The Complete 2020 Holiday Season Timeline

September is here, which means the 2020 holiday season is right around the corner! This year has been unprecedented and unpredictable, and the holidays will likely look different this year as well. This year more than ever, people will feel grateful and excited to celebrate the holidays, and consumers will be looking for gifts for their pets!  It will be crucial for businesses to adapt to the cultural shifts of the world, specifically when it comes to retail and e-commerce. The best way to do so? Start strategizing now! It is never too early to start planning. We’re sharing some insights on how shopping will be different this year, and a timeline to guide you throughout the 2020 holiday season.

September

Set Your Goals

  • Establish the goals that you want your business to achieve this holiday season, keeping in mind your budget and bandwidth.
  • Brainstorm new festive ideas, and prepare for the busy season ahead!

Connect With Your Customers

  • Collect your customers’ email addresses in-store and on your website to establish and build your customer list.
  • Make sure you have an email marketing solution set up for your business. There are many platforms that offer free solutions, such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact. Check out our blog post, Our Top 5 Picks: Online Tools for Small Businesses for more information on email platforms. 
  • Remain active on social media!

Merchandise

  • Start thinking about what seasonal and holiday items you’d like to sell this holiday season (think holiday themed food, toys, treats, and accessories). According to Facebook, 60% of North American consumers say they explore new products during the holiday season more than the rest of the year, so this is a great opportunity to test new products!
  • Keep in mind that the holidays are a popular time for new puppies. Don’t forget to make sure you have supplies like crates, mats, collars and leashes, cleaning supplies, bowls, and beds! 
  • Place orders for the items you want for your store by the end of September.


October

Boost Your Social Media Presence

  • Continue building your store’s social media presence for a smooth transition into the busy holiday season. Connecting with your customers now will help you remain at the top of their minds throughout the next few months!
  • If you’re not already using Endless Marketing powered by Promoboxx, now is the perfect time to start. Access free pet industry content that you can share directly to your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. There is tons of holiday content coming up that you don’t want to miss out on! Learn more and sign up here.
  • If you’re already using Promoboxx, this is a great time to start thinking about paid local ads. Promoboxx makes it extremely easy for retailers to expand their reach and access a targeted demographic audience. Local ads can help your business by amplifying your message to new customers, increasing your chance of sales, and putting you ahead of your competition. You can also work with brands through Promoboxx to get brand funding. Local ads can really boost your marketing strategy for the holiday season. To learn more about how to get started with local ads, click here.

Plan Your Sales and Campaigns

  • Early October is a great time to start planning your marketing campaigns and messaging. Consider themes like giving back by partnering with a local animal shelter, a season-long ‘naughty or nice’ pet social media contest, and a day for ‘Santa Paws’ to visit the store for photo ops. Creating gift guides for emails, social media, and even print, is a festive way to highlight products. Get creative with your campaigns! For some inspiration, check out 5 Engaging Holiday Marketing Campaigns.
  • Along with your campaigns, this is a good time to plan your promotions and sales for the holiday season. Look back at your sales from last year to see what worked and what didn’t. Keep in mind that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both ‘holidays’ where consumers will be expecting your biggest sales and promotions! It’s also a good idea to have a sale the week before Christmas for any last minute shoppers looking for gifts.
  • Once your campaigns and sales are planned out, think about any assets you will need, whether they’re digital (think email and website images and social media content), or print (think in-store signage, printable coupons, and sale flyers).
  • Work with your designer to create and attain assets, and make sure to set your deadlines so that nothing is rushed.
  • If you don’t have a designer, but are looking for custom assets, Fivver is a great resource where you can hire a freelance designer to create work for you! Learn more here.
  • Remember to check out Endless Marketing powered by Promoboxx for tons of free holiday content at your fingertips!

Set Up Convenient Shopping

  • This year, more than ever before, customers will be looking to limit exposure and shop conveniently with in-store or curbside pickup. If you haven’t already, set up a buy online, pickup in-store (BOPUIS) shopping option. Make sure to alert and remind your customers about this option throughout the holiday season via email, social media, and even in-store.
  • For an easy-to-use BOPUIS solution, check out Endless Aisles Lite! You can use the Endless Aisles catalog on your Shopify store to publish the items you have in-store, test out a few of your best selling brands or products, or even all of the items that you carry! Your customers can shop with you whenever and wherever, and pick up in-store or curbside (or you can offer local delivery). To learn more about this solution, click here.

November

Connect With Your Customers

  • Starting in early November you should be focusing on connecting with your customers! Remain active on social media (try to post every other day!) and send out 1-2 emails each week. Maintaining a good relationship with your customers both online and offline is important, especially during this busy shopping season!
  • Tis the season! By mid November, consumers will be focused on purchasing gifts for their loved ones and furry friends. This is a great time to get your gift guides out there to highlight seasonal and holiday products.
  • Make shopping in-store a festive holiday experience with decorations, and display holiday themed products towards the front of your store.

Highlight Your Sales

  • This time of year, it’s all about the sales. Many consumers will seek out the best deals and wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make purchases, especially for gifts. Make sure to let your customers know about your sales in advance via email, social media, and in-store.
  • Reward your loyal customers by creating an email list with exclusive discounts, early access to sales, or free gifts with purchase.
  • Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales!

December

  • By now the holiday season is in full swing, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over!
  • For the month of December, it is important to stay consistent with social media content and emails. Your customers will be consuming so much content and you want to stay relevant on their feeds and in their inboxes.

As the holidays approach, it’s never too late to sign up for Endless Marketing powered by Promoboxx to access free pet industry holiday content. This content will engage your customers online and drive sales during this busy season! Learn more and sign up here.

By Kelly Thomas