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Helping Christmas Shoppers Indulge

Saima Alibhai, Practice Manager – Professional Services at Bronto Software, explains how to leverage the self-gifting trend.

CONSUMERS ARE not only starting their Christmas shopping earlier, they are treating themselves to gifts when buying for family and friends. During the 2015 festive season, 50% of shoppers bought something for themselves when shopping for others, a seven percentage point increase from 2014, according to Deloitte. Consumers’ willingness to stuff their own stockings means you need to be thinking about ways to entice consumers to splurge on themselves, in addition to developing promotions that appeal to early-bird Christmas shoppers.

Pitching a promotional code for hitting a spending threshold with a single purchase or over several purchases during the Christmas season is one way to encourage shoppers to spend on themselves since many consumers will use the code to purchase an item on their wish list. Setting a spending bar to earn a coupon not only helps increase average order size, but can keep shoppers coming back during the festive season to earn the incentive. Emailing consumers daily deals is another way to entice holiday shoppers to indulge. To make a daily deal appealing, segment offers among email recipients so that shoppers receive offers tied to their specific interests.

Consumers like to be treated special and VIP treatment helps a brand stand out in a crowded marketplace. For example, athletic apparel and shoe manufacturer Brooks Sports Inc. notifies its loyal customers about deals and discounts first. Alternatively, promotions can be built around product categories or brands the customer favours. A lot of Brooks customers like to shop by outfit, so the brand offers deals that reward them with a free accessory when they buy an outfit or a discount on trousers when they purchase a matching top.

Offering gift card buyers a second gift card of lesser value for meeting a spending threshold, such as a bonus GBP 50 gift card when purchasing a card of GBP 100, can coax shoppers interested in buying for themselves to convert. In many cases, a shopper will keep the free gift card—and then spend more than the value on it when redeeming it later for themselves. By adjusting the redemption date on the free gift card to post-Christmas, you can maintain momentum in the new year. This works well in Brooks’s industry especially since several people begin to tackle their fitness goals in Q1.

With some consumers starting their Christmas shopping weeks in advance of Black Friday, you can’t afford to wait until November to start offering Christmas deals. But be careful, lest you sacrifice sales you’d otherwise get later in the season by offering your best deals early. Gradually increase discounts and other incentives as the Christmas shopping season progresses to keep shoppers interested. You can still offer good value in your early promotions, but the goal is to steadily increase the value offered so your marketing strategy doesn’t peak too soon.

Also lay the groundwork to nurture future sales from customers gained during the Christmas season. Thanking customers via email for their business and including a coupon for a future purchase, or sending loyal customers sneak previews of future sales can keep shoppers coming back once Christmas is over. By recognising that consumers buy for themselves during the festive season and that Christmas shoppers are starting earlier, you will be more successful in your marketing efforts.

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