Why should retailers use seasonal events to increase footfall and profit?

Find out why small to medium retailers and family attractions should use seasonal events to increase footfall and profit.

Retailer Insight
Posted: 4th October 2022
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Why should retailers use seasonal events to increase footfall and profit?

We all know how much retail is under pressure in today’s economic climate; don’t we hear and read about it every day?  High street rents are high, consumer confidence is low, and footfall is decreasing.  Falling disposable income with families makes it less likely they will take days out and visit attractions nearby or afar off.

How can I use seasonal events as an opportunity for growth?

I want to focus in on some of the big seasonal events that happen every year.  Because if you plan ahead and take them as opportunities for growth you can buck the trend, you can attract customers to your store, you can give families a reason to spend the day out at your attraction.  Centring your marketing plan on these seasonal events can not only give you strategic focus for the year but also bring an element of stability to your retail operation.

Of course we’re talking about the most popular events here; Easter, Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas.  Over the years these seasons have come to almost define the retail landscape as we know it now.

Here are 4 key steps to consider.  Whether you are in the retail or tourism sector these still apply.

Step 1: Planning.

If you want to be serious about seasonal marketing then plan to be serious.  Decide at the beginning of the year (or before if possible) which events you want to take part in and set up a calendar with the dates locked in.

Then share your team into the plan and set out the objectives and reasons.  Brainstorm ideas with them to come up with creative things to do.  Then allocate responsibilities to get your whole team involved.  This may take an hour or so spread across a few days; allow the time and understand how important it is to get it right.

If you need a planner tool here’s a good one called Teamweek and it’s free for teams of up to 5 people.

Step 2: Timing.

Timing is everything they say.  And that couldn’t be more appropriate when planning your seasonal event.  Let me ask you a question; when do you as a consumer start to think about Christmas?  I’d take a guess it’s probably when the first decorations start appearing in your local supermarket!

Easter starts sometime in January, Halloween begins in September, and Black Friday begins in earnest in October.  It’s interesting to note that Christmas starts way back in August and is by far the largest search volume.

Now you can’t run a campaign for Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas all at once so it’s important to analyse data like this to decide the best timing for each season.

Step 3: Relevancy & Positioning.

This step ties in closely with timing.

There are two points to consider here, how do you make your campaign relevant to your customers and what advertising methods can you use to tell that message?  As the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank puts it, “The key to success is promotional saliency and resonance with shoppers in their lives.”

Being creative but having the correct message for your customers is so important, are they individuals shopping with an eye open for a bargain, are they buying gifts related to that season, or are they families visiting for the day/weekend?

What advertising methods do you have available, local Facebook pages are a great way to attract local customers, as are local newspapers and websites.  Consider what mediums your customers are using every day and use those.

Step 4: Promotion & Pricing.

Again the message here is to be creative.  Straight price reductions can be good, but consider ways to bundle products together so that you don’t have to decimate your profits.

Run a promotion that encourages customers to participate in a chain of events to make them come back again several times.  Hold an event that encourages families to visit for the day, once they’re there they will spend!

Promote your campaigns effectively, use your shop window if you have one, these can be so effective in pulling new customers off the street.

What results can I expect from seasonal campaigns?

Using these 4 steps can help you achieve greater clarity and appeal for your customers, ultimately attracting repeat sales and loyalty.

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