Blog - Retail

Holiday insights to take advantage of this season

Written by Rachel Ann Kreis ·

‘Tis the season to attract customers. From retail to consumer goods, this quarter marks a time in which products move faster than ever. Shoppers moseying around from place-to-place in their coats and scarves represent an opportunity for professionals from these sectors to do more than just make a one time, holiday sale. While offering products or services that make for perfect presents is the short-term goal to boost sales this season, turning those visitors into returning customers is the real gift to any savvy brand.

We’ve been taking notes on what some innovative companies have done to take advantage of the occasion. Here’s to our holiday insights roundup, so you can close out Q4 with greater profits and more customers in 2019.

Multi-store rollouts: The biggest holiday ever for Aldi

Aldi has definitely upped the ante this festive season with the announcement of eight new supermarket openings on the same day this December. Over the course of 2018, the German discount retailer has opened over 70 new stores in the United Kingdom alone and has their sights set on launching 800 more across the entire nation. Aldi’s chief executive, Giles Hurley, was quoted saying: “We’ve stepped up our store opening programme in the run-up to Christmas so that more shoppers can enjoy fantastic quality products, at prices they can afford, throughout the festive period”.

Let’s see how Aldi is promoting their booming supermarket network by looking at some of their holiday adverts below:

Holiday tip: We all know how complicated a new store launch can be—opening up 8 in a single day is definitely a record. And while this bold expansion tactic may be an attention grabber from holiday shoppers and the media alike, long-lasting success will depend on how these supermarkets perform when the season is over. Are these new stores in locations where there are high concentrations of Aldi’s target customers so they will be the most profitable? Only time will tell, but we sure are rooting for them!

User-generated content: Plain red cups at Starbucks

This is an oldie but definitely still a goodie. In 2015, Starbucks stumbled upon a holiday marketing tactic that was an engagement goldmine. The company released a limited number of blank red coffee cups and encouraged their customers to create their own holiday designs and upload the pictures on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #RedCupArt. For this holiday marketing campaign, Starbucks didn’t even have to create the content themselves, their customers gladly did it for them.

Below you can find a few of the designs:

Holiday tip: It goes without saying that Starbucks needed to perform some market research ahead of time to determine which territories would participate in distributing the plain red cups and on what day. Surely, choosing Saturday, December 17th was no accident as past sales at Starbucks the weekend before Christmas in the US and Canada had to have been high in previous years. This is the perfect example of how analysing consumption trends collected on different points of sale can be transformed into valuable, holiday insights and used to fuel a tactical marketing campaign. When and where customers have bought a product can say a lot about their spending habits, and Starbucks has the sales data to take advantage of this every year.

December pranks: Burger King trolls McDonald’s

Everyone involved in the fast-food business can tell you just how competitive the industry is. In a world full of choice, these restaurant chains need to go a bit overboard to stay top of mind for consumers. To celebrate the relaunch of their app a few weeks ago, Burger King invented the “Whopper Detour” promotion from December 4th-12th at participating locations in the United States. When a customer was within 600 feet of certain McDonald’s locations across the country and had the app download, the one cent Whopper promotion was activated. Then the customer was encouraged to visit a nearby Burger King restaurant to claim their prize.

Watch the video for an up-close play-by-play:

 

Holiday tip: What was so innovative about this campaign was Burger King’s strategic use of geofencing. A geofence is a geographic boundary defined by a GPS signal on a mobile phone that enables software to perform a specific trigger when the device enters a certain area. But in order to draw out the lines of this genius geofence, Burger King first needed to map out the Mcdonald’s restaurants that were located close to their establishments. This deep and geolocalised understanding of their catchments areas is what really made this Burger King holiday spoof a big hit amongst consumers.

Holiday insights boiled down to a specific location

These festive examples were effectively targeted to fit the market contexts of the territories where they were launched. This kind of precision can only be attributed to a thorough analysis of data that was used to guide the tactical planning of each one of these strategies. In the retail and consumer goods sectors today, location is what makes everything relevant. This relevancy is what ultimately leads to greater profitability and more success in the long run. The holiday season is already competitive enough, how will you turn data into a competitive advantage and acquire more customers in 2019?

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