Holiday Marketing Guide for Niche Retailers

Holiday shopping is expected to increase by 3.6 percent this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Niche retailers can get on board this train by attracting new customers with sales, special events, member-discounts and more. Here’s your guide to a successful holiday marketing campaign.

Early Holiday Advertising

To take full advantage of spend-happy holiday customers, recommends that retailers start advertising weeks before the shopping seasons starts. Early advertising enables retailers to see how customers react to ads and to adjust or invest accordingly. Retailers that advertise early also encourage their customers to make them their default shopping destination.

Digital Marketing

Digital interactions are projected to influence 67 percent of retail sales this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast. That’s because platforms like Facebook and Pinterest are helping to shape what customers expect from shopping: they want visuals, products tailored to their interests and more expert information. The retailers that invest in digital marketing campaigns can harness this influence and gain new customers.

Personalized Shopping Experiences

Encouraged by online platforms and niche markets, some retailers are tailoring the shopping experience to each customer. For example, some Saks stores will offer gift concierges this season to assist customers in picking out presents. And Macy’s will include a holiday arcade filled with exclusive items, rewarding the customer’s desire for a personalized shopping experience.

Member Discounts

Creating a personalized shopping experience goes hand-in-hand with cultivating a membership program or fan club. Memberships create a sense of community, improve the customer’s experience and help the retailer get to know the customer personally. Offering members-only discounts or special events helps to further cement that relationship and bring in new members. For example, is now offering a special discount for VIP members who take a lifestyle quiz in exchange for personalized outfit picks.


The most enduring example of holiday marketing is still a good sale. Customers expect to spend a lot during the holidays, but they also expect to get great deals. To take full advantage of this mindset and still turn a profit, retailers should consider offering smaller sales events during the weeks leading up to and following Thanksgiving. Offering free no-minimum shipping for the holidays, as Target will this season, will also motivate customers to shop. Sales also offer an opportunity to create a sense of scarcity and urgency, as Amazon does by displaying in-stock quantities.

Special Events

Special holiday events such as Black Friday reel in new customers with promises of big sales opportunities. Some companies are even offering full on “Cyber Week” sales that give customers flexibility and time to shop around their website before purchasing. Another special event, Singles’ Day, is celebrated on November 11 every year in China. Singles’ Day is already the biggest online shopping event in the world and is predicted to rise in popularity in the U.S. in the coming years due to targeting a diverse and growing market with a large disposable income.

Social Proof

To make a sale today, successful retailers are using social proof to cultivate customer trust in their product. That’s because 70 percent of shoppers rely on recommendations and reviews from strangers before making a purchase. To gain new customers, retailers should ask a popular blog or celebrity to endorse a product, promote products on social media and offer online product reviews.

Photo Credit: Provided by Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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