With the holiday period just around the corner, retail marketing campaigns and promotions are beginning to appear, drawing on classic tropes of family and community to drive footfall in-store and online in the coming weeks.
In Big W’s campaign, set to be released on Thursday, the build-up and excitement of the lead-up to Christmas is depicted through the eyes of a young girl.
The campaign continues the discount department store’s recent marketing focus on families, which is beginning to strike a chord with customers, according to Big W’s general manager of marketing Kristen Linders.
“We’re continually listening and learning from our customers,” Linders told IRW. “[H]ow we are engaging with [them], whether that be through marketing in-store or online, is resonating and they are noticing changes for the better at Big W.”
Linders said that the business is expecting positive sales and volume growth this Christmas, as it has reduced prices across more than 4000 items.
“We have seen volume growth [recently], and overall we have seen a reduction in our average selling price, but that is a part of our strategy and that decision has been balanced [against profit margins]”, Linders explained.
Big W has made an effort in the last 12 months to improve its digital offering, with new initiatives such as free same-day pick up drawing digital customers into stores, leading some of those customers to purchase additional items in store.
“We see a very positive future for [Big W’s online offering] and the role it will play in this Christmas,” Linders said.
Jingle bells, online sales
Target Australia’s chief marketing officer Kenton Elliott echoed these statements, noting that the department store’s Christmas campaign is about reconnecting with all of Australia around the role that Target plays through the holiday period.
“We [have to] make sure that we’ve got the right items available for everyone across the country, [and] that as traffic increases for Christmas time… you can meet that demand,” Elliott said.
“[Digital] plays an ever increasing role, but it’s [about] making sure it plays the right role, which is really as a strong channel [for customers] to get access to great products.”
Elliott said that Target’s online offering enables customers to research Christmas gift ideas, whether they’re in a shopping centre or at home. Ensuring that the customer experience is seamless across channels has become increasingly important, he said.
The importance of the Christmas trading period for bricks-and-mortar retail is well known, but as the influence of e-commerce grows, so too does the share of Christmas spending going online.
Online alcohol marketplace Beer Cartel, for example, has capitalised on the festivities by creating an ‘advent calendar’ of beer, which offers 25 different beers from 25 different breweries to be opened each day in the lead-up to Christmas day.
Since creating the product three years ago, the business has grown sales of the advent calendar product by roughly 700 per cent.
“It’s quickly become a significant portion of our business,” Beer Cartel co-founder Richard Kelsey said, noting that the retailer had secured seven exclusively brewed beers to feature in this year’s advent calendar product.
“This year, I think it will actually tip over a quarter of our business’s [annual] sales,” he said. “The whole thing is about discovery and going on a journey in the world of beer, people are always on the lookout for something new, so that’s what we’re trying to play [at] with this advent calendar.”