Avoid Marketing Mistakes That Can Ruin Holiday Sales

This article is from the Jewelers of America website.  The full article can be found here.
Tip: Avoid Marketing Mistakes That Can Ruin Holiday Sales
With the holiday sales period accounting for about 30% of specialty jewelers annual sales, we’re sure you’ve prepared your holiday sales and marketing plan and checked it twice. But with so many changeable factors affecting your potential costumers’ shopping habits — like the unsteady economy or ever-growing multi-channel shopping options — it’s important to make sure you don’t make unknowing holiday marketing blunders.
Read this list of the worst “Mistakes That Could Ruin Holiday Sales,” by Joanna L. Krotz from Microsoft Business strategies, and then avoid them. Use the suggestions to ensure your marketing campaigns are doing everything right to draw jewelry customers in this holiday season.
Mistake #1: Bet too heavily on discount pricing.
According to Krotz, “Price-driven marketing further pits small retailers against high-volume giants such as Wal-Mart and Costco — a contest that small businesses are sure to lose.”
Instead: Use your customer service as your competitive asset. For an industry built on personal customer relationships like ours, this is common sense, but make sure to re-emphasize its importance to everyone on your team before November.
  • Welcome with a smile. Greet all customers and make sure they are waited on soon after entering your store. “Customer service has become so poor that people are actually surprised when they find good service. That’s an opportunity for smaller retailers,” says Krotz.
  • Turn your store into a holiday destination: promote your personal service, offer special treats, hold ongoing events. “Instead of having people approach holiday shopping with dread because of the long lines and lots of dough, turn it in a fun experience,” says Simon Sinek, a strategic marketing consultant.
Mistake #2: Spend too little on advertising.
Krotz advises against slashing holiday sales to cut costs, “you can’t gain market share without market recognition,” she explains.
Instead: Make sure you are advertising in the right mix of channels.
  • Focusing on just TV or Print advertising could leave large customer segments untouched. Consider combining direct mail, e-mail outreach and even search engine marketing too your holiday campaigns.
Mistake #3: Forget to update website for holiday browsers
As small business owners it’s easy to overlook the one place that many potential customers will look to first when seeking jewelry gift ideas: your website.
Instead: Set aside some time to update your brand’s website or social media pages with holiday specific content, you’ll see it’s relatively simple and involves content that you easily have available.
  • Powerful holiday-focused content updates include: suggested gift lists for specific people (man, mom, wife, etc), holiday trend spotlights, and wish list options.
  • Integrate the holiday content into your social media and email outreach, give customers reasons to browse your site!
Mistake No. 4: Market to some customers and not others.
In today’s over-crowded marketing environment, one size does not fit all when it comes to marketing campaigns.
Instead: To grow results from your outreach, you need to target your various customer demographics. “Of course, that’s only possible if you’ve built a customer database and kept it up-to-date all year, so make it a priority year-round,” writes Krotz. Tailor your holiday promotions to motivate each of your customer segments.
Mistake No. 5: Forget last-minute shoppers.
Shoppers are buying gifts and services later and later in the season. “More and more purchase decisions are made with just-in-time urgency,” says Jay B. Lipe, author of The Marketing Toolkit for Growing Businesses.
Instead: Include “last minute” promotions in your marketing strategy.
  • Increase promotions for last-minute specials and products to attract late shoppers.
  • Consider holding “last minute” in-store events and adjust store hours for convenience.
  • Don’t assume it’s all over on Dec. 25. Be prepared for those after-holiday sales that can also boost your selling season.
  • Have a plan in place to impress gift-exchange customers, New Year’s and Kwanzaa shoppers – they’ll be more likely to think of you for their next big jewelry purchase on Valentine’s Day.
Take The Tip: