The Australian Retailer’s guide to Boxing Day

Boxing Day — the capstone holiday of ‘Silly Season‘ — is fast approaching for Australian retailers. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for those in the mood for holiday cheer, but also for businesses: The stretch from mid-December through early January is the busiest shopping season of the year, and represents a huge end-of-year windfall for most retailers.

On average, Australians spend 30 percent more on retail purchases in December than in other months, making it a critical month for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce sellers alike. And capping off the month is the day after Christmas, 26 December, also known as Boxing Day. It’s the biggest and busiest shopping day of the year for Australia, as well as other anglosphere nations like New Zealand, the U.K., and Canada.

If you’re looking to boost your retail game heading into the Boxing Day season, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some tactics and strategies that can bring in more customers and sales for your business, starting right now.

Make your email campaign memorable

Email marketing is one of the most powerful (and cost-effective) tools in a retailer’s arsenal, so there’s no reason to skimp on your electronic direct mailers. A good email can motivate deal-seekers to grab their car keys and head to your store, and can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.

There are plenty of good reasons to go all-in with your email marketing — according to a recent study by NetElixer, email-driven e-commerce sales are expected to rise by 10 percent over the 2017 holiday season.

A pre-Boxing Day email blast could be just the thing to put your business over the top and bring in record revenues for the quarter. Here are some foolproof tips for making your Boxing Day email campaign even more memorable and impactful:

  • Provide value for your readers: Don’t just offer your subscribers a deal or promotion and leave it at that — give them a good reason to buy your product. Your marketing emails should contain engaging content, like a holiday gift guide for hard-to-please family members, a list of helpful home-decorating tips, or a primer on the hottest styles for the holiday season.
  • Give your email a punchy subject line: Roughly 35 percent of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone, so make sure your subject lines pack a punch. Make it short and to the point (under 50 characters is best), and be sure to avoid words that are likely to trigger spam filters, like “urgent,” “free,” and “buy direct.”
  • Make sure it’s mobile-responsive: Ensure your email template design has its own mobile-specific view, and test your email for consistency across a variety of devices. Up to 40 percent of all emails are now opened on mobile devices, so this is one area where you have to do your homework.
  • Design is key: Review the design of your email, and if your company employs a designer, ask for them to review your campaign before you send. Make sure your email design is clean, simple, and appealing, but still stands out from the pack and contains well-defined calls to action. A good image-to-text ratio is also crucial for email deliverability — aim for 20 percent images and 80 percent text in your design.

Invite your audience to join the fun — in person

While most of the rest of the world is seeing a boom in online shopping against a relative decline in brick-and-mortar sales, Australians still place a premium on the in-person experience.

As AdRoll reported in 2016, online holiday sales grew at a much slower pace in Australia than in other developed nations — a trend that is expected to continue in 2017 — suggesting that Australians still favor making purchases from a physical store. (According to research, this is especially true for big-ticket purchases like high-end clothing and gadgets.)

For retailers who own and operate a physical locations, this means that the in-store experience is still going to be a critical part of your Boxing Day strategy. Consider launching an email or print campaign to draw more foot traffic to your store on Boxing Day, whether through a storewide coupon or a special promotion on select items.

Another good tactic is to have an in-store Boxing Day meet-and-greet with your staffers featuring a raffle, a giveaway, or other freebies. This might require a small up-front cost on your part, but the increased visibility and sales you’ll bring to your store will make it well worth the effort.

Personalise the experience for online shoppers

Brick-and-mortar retail might still be king in Australia, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your digital presence come Boxing Day. One of the most effective ways of driving online retail sales is through personalisation — using data-driven marketing to target shoppers with deals that match their shopping preferences and browsing history.

A consistent, personalized shopping experience will show your customers that you value them, and that their business is always top-of-mind for you. Personal touches in your marketing campaigns and ads are a proven driver of customer loyalty, which can be the deciding factor between someone choosing your store over Amazon.

If you aren’t already, you should start personalising your online marketing immediately: Research has shown that personalised marketing results in less churn, more predictable revenue, and higher-value customers who stay loyal for longer.

One easy way to do this is to draw customer and demographic data from GoogleAnalytics, and then use it to make smart ad buys that serve potential shoppers with relevant and interesting purchase opportunities. And if you have the bandwidth and technology for it, data gathered by CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot can allow for even more granular and accurate personalisation.

Even if you’re only dipping your toe into the waters of targeted marketing, don’t forget that small investments can still yield big results.

Seize the mobile advantage

Mobile-savvy Aussies are increasingly making more and more of their purchases using a mobile device — as Google reported, in Q4 of 2016 the share of conversions from mobile devices grew 47 percent year-on-year in Australia. And more mobile activity and conversions also means more phone calls to your business, which give you a direct line to your customers and insights into how they’re interacting with your brand.

By putting advanced call tracking and analytics to work for your business, you can see which campaigns are driving the most interactions with your brand, sort and analyze your leads according to the marketing channel that drove them, and accurately gauge the ROI of your ad spend. Even better, you can match a lead’s phone activity to their web browsing and search history, giving you an all-encompassing view of their purchase journey.

For data-savvy marketers, the end result is a smarter and more cost-effective use of your marketing budget — just the thing to help your retail business achieve its best Boxing Day ever.

If you’re an Australian retailer or marketer ready to unlock the power of advanced call tracking and analytics for your business, you can start today: Request a demo of CallRail or begin your 14-day free trial.