The holiday season is the most critical time of year for online retailers. During the holidays, possessing a strong marketing strategy is imperative.
However, it doesn’t matter how fantastic a seller’s campaign strategies are if they are poorly timed. This begs the question:
When is the best time to run a promotion?
This is a critical question for sellers to address, given that they are competing for limited dollars among millions of other retailers who are all pushing out holiday promotions.
Fortunately, this query is what this piece aims to address.
If your brand is trying to figure out when is the best time to run a promotion, look no further.
Today, we will explore when and how merchants should aim to reach holiday shoppers to ensure that they fully.
When Is the Best Time to Run a Promotion? Picking Holiday Dates
The fact of the matter is that has been rather significant. As a result, many norms have gone out the window as new paradigms are being established.
That said, historically speaking, September has been the ideal time for sellers to begin integrating their holiday content into their marketing schedule.
However, it is also worth noting that every business is different. Therefore, it is best for retailers to make the best decision for their brand, basing their determination on the start time of previous years’ data.
Additionally, when beginning to integrate holiday messaging into the company’s marketing efforts, it is best to start slowly and ramp things up the closer it gets to the holiday season. If retailers go too strong out of the gate, it will overshadow other marketing efforts and potentially come off as too aggressive, thereby turning off potential buyers.
That said, do keep in mind that in September, most consumers are probably not actively working on their holiday shopping list. However, many of these folks are certainly in the “inspiration” phase of holiday shopping.
This means that retailers should be cranking out content that aligns with the awareness stage of. In fact, reaching consumers with different types of content for each stage of their journey is far more important than launching campaigns on specific dates.
Therefore, it is wise for retailers to focus most of their marketing blueprint around the different types of content that target consumers at the various stages of the buying process.
However, before we tackle that topic, there are some other considerations for successfully winning over consumers during the holiday rush.
Consider the Time and Resources Necessary
Q: When is the best time to run a promotion?
A: At a time when retailers can assure that consumers can successfully take advantage of the sale.
Here’s the thing: When retailers run holiday promotions, it is not only necessary to consider the audience’s needs, but also the company’s needs.
Given how vitally important is for sellers, it is critical that retailers take adequate time to plan out promotions, discuss logistics with team members and allocate the required resources.
To decide when it is best to start running holiday promotions, retailers must:
- Establish desired start dates
- Analyze previous efforts to determine how long it will take to set up each promotion
- Pinpoint any potential conflicts, overlaps or special considerations that could interfere with holiday promotions
- Create a working schedule that details due dates for all components and creative materials
Naturally, retailers will want to begin this process as early as possible so as to be fully prepared when the established start day arrives.
Consider the Research and Saving Necessary for Products
, senior director of industry and consumer insights at the National Retail Federation:
“Each year about 40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.”
That said, another 40 percent of shoppers will wait until November, while 15 percent won’t begin their holiday shopping until the first two weeks of December.
This sizable window poses certain problems for online merchants trying to find out when is the best time to run a promotion for their brand during the holiday season.
However, there are a couple of key indicators that retailers can (and should) use to determine when to launch their.
Those indicators are:
- Weight of the purchase decision
This means that — depending on the price of the item — consumers could take much longer to make a decision on whether to purchase the product or not. Moreover, if the item is quite expensive, consumers might have to save up to afford the purchase, assuming that sellers do not offer.
Secondly, the weight of the purchase decisions means that it is necessary to take into account how much research is needed for consumers to feel comfortable in buying a product.
Additionally, it should be taken into account that these two factors are inextricably linked. The more expensive an item is, the more research consumers will want to conduct prior to pulling the proverbial trigger.
Therefore, if a retailer’s offerings require some hefty research and a sizable amount of consideration, it is wise to start sales earlier than other sellers as consumers are going to need more time to make up their minds and/or save up for the item.
On the other hand, if merchants sling products that are incredibly affordable and can be acquired as something of an impulse purchase, then it is not necessary to start pushing holiday promotions so early.
However, no matter which camp retailers fall into, it is essential to be able to deliver the proper promotion at the right time, based on each consumer’s position within the buyer’s journey.
An ideal way of achieving this is through tools like. Utilizing Namogoo’s platform, merchants can leverage consumer data and machine learning technologies to understand the reason a potential buyer is visiting a seller’s site and deliver that person with the ideal pathway to purchase.
Namogoo’s proprietary technology enables brands to adapt on-site experiences in real-time to create buyer journeys devoid of obstacles. In fact, through this tool’s intent-based promotions feature, sellers can offer fewer promotions to customers who don’t need them to convert and start offering them to those who need them most.
Tools like Namogoo are incredibly powerful for helping to optimize the buyer’s journey and increase holiday revenues.
That said, it is important to remember that tools cannot do all of the heavy lifting.
This is where a merchant’s holiday content strategy comes into play.
Mapping Content to the Buyer’s Journey
When contemplating when is the best time to run a promotion, it is vital to understand that specific dates are far less important or relevant than reaching consumers at the time that matters most to them.
Therefore, it is critical for retailers to produce and promote a multitude of content formats for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
That said, let’s quickly examine each stage, and the kinds of content sellers can use to direct consumers to the next phase, all the way through to conversion.
At the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, merchants should be promoting content that makes a positive and lasting first impression. Given that, at this point, consumers are completely unfamiliar with the brand or its offerings, it is imperative that sellers quickly grab their attention and entice them to keep reading, watching or listening.
The primary point of awareness stage content is to inform or entertain an audience. If sellers can manage both of these aims simultaneously, they stand a good chance of pushing consumers to the next stage.
During this period, some fruitful content formats that merchants can leverage include:
- Short blog posts
- Curated lists
- Guest blog posts
- Facebook videos
- YouTube videos
- Interactive lookbooks
The main goal here is to inform consumers to help them better understand their problem or what they are looking for in a product.
Assuming merchants successfully engage consumers at this stage, this is an ideal time to capture their email address to deliver more informative content offerings.
However, in order to optimize email flows to guide prospects through to a conversion successfully, it is wise to who can help design an email flow that will achieve this aim.
At this point in the journey, consumers understand their pain point, and they are now seeking solutions.
Naturally, sellers will want to generate content that gets folks thinking about the next step, which means producing content that is deeper and more educational than that presented in the awareness stage.
For instance, retailers might produce how-to guides or videos comparing the brand’s products to that of a rival company, thereby supplying shoppers with educational content that will help to convince them to go with the seller instead of their competition.
The goal here is to answer questions, overcome potential objections and arm audiences with the information they need to feel comfortable in making a purchase.
In part, this means instilling confidence in consumers.
Some types of content that merchants can use in the consideration stage include:
- Long-form blog posts
- Case studies
- Comparison videos
- How-to guides
- Demo videos
- Product reviews
- Testimonials and
- Influencer content
- White papers
- Resource pages
During this stage, customer testimonials, product reviews and user-generated content will go a long way in earning the trust of potential buyers and making them feel comfortable with the brand.
Therefore, understanding and showcase them on a website is vital to the process.
Moreover, this is the ideal time to begin presenting consumers with special offers to help persuade them to buy.
Assuming consumers make it to this stage of the journey, retailers have successfully convinced them that the brand’s product is suitable for the buyer.
This means that content offerings are no longer necessary.
Instead, the central focus will shift to the on-site experience. Therefore, retailers must ensure that their site has, offers guest checkout options, features various payment options and removes all potential barriers.
While many sellers consider their job done once a consumer reaches the “Thank You” page, nothing could be further from the truth.
Instead, this is a merchant’s opportunity to earn a new customer for life. Therefore, it is highly recommended that retailers have in place to turn one-time buyers into devout customers.
There are a myriad of ways merchants can achieve this aim, including:
- Post-purchase email flows
- Loyalty programs
- Premier product packaging
- Personalized email campaigns and on-site experiences
- Loyalty discounts
- Competitions and contests
With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, it is critical for sellers to understand when is the best time to run a promotion.
However, the answer to that question is highly dependent on the company, the products it sells and the position of each customer in the buyer’s journey.
That said, assuming that retailers have a decent grasp on these factors (which they now should), it is vital to put it all together into a cohesive marketing strategy that walks consumers through the process.
In part, this means having an optimized on-site experience.
After all, if the shopping experience is subpar, it will not matter how effective or informative the brand’s content is or how well the company has mapped out its customer journeys.
Therefore, if your brand wants to ensure that it captures as many customers as possible this holiday season, reach out to.
Our dedicated team of CRO specialists can help to pinpoint your site’s weak spots and turn them into revenue-driving opportunities.