Today, the largest retail occasions span from Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, End of Financial Year, Singles Day, Halloween, Chinese New Year, Black Friday through to Christmas. In addition to traditional events and occasions, new dates have emerged on the calendar. These include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Click Frenzy, AfterPay Day and Amazon Prime Day. In categories such as fashion, 70% of people buy with an occasion in mind.
Retailers could be missing out on significant sales opportunities by failing to take advantage of key cultural and seasonal occasions throughout the year. However, customers want brands to inspire them to discover and shop in different ways, so it’s up to retailers to be creative and create memorable experiences, while still providing the customer with what they need.
Below are 4 success factors to bring key retail occasions into your store:
- Time it right — depending on the occasion, start to build your campaign a few months before the date. This will give your customers a heads up on what you’ll be doing and when, and create anticipation in the lead-up.
- Be creative — stand out and get creative with your marketing campaigns. Choose something relevant and fun for your customers that will encourage engagement and generate social sharing around your campaign.
- Think beyond sales promotions — these retail occasions are a great opportunity to do something different and create immersive and memorable experiences.
- Sync your marketing channels — customers no longer obtain information from one single channel. Find out where your customers are spending their time, then create a connected omni-channel experience connecting in-store and digital touchpoints (your eCommerce presence, social media and other digital platforms).
Christmas is by far the most important retail occasion, as it makes up 45.3% of the total key occasions market.
Particularly around Christmas time, retailers are getting more and more creative each year.
The Mattel Christmas Pallet for Big W extended the retail space to outside store, providing a multi-category Christmas gift destination with maximum cut-through and minimum campaign cost. It turned out to be one of the largest temporary Christmas sidewalk promotions undertaken by a retail chain in Australia, and took out a POPAI award.
Another Christmas solution in the liquor category, was the Jack Daniels Christmas tree by id8 Studio. The activation also solved a retailer problem—off-location shrinkage and breakage in the high-value glass category. The 360 degree display resulted in 38% sales uplift.
Take advantage of key retail occasions and map your customer journey to your channels. Occasions talk to relevance, and the products you have need to be specific and aspirational during the period. In the short term, retail occasions can drive traffic and sales by providing a reason for customers to visit. In the long term, the activation of various retail occasions can transform your store into a destination.
Check out our useful tips on some of the key seasonal retail events: