With the rollout of the first challenging 6 months of 2020, we are all ready to greet the summer with open arms and hope the good weather will bring in good vibes and lift our spirits.
The summer season in the US begins with a very important holiday and major retail event. Fourth of July is one of America’s most honored and widely celebrated days, commemorated by family get-togethers, back-yard barbecuing, big block parties, picnics. And fireworks. Each year, households in the states spend more than $1 billion on fireworks, most of which come exactly from the 4th of July sales. So it’s safe to say that fireworks are at the heart of the celebrations.
Despite traditions, though, the 4th is going to be a bit different this year. As the pandemic continues to spread in the US, almost all celebrations across the country have been cancelled, with restrictions posed on small block parties and family BBQs as well.
Still, people will find a way to celebrate this important day, whether it’s just in a small family circle, through Zoom, or by dressing up their house and favorite pet to show some patriotic spirit. And they will be awaiting the annual sales that always stir up some excitement and help them prepare for the rest of the summer.
That being said, 4th of July is still a great opportunity for any brand to benefit from a surge in sales. But this year merchants need to think of ways to ride out the wave by going digital.
Taking your promotions online will help both your brand and shoppers. Your business can take this opportunity to revamp its marketing strategy, adopt some new channels to outshine the competition, and profit from another stream. Customers, on the other hand, will appreciate the benefits of shopping from the comfort and safety of their own homes and being able to still enjoy the spirit of the holiday. Despite being apart.
Our short guide will give you the key steps you need to take to bring your business in the world of online commerce. It’s important to configure a comprehensive marketing plan, provide customers with a seamless website experience and updated (trendy) inventory, give them cool ideas how their purchases could contribute to their festivities, and then wrap it up with ways to make your subscribers part of your brand’s celebrations!
Plan&Create Your Omnichannel Strategy
Omnichannel marketing has been cited more and more in recent years as eCommerce is flourishing. It’s the concept of reaching customers on numerous platforms, building а strong brand presence across multiple channels, and having that result in higher sales and brand recognition.
This requires some research and change in your marketing strategies. If before COVID-19 your goal was to lead customers to your physical store, now you need to direct them to the right channel. And customers are very different in their preferences. Some prefer getting their marketing via email, others do their shopping on Facebook, third (and a big chunk by that) – like to get offers straight on their phones, in the form of a simple SMS with a link.
To make sure you have come up with the best marketing mix, give yourself enough time to consider what channels would make more sense to position your brand on. How do you do that? Look at your store analytics, of course.
Are your visitors coming mostly from mobile? Consider sending them your 4th of July content via SMS.
Are they mostly desktop users? Then think about a good email strategy or on-site conversion tools.
To help you on your way to embracing omnichannel experience, SMSBump just recently released the Email Collector. Brands can now use our subscription tool to collect both phone numbers and email addresses, and sync the latter with their Klaviyo account to boost their email subscribers list. This way, you can very easily split your marketing efforts and use SMS to only treat your most loyal customers with special 4th of July deals, and email for more of a general awareness. Both go hand-in-hand, especially if you are a brand that’s looking to become an online front-runner this Independence day.
Besides making sure you set up an overarching marketing game plan to promote your brand online, you will need to provide customers with a delightful experience that will make them choose your store for their holiday e-shopping.
Give Your Store a 4th-of-July Makeover
Rerouting your traffic to your online store means you will have to invest some time in optimizing your website. Just the way people get irritated when their cashier is grumpy, they won’t be impressed by an unwelcoming online store. Not to mention that with a holiday like the 4th of July people will look for that specific “vibe” B&M stores normally manage to bring with decorations, banners, and even special uniforms for their associates. And let’s not forget the giant sale signs.
While you can’t dress up your online store with a 10×12 US flag, patriotic paper or foil ornaments, you sure can change its decor to be more fitting to the holiday.
Several weeks before the 4th, set up a themed home page and have it lead visitors to your 4th of July collection.
(If you don’t have a holiday-themed collection or sale – you should.)
Look at how Wayfair did their homepage 4th of July alteration
If you want to be a bit more subtle, or simply don’t have the resources for a big makeover – leave your homepage as is but consider enticing visitors with an eye-grabbing pop-up. Use the element of surprise by telling them they’d have the chance to get a coupon code for a discount of anywhere between 5 to 50%.
Configure the success message they’d receive after submitting their phone number to give them a special code and nudge them to use it on your special 4th of July collection:
To give it an additional zing, you can even enable gamified pop-ups, tailor them to fit the holiday spirit and have them excite visitors with some sweet deals. The element of winning is an attention-grabber!
No matter which route you decide to take and how you decide to promote your offers, always make sure your inventory is updated with sought-after 4th of July items. Let’s see what those are. 🙂
As we already mentioned, traditionally Americans celebrate Independence Day by attending gatherings like cookouts and parades. In light of the situation, though, we could safely say people won’t be participating in community events, but will opt for the safer version and celebrate at home, with a BBQ or a backyard picnic.
With these changes in mind, consider adapting your traditional 4th of July offerings.
Stock up your online shelves with BBQ or picnic food and supplies, household decorations, Independence Day apparel and accessories. Remind shoppers their own home could be the perfect venue to commemorate such a special occasion with the most important people!
And remember: presentation is everything, especially for an online store on such a big holiday, when people usually resort to B&M shopping. With the right product descriptions and imagery, you can make everyday or “ordinary” items pop! Psst. Nothing says “America” more than the color combination of red, white, and blue, sparkles or stars. Tickle their patriotic nerve with some Made in America items to nudge them to support your business before any other.
Look at how “Old Navy” approached their online 4th of July sales.
With offers that are themed to the holiday and copy that emphasizes the importance of celebrating the day at home, you will show that you are acknowledging the situation but are also looking for ways for your customers to have a good time. It shows that you are in touch with your buyers’ current interests and want to be a part of their celebration.
That being said, let’s show you how you can take your online promotions a step further and be your customers’ idea generator! Trust us – they’d love it.
… And Even Hotter Ideas
Most of the time, to really stand out you have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
“What would my customers want to see in the SMS they receive from me?”
Personalized approach? Sure.
A special promotion on something useful to them? Totally!
Ideas how to use the product? Ring-ding-ding! An unexpected, but great additional touchpoint!
To show customers you want to be a part of their 4th of July celebrations and help them have a memorable experience, make sure to also send them ideas on how to do just that, but in a small circle of people.
Alongside your tailored promotions, mention how they could turn their purchase into the best 4-person picnic or the most delicious backyard BBQ. Share some entertainment ideas, offer them “exclusive access” to your playlist of 224 hand-picked songs to get their patriotic vibe on, or make them part of your Independence day movie selection. Remind them home is all they need. And some of your special 4th-of-July treats. 😉
Like we said above, the channels for you to do all this are numerous. But to keep it personal and make sure they’d definitely get your thoughtful recommendations, think of using SMS to direct them to a page where they can learn more about how to put your product to use this 4th of July.
If you follow all of the tips we introduced thus far, you will secure yourself a boost in your online sales. However, 4th of July is not just about launching cool promotions and blasting out fireworks. It’s about people coming together and celebrating an important day for their entire nation. Especially in light of recent events, they’d be looking for more ways to stay connected and feel part of a whole.
Try to recreate this feeling for your customers but online! Let’s show you how to up your game and use social media to launch competitions, do a live-stream fireworks show, and invite your SMS subscribers to join as well.
Speaking of ideas, what better way to help your customers celebrate such an important and unifying event, than to give them the feeling of togetherness even from behind the desktop. Or phone.
Bring the Spirit into your Promotions
As a 4th of July tradition, people love to dress up for the occasion, decorate their houses, even turn their dogs into little Abraham Lincoln’s with cute hats. They like to compete with their neighbours on whose fireworks run for the longest, or are the loudest, the most colorful etc.
Give them that chance! Depending on what your niche is, launch a competition on social media and have people participate in Best decoration, Best dog outfit, Best (hand-made) Flag, Best BBQ, Best-looking burger/hot dog etc.
To make it easy on yourself to pick a winner, have people who want to enroll in the competition subscribe for your SMS marketing via SMSBump’s shareable subscribe link and send you a picture of their house/dog/BBQ etc. as a text message. Your new subscribers’ personal information will be stored in a designated list in your account, where you can later pick the winner from. Of course, don’t forget to announce them publicly and give all participants a special treat, with the winners having the juiciest offers. Simple as that!
Important: to be able to receive text messages from your subscribers, you’d need to enable your SMSBump Chat.
To give them an even bigger incentive to use their exclusive discounts, top your competition with a secret 12/24-hour flash sale a day or two before the 4th, targeting only those who participated in these competitions, and share it with them via SMS. You can launch another flash sale for the rest of your customers, but perhaps after this one and only have it run for 6 hours.
Have a Great 4th of Online!
With our ideas on how to transform your online store and give it a patriotic vibe, you will lift your shoppers’ spirits up and will have a celebratory 4th of July as well.
This article originally appeared in the SMSbump blog and has been published here with permission.