programs).
9. Last Minute Deals These offers cater to the rush of last-minute shoppers who are often impulse buyers with smart, visible deals.
10. Early Bird Specials Black Friday doesn’t have to be the only day retailers open early. Set a date to run an early-hours special on an unexpected date.