2010 Holiday Retail Sales End the Year with a Bang

What comes next?

It was a happy New Year, indeed, for U.S. retailers. After a stagnant 2009 holiday season, there was a great deal to celebrate. The latest report from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse™ shows a much better than expected holiday season for retailers with overall season-over-season growth of 5.5 percent.  Wonderful news for an industry that was holding its breath.

As retailers and shoppers recuperate from the frenzy, a little lull is to be expected. But savvy marketers are looking for innovative ways to get consumers back into stores. Post-Christmas clearance sales combined with gift returns and gift cards received are solid motivation for return traffic. In fact, with total holiday gift card spending estimated at $24.78 billion, there’s money burning a hole in the pockets of millions of Americans, and opportunities abound for retailers to increase sales beyond that initial gift card amount.

While TV and newspaper ads are logical channels to promote post-holiday deals, consumers are simply tired of the onslaught. To reach them where they live with offers they can’t resist, front door marketing can seal the deal. The tactic has been around for awhile but has recently been elevated to a science and a viable subcategory of the direct response discipline.  Previously considered less strategic, almost “untargeted” for a broad audience, today’s front door is ripe for the same precision targeting used in other marketing methods. Data research, analysis and application have significantly increased effectiveness, dramatically shifting industry perceptions of the channel. By using high-level data, major brands are placing the most relevant offer directly with the right customer to deliver a tangible competitive advantage. This decidedly updated and strategic approach bypasses a crowded field of messages and motivates consumers to respond. 

In the aftermath of a stellar holiday shopping season, what are you doing to get shoppers back to your store?

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