Calling All Procrastinators

There are only seven more days of shopping before Christmas. Every year there are a select of group of shoppers who procrastinate and wait to the very end before doing their Christmas shopping. Due to the economy, retailers last year rewarded last minute shoppers with deals more lucrative than offered in previous years. Many retailers wondered if this would encourage even more shoppers to delay making holiday purchases this year. Procrastinating shoppers are important part of total retail sales and they are worthy of your marketing communication messages and efforts.Online retail marketers created Cyber Monday which follows three days after Black Friday. It makes a lot of sense because it draws attention to this method of shopping and provides special incentives to online shoppers. Now the online community of retailers has created another shopper event called Free Shipping Day. The event is for the continental U.S. only and promises delivery of all in-stock merchandise before Christmas. This year 700 retailers are participating in the online shopping promotional event. Customers have to be aware of minimum order amounts and must enter special program codes to get free shipping.

My suggestion is that brick and mortar learn from this program in a couple ways. First, if you can send out an email blast appealing to procrastinating shoppers you should consider doing so as soon as possible. If you don’t have the time and resources to do this year, then make it part of your program for communicating holiday promotions to shoppers next year. Secondly, don’t be so concerned about justifying your price verses online prices. After today odds are shoppers are going to have to pay expensive up-charges to get products shipped overnight to be sure arrival befoer the holiday.

Procrastinating shoppers are part of the marketplace and warrant special communications and strategies to motivate them into a mood to shop and reasons why they need to shop at your store at this particular time of year.

Many retailers reported they would be stocking lower inventory levels for this holiday season. Many retail jewelry stores have done just the opposite and are carrying their highest levels of inventory during the holiday season. Let your customers know how your holiday season inventory is even more expansive and is constantly restocked with best sellers and still offers outstanding selection . . . even if they are procrastinators.