Resources for the Promotional Products Industry
3 Quick Tips to Drive Holiday Sales with Shops
As we write this, it’s late October and historically, once the weather starts getting chillier and the sun starts sinking sooner, clients (finally!) turn their minds toward fall and winter, which means they are ready for gift-giving season.
A few weeks ago, Trends newsletter (produced by the outstanding newsletter The Hustle) released the report, Seven Data-Backed Predictions for the Future of Marketing and in it, Julia Janks talked about the growing trends happening in marketing including direct mail, audio SEO, B2B influencers, and more.
But the #1 data-backed marketing trend? Gifting. According to Julia, “Corporate Gifting is the new customer retention strategy.”
Now, this is no surprise to use in the branded merch, gifting game. But more and more research is revealing that gifting has become not only a critical and effective marketing trend for businesses but that the trend is growing in demand and popularity. Coresight research recently shared how 2024 corporate gifting is set to hit $306 billion!
So, now is the time to capitalize on this trend and lock in those easy(ish) sales for Q4.
Want to know how? Here are 3 ways:
2) Demo, demo, demo
Did you know that a pop-up shop is the easiest shop to create and the quickest way to land holiday sales? Whether it’s for an end-of-year holiday gift or for an employee “thank-you” a pop-up shop sizzles with opportunity - and it’s dead simple to do.
Our friends, Russell and Jocelyn Bird set a goal of creating 100 shops. “It took us about 2.5 years to hit 100 shops, but we have seen some real magic along the way,” said Russell. The results speak for themselves:
The # of shops the have over $10 K in sales: 9
The # of shops with sales activity: 88 (An 83% success rate!)
Their total revenue from shops as a % of total sales since Jan 1: 19%
How about you? Why not set a Q4 goal to create 30 demo shops by year-end and share them with your client.
We all know a shop is the easiest way to aggregate orders and simplify your customers spend, while shuttling some cool gear to create maximum brand impact - so, start demoing!
2) Market, Market, Market
But you can’t build shops and expect people to knock down your door, you’ve got to entice, draw, inspire, and motivate people to shop! “Build it and they will come” is the biggest lie a shop-seller sells themselves. A few ways to do this:
Build a holiday catalog as a demo for your own shop. Our friends at Whitestone did it and it not only looks lovely, it’s simple and awesome to use (see below).
Market this shop in your email sig, share it on socials, make merch fun!
Want to level up your marketing game? Create a mini-marketing plan for your top clients’ shops. It’s not hard, a 1-pager that includes: 1) an opening letter to all recipients (eg, employees) telling them about the shop 2) an email drip campaign to highlight new products or limited-time offers 3) social assets your customer can share.
3) Open & Close!
A simple technique that was coined by James Jebba, the founder of Supreme and the one responsible for creating what we now know as “the merch drop” originally created the concept of limited edition merch because of a familiar little problem you might have heard of: supply chain.
In an interview with GQ, Jebbia said their exclusive and limited runs on merch “wasn’t any kind of strategic planning. It was more out of necessity, when we made things, not having the certainty and means to be able to order an item for the whole season. We’d make some tees, some sweats; if they don’t sell, we’re going to be stuck with them. So we made less quantity because, again, we didn’t know. And if it was really good, it would sell. Then we had nothing left to sell. We couldn’t call up the people and ask them to remake it, nor did we really want to. So it was: ‘Okay, if that does well, we have to replace it with something.’ That’s what we had to do. It wasn’t a shop full of basics where we’d have stuff for two months. I didn’t want that either, where you could get the same product month after month. What we were doing had to have some excitement to it.”
So, rip a page from the Supreme playbook and create a pop-up shop gifting experience that is a limited run or special edition for your client. Example? Maybe it’s an annual employee gift. Instead of doing a plain ole’ logo, left chest and then adding them to the company shop in the future, create an exclusive piece with cool branding that celebrates something unique about the company. By building in exclusivity and one-of-a-kindness, you’ll drive demand. Oh, and if you want a really clever way to do this, check out our interview with these rad designers from NYC who transformed a simple hoodie’s straight-line imprint into “small-scale storytelling” for one of Brooklyn’s buzziest restaurants!
Oh, and the real secret? Make your shop a limited-time only experience. “Open from Oct 1 - Nov 31st, so get your order in now!” Nothing says you can’t reopen a shop in 2024 and the tight time frame will help drive sales and save your sanity when it comes to production.
That’s it! Three quick tips for how to drive holiday sales with shops. Happy selling and Happy Holidays!