In-Store Marketing Holiday Checklist: Part Two

The holidays are approaching, and we’re here to help. Check out PART ONE of this In-Store Marketing Holiday Checklist here, and read PART TWO below. 


At this stage, all offers and promotional tactics should be final.  It’s time to compose your message and create artwork for signage, direct mail, and any other necessary printed materials.  Note that these items should work together with your digital elements (e-mail, social media, etc.) to present a unified campaign.

Think about what you want to communicate.  Is it a promotional discount, new arrivals, or an in-store event?  Keep window banner and cling headlines short and bold to attract passersby.  The goal for these pieces is to capture attention and inspire an unplanned store visit.  Table signage should guide shoppers through the store and promote specific products and price points.  Postcards and direct mail should include your core message, call to action, applicable event details, and legal copy (expiration dates, etc.).

Maintain common colors and graphic themes throughout all printed materials, digital ads, and email campaigns.  A graphic design background or access to an agency partner is helpful, but not totally necessary.  Many web-based print vendors provide design templates with customization capabilities.  Choose a simple layout that can be applied throughout all promotional materials.

Once artwork is finalized, place your order for printed materials.  Two weeks is generally an acceptable lead-time, depending on the vendor’s location.  Local printers may be able to process and deliver a small order within five business days.  However, online vendors may require extra time for shipping.  Check lead-times prior to placing an order and notify the supplier if you require a specific delivery date.  In general, your signage order should be placed no later than late October.  This will allow time to inspect materials upon arrival and correct any flaws you may find.  Although printing mistakes are rare, our plan must account for Murphy’s Law.

Are seasonal shopping bags and gift boxes part of your strategy? Double check lead-times with your packaging distributor early.  Overseas orders may require six weeks or more, depending on quantity and design.  Domestic items may be more readily available.   Keep it simple if you haven’t already tested and finalized your design.  Changes to color, finish, and print are all still fair game.  Avoid changes to structure, size, and material at this point.  Custom bags generally require multiple rounds of samples, review, and feedback.  Limit changes if you don’t have the time to engage in this process.  There is also nothing wrong with maintaining your standard packaging.  However, make sure to plan accordingly for holiday demand.

You should receive all printed materials by mid-November.  General holiday displays and decorations should be in place no later than the week of Thanksgiving.  Expect to see early Black Friday deals from national competitors.

Review and Evaluation

Your business has successfully survived the holiday season.  Was your program effective?  Consider the objectives and budget you defined at the beginning of the process.  What metrics will enable you to define success?  Depending on objectives, these might include:

  • Sales Data:                            Did you achieve the desired increase?
  • Sell Through:                       Did the product featured in your displays sell well?
  • Coupon Redemption:        What was the redemption percentage on your offer?
  • Customer Database:           Did you achieve the desired increase?
  • Social Media:                       Did you obtain the desired amount of followers, etc.?
  • Web Traffic:                         Did you drive the desired amount of traffic to your site? 

How do these metrics line up with your original objectives?  Could external factors, such as weather, have been a factor?  Compare the final benefits with the amount of the investment.  Was the program as success?

Finally, regroup with your team to record and retain any ideas you may have for next year.  The 2015 holiday planning season will be here before you know it.

Contributed by Melissa Molymeaux, the Marketing Director for Boutique Vision. is an online source that provides high-quality, custom visual merchandising materials to independent retailers. Our mission is to provide the value of custom in-store marketing without high volume requirements or agency costs. Boutique Vision’s online catalog offers signage, sign fixtures, retail bags, and more. Users can upload original artwork or customize our professional signage templates. Our standard product offering includes the materials and sizes that are most common in the retail environment. However, we also accommodate custom orders whenever possible. Boutique Vision is owned and operated by InnoMark Communications (, a premier provider of visual merchandising solutions. The InnoMark team has been serving the mainstream retail industry for 20+ years. We are pleased to share our experience and expertise with small retail businesses through We guarantee competitive prices, high-quality materials, and timely delivery.

Photo Credit: Premier Packaging 



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