Some Marketing Ideas for Multi-Location Brands This Holiday Season

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These past several years’ holidays season has been very different. This year, the busiest season will be shaped by limited capacity, varied offerings, operational constraints, restricted travel and increased health and safety concerns. Furthermore, customer behaviour will be far from predictable. We’ve identified four primary customer categories that you can expect this holiday season. As a result, we provided holiday marketing ideas to engage and attract them to each of your locations.

The price-conscious customers

As the unemployment rate is still high many consumers will have less money to spend during the holidays. This means they will appreciate a good deal.

This is especially true when we look at how customers are returning to outlet malls and discount stores as opposed to traditional malls and department stores. According to Gravy Analytics’ foot traffic data, outlet malls and discount stores have rebounded more rapidly, with traffic levels approaching or exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels.

Stay competitive in this holiday season

To draw a large number of new customers to your business, focus your marketing on limited-time deals, especially for the price-conscious buyer. Here are some holiday promotion ideas to get you started:

  • Offer mobile or digital coupons – To encourage people to your store, you can consider using mobile or digital coupons. According to a recent Codebroker survey, more than half of consumers claimed they are purchasing less frequently than they were before COVID-19. On the bright side, nearly two-thirds of shoppers believe that high-value mobile or digital coupons will encourage them to visit a physical store.
  • Use email to promote discounts75% of consumers comb through their inboxes looking for deals. Make sure your offers and discounts are in consumers’ inboxes when they go looking this holiday season, whether you’re a retailer, grocery store, restaurant or service-based business.
  • Reward your local social media followers – If you have a local social following on Facebook and Instagram, this might be an excellent method to reach out to and reward your most loyal fans. Consider inviting customers to follow you for unique savings at their local store if you’re still developing your local social follower.
  • Encourage deal sharing – Price-conscious customers are using social media to share offers with their relatives and friends. In fact, since the lockdown, the number of people sharing offers has surged by 52%. Give your devoted customers an extra incentive to pass on savings by giving them a unique coupon code. Customers can share a discount with a friend and receive a reward if they make a purchase.

The safety-conscious customers

Customer concern over contracting COVID-19 remains as we enter the holiday season. Reduce their anxiety by emphasising the health and safety precautions your business is taking, especially as the holiday shopping season approaches.

  • Communicate to emphasise the safety issues – While it may seem repetitive at this point, continue to communicate what you’re doing to make each location of your restaurants, stores and shops very safe for holiday shoppers and employees this year.
  • Provide a senior’s special hours – This was a service provided during the height of COVID-19 concerns. But with the usual crowds predicted to be higher in grocery stores, shops, salons and restaurants, it may be wise to reinstate senior hours to safeguard the more vulnerable population.
  • Continue to supplement with online or curbside choices – Considering the wide range of consumer concerns, brick-and-mortar businesses would be advised to offer a flexible online to offline strategy. Continue to provide choices such as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), curbside pickup and delivery.

The eat-drink-shop local customers

During COVID-19, the “support local” movement gained popularity as customers attempt to support businesses that shared their values. This holiday season, national multi-location businesses should act locally to build strong customer connections. Here are some suggestions:

sales strategy for your hospitality business

  • Donation-based giveaway or local charity – Give each of your local store managers a budget to donate to local charities, schools and businesses this holiday season. Creating a business-wide local impact campaign is a good idea, too. For instance, a national pizza chain has pledged to donate 10 million doughnuts to people most impacted by COVID-19. To accomplish the business target, each store had a free doughnut giveaway quota to use in its community.
  • Collaborate with local businesses – Collaborate with one or more complementary businesses in your region to bundle certain items or services that customers may enter to win with each purchase. If you’re a spa, you might collaborate on a self-care basket with a local gym in your region, which contains a one-month gym membership, some complementary products and a free spa treatment.
  • Set pop-up stores at local farmer’s markets or holiday bazaars – We understand that customers are hesitant to visit shops without a clear plan in place. Customers who “shop local” may make an exception for a visit to a local farmers market or a holiday bazaar. So join the small business community and show your support by giving free samples or donating a part of your event sales to a local charity.
  • Support a local cause – Give a part of your holiday sales to local schools, a local food bank or another local organisation. Make this opportunity to share some goodwill and give customers a chance to support their community while they shop with you. Alternatively, offer customers pay it forward by purchasing a Toy for a Tot, canned food for a local food bank or a food gift card for a fortunate family.
  • Use hyperlocal social ads to boost foot traffic and sales – If increasing foot traffic and sales is one of your goals, local social advertisements are a great way to stretch your budget over the holidays. You’ll avoid extremely competitive national commercial spots and earn a better return with more relevance if you target people near your business with the right message.

The avoiding-the-crowds customers

Demand for in-store purchasing is likely to fluctuate throughout the season. According to research, shoppers will shop less during peak hours. They will also plan their shopping ahead of time to avoid crowds and combine their shopping visits. Location-based businesses must ensure that their digital strategies stay flexible as customer preferences change.

Marketing ideas for holiday season

Furthermore, you should always strive to do whatever you can to help customers figure out how doing business with you (online or offline) might help them escape the holiday rush. People will go to great lengths to avoid crowds and this year will be no exception. The COVID-19 in-store capacity limitations will undoubtedly result in long lines for those who wait until the last minute.

  • Reward the early birds – The saying “the early bird gets the worm” has never been more applicable than during the holiday season. Encourage customers to purchase early (offline or online) with you to escape the holiday rush. Offer free delivery on orders or early bird discounts to customers.
  • Offer special hours for loyal customers – If you’re a high-end retailer, spa or salon, try setting aside special hours for your loyal customers. To assure a lower number of people and a safer experience, these hours can be for “by appointment only”.  Retailers can arrange a shopping assistant appointment. Spas can provide an extra unique in-store experience for loyal customers, which might include some bubbly and a complimentary gift with their service. “No queues” and “hassle-free” are two terms that might be used to advertise these experiences.
  • Create omnichannel for brand experiences – According to a Google report, 78 per cent of holiday buyers utilised three or more channels as their holiday shopping marketing last year. This trend is expected to continue this year. Ensure you have a flexible online and offline strategy in place to reach customers when and where they want.
  • Provide simple online access to in-store inventory – With 67% of customers planning to check online to see if an item is in stock before purchasing it, ensure your in-store inventory is updated on your local website pages and Google Business Profile (formerly GMB) page. Use the new “See What’s In Store” feature, which allows business owners to provide a feed of inventory GBP knowledge panel.
  • Provide a smooth online-to-offline experience – Holiday shopping is already stressful enough. Spare your customers by eliminating inconveniences and making sure your online presence is flawless across the internet:
    • In-store inventory should be updated, including photos.
    • Menu items and their images should be updated.
    • Advertise upcoming events and special deals.
    • Add photos of the location
    • Emphasise extended hours, curbside pickup alternatives, contact number, location and any other information that your consumers should be aware of.
    • Make it clear what your major CTA is: purchase online, schedule an appointment, etc.

How we can help

There’s still a lot to learn about how COVID-19 will impact the year’s largest shopping season. But one thing is certain: this holiday season, shoppers will be online more than ever. Promote your local business on our location-based marketing platform Top4! Get found on Google, promote your website and reach local customers today.

Top4 is the most cost-effective way to boost your website traffic. Our unique location-based marketing platform provides a number of features you can use to boost your business online marketing strategies and drive more customers’ engagement. Our location-based ads technology is designed to deliver to your target market using geographic, categorical and demographic targeting. This means your local business can be found in the very suburbs your potential customers are searching.

Leverage your Top4 advert to create omnichannel brand experiences! You can add and sell your products directly from your Top4 advert. The products you uploaded on your business profile will also appear on the Biz Marketplace page, which is Top4’s very own online buying and selling platform for local businesses.

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There are so many other features on Top4 to provide a seamless online to offline experience this holiday season. From social media integration, service areas and multiple content publishing tools, Top4 is your business’ one-stop marketing platform! Try it today — it’s easy and only takes a few minutes!

To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today at

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