2019 has been a tough year overall for retailers in Australia. The retail industry saw slower growth than expected in the fall season or March, April, and May last year. Analysts attributed this to consumers' restraint in spending because of flat wage growth, falling house prices, debts, and other factors.
While the year ended quite not well, there’s a glimmer of hope for the Australian retail industry. Deloitte Access Economics partner and Retail Forecasts principal author David Rumbens said in an article that 2020 is a good year for retailers and might be the year of a turnaround.
“We expect to see a much-needed improvement in the drivers of spending, providing the environment for a turn around the weak retail demand profile in 2020.”
Rumbens said that more robust wage growth, a reinvigorated housing market, and moderating price pressures would be the primary driver for the expected turnaround.
However, retailers can’t just leave it all up to chance and to the consumers’ willingness to spend. You still need to implement a clear strategy to bring your store's attention and eventually boost sales.
Now, we’re approaching the fall season again—the season that spans the months mentioned earlier where slow growth was observed. This season may be as challenging as last year, but it is still an excellent opportunity to ramp up your promotions.
To help you, we’ve listed some practical marketing ideas you can implement this fall.
1) Take note of significant events
Make the most of the holidays to boost your sales. Based on Deloitte’s 2019 retail holiday survey, 81% of consumers expect promotions to influence their holiday purchases.
74% are looking forward to price discounts, while 72% included a free shipping offer on their wish list.
Take advantage of these special days to send greetings and promote your products to your target audience.
For easier reference, here are some dates to watch out for and prepare for:
- March 2 - Labour Day (Western Australia)
- March 4-14 - Melbourne Fashion Week
- March 9
- March Public Holiday (South Australia)
- Canberra Day
- Eight Hours Day (Tasmania)
- Labour Day (Victoria)
- March 17 - St. Patrick’s Day
- April 1 - April Fool’s Day
- April - Music Festival Season
- April - Wedding Holiday Season
- May 4 - Star Wars Day
- May 4 - Labour Day (Queensland)
- May Day (Northern Territory)
- May 10 - Mothers’ Day
- May 19 - Click Frenzy Mayhem
- May 29-31 - Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show
You can give discounts, limited offers, and more during these dates as consumers expect them during holidays. Start planning as early as possible, so you can target your audience better.
2) Consider creating a season-specific category for fall items
First things, first. If you don’t have a website for your retail store yet, you’re missing out on a lot. Consumers nowadays are using their smartphones and the internet to decide where to go and what to buy.
A report from The ROBO Economy (Research Online Buy Offline) revealed that 82% of smartphone users research their phones first before an in-store purchase, while 45% read reviews before making a purchase.
A well-optimized website can help attract new customers by ranking well for various search terms on the search engine results page. Plus, it improves your credibility and provides a channel to showcase your product.
In line with showcasing your products in time for fall, add a section on your eCommerce website where you can feature items that you think would be popular or needed this season. This will make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for immediately, so they wouldn’t need to switch to another shop.
The featured items on your website can change depending on the other significant events mentioned in our previous point. You can also opt to feature summer items at discounted prices for a limited time at the start of fall. This is to create a sense of urgency and scarcity while at the same time getting rid of other items on your inventory and boosting sales.
For your product listing, make your offer irresistible.
You can use a copy that mentions:
- “must-have items this season”
- “what’s ‘in’ this fall” to highlight further the need and persuade your visitors to buy.
3) Leverage Google ads and social media
Having put up a website is just the first step to making your products seen. Deploy and maximize paid ads on search engines and social media to attract new customers to your website.
You can use Google’s Local Inventory advertising to get started. This solution from Google will show your products to customers searching within your location for the items you offer. They will also be redirected to a Google-hosted page where they can view your store information when they click on your products.
Aside from Google ads, you can consider using social media to amplify your message and reach your target audience.
- Run contests on social media or give out special coupons to encourage consumers to buy from you.
- You can also run social media ads or retargeting campaigns for a more targeted approach to getting new customers.
Photo from @snowing via Freepik.
4) Create educational content promoting your fall-related items
More than just putting your products out there, it would be good if you could add value to your customers.
Consider writing and publishing content that will educate your website visitors on essential topics that will coincide with the season. This may be in the form of tutorial videos, informational blogs, or even case studies.
At the end of each content, you can take the opportunity to promote a related product or an item that addresses the need discussed in the piece. Insert attention-grabbing call-to-action buttons that will encourage your users to buy.
5) Utilize themed-newsletters
Your existing contact database is a gold mine if you know how to leverage them. Use the holidays and change of season to reach out to these contacts by sending them themed newsletters.
In these newsletters, you can say thank you and give them a limited edition offer as a special gift. This way, they’ll feel rewarded, and you can boost your brand recall as you appear in their inboxes.
Aside from carefully crafting your limited edition offers and content for newsletters, make sure to employ aesthetically pleasing and functional designs. This is so they’d be encouraged to read your entire email newsletter.
Seasons change; needless to say, your marketing plans should follow suit. Every season is an opportunity to be creative. Think of new ways to put your product out there and show how it can help address your consumers’ pain points.
From there, create a marketing plan, examine its performance, and optimize as needed.
Need help with executing your marketing plans?
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