How Retailers can Capitalize on Columbus Day Weekend

Columbus Day is right around the corner on October 12. For many, that means a much-needed break from work or school and a chance to celebrate with rest, relaxation and a number of store promotions and sales. Retailers need to prepare for larger crowds and offer some enticing deals in order to truly capitalize on the long weekend.

Here are five ways for retailers to make the most out of Columbus Day weekend this year:

  1. Incentivize customers to spend their holiday shopping with you.

Encourage consumers to make a trip to your store with special holiday promotions. This is an opportunity to attract both loyal customers and first-time shoppers, so kick your typical promotion strategy up a notch. Chances are this isn’t your first time offering discounts, but try to make your Columbus Day sales campaign unique and fresh. An offer customers haven’t seen before may be the perfect incentive.

Additionally, consider personalizing your promotions to give customers the service and sales they’re looking for without making them ask first. This is a great way to reward loyal customers and show them that you’re in tune to their personal preferences. For example, if your store offers a mobile app, you can promote deals for products based on a shopper’s previous purchases.

You can also personalize campaigns based on your target market. For example, each generation has its own set of needs. You’ll want to vary your approach accordingly.

  1. Make sure shoppers are aware of special promotions and sales.

Offering up special promotions and discounts is a great way to attract customers — but only if they’re aware of the upcoming sale. Make sure to market your sale by going where your customers are and understanding how they interact with each channel (think laptops, smartphones, social media, etc.). For starters, take advantage of your existing technology stack. If your store has its own mobile app, engage with customers through notifications. If you offer a loyalty program or have collected shopper email addresses, connect with customers right in their inbox to alert them about upcoming deals.

You’ll also want to promote any special sales on social media. According to a recent global retail study by MasterCard, social media is a common outlet for discussing shopping, with Twitter as the most frequently used platform for discussing retail. If you don’t have a social media presence, there’s no time like the present to get started.

  1. Offer up multiple methods for purchasing merchandise.

As a special holiday treat that will last long beyond Columbus Day weekend, give your customers the freedom to purchase products with their payment method of choice. Accepting both credit cards and mobile payments will delight customers and help speed up the checkout process. A faster transaction process may not seem like a big deal, but it can boost your brand’s tech-savvy reputation and minimize the hassle associated with busy shopping seasons. A speedy checkout experience on Columbus Day could make your business the go-to shopping destination during the holiday rush.

  1. Set sales associates up for success.

Make sure your sales associates are prepared for an increase in customer traffic. Shoppers will expect the same level of service as on any other day, which means your employees need to be ready to answer questions, make suggestions, restock inventory and keep the checkout lines moving as quickly as possible.

  1. Leave a lasting impression.

This is your chance to build on brand loyalty with existing customers and form relationships with new customers. That’s why it’s more important than ever to provide the best shopping experience possible long before each customer enters your store and well after they’ve made their purchase. Consider an omnichannel business strategy in order to engage with customers on a number of platforms so they’ve got you top of mind no matter where they are.

What is your store doing to prepare for Columbus Day? Tell us in the comment section below or send us a tweet @Cayan and let us know!

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