‘tis the season and cash registers are ringing to the sounds of Christmas. There’s nothing I love more than kicking back in the mall and people watching at this time of year. It’s the perfect storm for a marketer like me and you can almost taste the pressure of buying that perfect gift as it gets closer and closer to that all important day. Mums are ticking off lists for their kids, boyfriends are trying to decide which perfume smells best, and Dads are squeezing it all in on Christmas Eve – bagging up whatever’s left.
For retailers it’s a time of year that can make or break an entire year’s profits. The sense of urgency to buy is like no other time of the year. Christmas makes people loosen their purse strings and in 2015 The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan Research expect Australian shoppers to loosen their purses to the tune of a whopping $46.8 billion.
So what is it about the Christmas rush that we can learn from and apply to other times of the year to create a sense of urgency to buy? At Threesides Marketing we’ve used a range of marketing strategies this year to help our clients turn lookers into buyers by creating a rush. Here’s a few you might want to add to your marketing bag of tricks in 2016.
4 marketing strategies to create a buyer sense of urgency as big as Christmas.
Time Limited Sales
The one major thing that Christmas has on its side and that’s the 25th It’s a fixed date that’s not moving, and the closer it gets, the higher the pressure to buy becomes.
By creating a special price or value added item that is only available for a very limited time period – such as a 48hr sale, it can switch on an interested buyer to take the next step and convert to a purchase. This strategy was used by our client Red Robot Photo Booths and in a one day targeted sale into the US using Facebook advertising and a Shopify site, they met half their sales target for the whole month for a new product.
Staged release pricing
If your business provides a product or service that is consumed on a certain date such as an event, transport, accommodation or flights – by encouraging an early purchase it reduces the risk that you will have excess stock on hand waiting to be sold on the day. Staging a price increase the closer it gets to the service being provided creates a sense of urgency for anyone already interested to buy now and save. This strategy was used by our client CBR100 Challenge – a walking and running endurance event on Canberra’s Centenary Trail. An early bird ticket price end date was promoted using Facebook and Instagram advertising resulting in a 95% increase in registrations based on the previous year.
Seasonality is something that Christmas taps into, though there’s plenty of other times of the year that a similar strategy can also be used. Spring offers, winter warmers and summer hot deals – we’ve heard them all. Putting a time limit on an offer that is themed to the season is a useful way to create a sense of urgency that a purchase must be made now before it’s too late. This strategy was used by our client Sportsmans Warehouse a sports retailer who theme their offers to the sporting season with discounts on football boots timed with the lead into the winter months and cricket gear come the warmer weather to drive their instore and online sales.
Scarcity of product
Apart from using time to your advantage in creating a sense of urgency, another strategy is to promote a limited supply of your product and a perception that there’s more buyers than you have products for. Hurry – there’s only 2 left! This strategy was used by our client Achieve Homes a residential home builder who promoted a limited release development of 11 Townhouses in the Googong Township and through social media, google advertising, website and face to face sales used messaging such as half already sold, only 5 remaining, hurry last two, to sell all the townhouses within only a six month period.
So if you’re starting 2016 wondering why you’re getting so much traffic to your website and people enquiring without the level of sales conversion you would like, try throwing some of these strategies into the mix and see if you can create a rush the size of the big red man in the suit.
Merry Christmas and happy marketing in 2016.