For Food & Beverage retail there is an obvious surge in sales at Easter. But for general retail sectors such as Fashion & Footwear, Furniture & Homewares and Sporting & Outdoor Goods, there is not such a dramatic spike in consumer demand as other seasonal events in the year. As Eleanor Parr, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, has said: “Easter gifting, such as cards or presents, is not commonplace in comparison to other seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, meaning that the proportion of Easter spend dedicated to retail is lower.” However, what Easter does offer general retailers is that it is when many Australian’s and New Zealanders take the longest amount of time off work. This additional free time can drive more footfall to stores and online shopping visits. With the right approach in place, retailers can take advantage of this increased traffic. Irrespective of what products you sell, Easter is the perfect excuse to run seasonal promotions or campaigns. Here are the key areas to consider to make your Easter promotion a success:
Targeting – Rather than a one-size fits all approach (e.g 10% discount to all shoppers), try to break out some different segments and consider how you could engage them with specific, highly relevant messages or offers (or reward those that have spent / have higher propensity to spend with bigger incentives). This could be based on whether they are a new or existing customers, purchase history, demographics or other traits that are specific to your business/retail sector. Engagement is going to be much higher if you can present products that are aligned to what a consumer has already purchased or shown interest in before.
Offers – Promotions do not have to necessarily mean discounting or markdowns but can include bundles, giveaways, prizes, loyalty member rewards and more. Analyse your inventory and margin performance across your portfolio to identify target products to incorporate – this promotion could be a key opportunity to move slow moving items or build on the success of high performing products. Take a look at which products had the best sales results the same period in recent years and see if you can identify any common trends. Likewise, review the performance of your different store locations and sales channels (online vs. offline) and use this promotion to give those areas that are under-performing a particular boost.
Timing - The bulk of Easter related purchases take place in the fortnight prior to Good Friday so make sure your promotion is activated by then and runs through to the end of the period (many retailers continue as far as to the weekend following Easter). Make the fact the promotion is time-sensitive very prominent so there is a clear sense of urgency.
Publicity – A successful promotion will require you to build initial awareness and regularly remind your audience of the promotion then convince them to act. Don’t restrict your communications to one or two emails and store signage / banners – think about every media option you have at your disposal and the multiple touchpoints you will need to have to drive awareness through to action.
Convert – Make sure that both your in-store and online experience is optimised for conversion during the promotion. All your store employees should be briefed and actively driving it (consider team incentives that are aligned with your goals). With your eCommerce store, finding and purchasing products that are included in the promotion needs to be as simple and streamlined as possible. Don’t risk high abandonment - test the user experience extensively before you launch. Ensure you have also clearly covered off the terms and conditions of the promotion including shipping and returns so there is no confusion or friction. Lastly, with the majority of online purchases now completed on a mobile (especially last-minute ones), it is essential your site is mobile-friendly so it can be found in search and is easy to complete a transaction.
Score your business in each of the critical areas of practice to identify strengths, weaknesses and potential blind spots.