Holiday sales are vital to the success of any retailer, on any platform. They can carry a consumer into the rest of the year, and it would behoove you to utilize stress-free guarantees to sell the goods.
Offering a guarantee during the yuletide season will make your products and services more attractive to stressed-out holiday shoppers who will reach for the first thing that offers them relieve. You can boost your holiday sales by painting yourself as a stress-reliever, and this, in turn, could set-up your New Year as one of success and, of course, merriment.
Real talk: The holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year. Consumers will typically choose the most stress-free option. By offering a solid 100 percent guarantee that a product or service will be exactly what the consumer needs will bump up your holiday sales.
Why Offering a Guarantee (Even Useless) Works
Giving a guarantee—even a useless one—works because it provides a sense of comfort, or as we noted earlier, stress relief. A guarantee makes customers buy with more confidence, which translates to higher conversions. In fact, featured in the Journal of Marketing Services, researchers determined, “in an experimental setting, respondents preferred firms which offered an unconditional guarantee (such as a return anytime guarantee). However, specific guarantees were favoured when subjects considered the ease of getting their money back. For a service firm, the implementation of an unconditional guarantee with a specific payout would have the broadest appeal in the market.
This all provides consumers with dollar confidence, making them fearless with their purchasing power, and it also makes them more likely to share their purchases with friends. It’s a word of mouth power that makes people reach out after they have made their purchase to insure that they have gotten the best deal (and to see if they need to go back for a discount). It also provides customers a sense of stress-relief, it serves your consumer with the knowledge that they have made the correct purchase for the best price. This can also mean a higher conversion rate as when customers are around your products, they are more likely to develop a preference towards them.
Depending on your confidence in your product and its mass appeal, will establish what types of guarantees should be offered. For example, if you have a product or service in a specialized field, such as travel, where expectations of what is being offered are very clear, a money-back guarantee strengthens the authority of your company. In contrast, when a product isn’t responding to a clear need, or can be used in several different ways, offering free trials or tutorials can be a form of showing confidence in and guaranteeing a product. Ever heard sales pitches boast, “Once you try our product, you won’t know how you lived without it”? One example of this type of guarantee that doesn’t require the company to promise anything is testimonials. Acting as social propaganda, testimonials can help guarantee products that don’t offer anything over-the-top exceptional (this can be good for a slight boost). The testimonials can offer claims for the product by letting customers do the talking. Even if the company can’t promise exact guarantees, their happy customers can promise it for them.
Advertising the Promise
You can advertise your guarantee in a number of different ways: implied guarantees are super effective (where you promise it’ll “be what exactly she wanted”), some guarantees just straight up don’t work (like offering a guarantee that does everything – it sounds too good to be true). Implied guarantees are a type of promise used in advertising that allude to a promise without actually giving any defined premise of fulfillment. For example, this company which sells gift boxes that promise satisfaction with its ”gift boxes they’ll love” slogan and offers testimonials. The prominently featured reviews/testimonials allow the company to make the perfect gift, and ‘they’ll love it” claims that went missing otherwise. These online testimonials affect the buying of 90% of consumers, that means that while displaying testimonials might seem like a way to toot your own horn, it matters to consumers who see it.
You can advertise guarantees in a variety of ways, however, being direct more successful during the holiday season. When being more direct with salesmanship is more readily accepted by a stressed out the consumer.
When advertising makes a guarantee during the holiday season, it is wise to be direct and offer your product as the obvious answer. Lucky Strikes are the perfect present for dad, just like a Barbie is the present that every little girl would love. A more modern example is in the stereotype of jewelry commercials on TV that show women getting jewelry. It is advertised is the least stressful present to get for the woman who is hard to shop for because every woman wants slavery produced rocks. Jewelry companies sell the guarantee that women want jewelry and provide stress relief to the gift giver who might be concerned about finding a splendiferous gift for their darling. Offering your product as the perfect present, as the perfect solution, as the right thing to do is a guarantee you make to your consumer that your product will carry them through the holiday season, and will alleviate any stress caused by not being able to figure out the right present. Which may not be true, and could cause even more problems, like getting your gal a vacuum for Christmas.
Holidays and the Guarantee
Beyond a small guarantee, long-term holiday success can be tied to a Christmas promise, this era of promised peace can make your product more of a tradition. The guarantee that your product is the best, is going to make it there by Christmas, and solve a major Christmas problem, is a marketing ploy that has been around since before Santa’s foggy night disaster was saved by a bullied reindeer. The butterball is the only turkey, if you’re going to have one that will be delicious, and if there ever was a soda drinker, coke is the only soda for Christmas, it guarantees everything will be what is expected, that no one will question whether or not your holiday choices are the right ones, they are tradition, they are what is expected. The expectation of certain products is a guarantee gone haywire, consistently offering a guarantee is how you achieve this long-term success. Guarantees include the suggestions that this will be THE thing that is needed.
Carrying Holiday Sales Throughout the Year
Products that don’t offer pure tradition must offer stress-relief in another way. Forced guarantees are a great way to make a guarantee; Wal-mart’s price match guarantees led to some of the most demanding Black Friday sales in the stores history and to the Home Depot’s 10% price-beat guarantee gave them a competitive edge on the Lowe’s slow climb up. Not offering a guarantee means reduced sales during the holiday season, as extra household money funnels towards stress-relief products and traditional holiday goods.
Carrying your holiday sales through the rest of the year is the next step of success when you have a flourishing holiday campaign. Your product has made itself a stress reliever for one of the most pressing times of the year, and can be reached out to again as a stress reliever if marketed correctly. Getting the names and numbers of your customers, changing out of the Santa Clause commercials, and moving forward with the rest of the year is an important step of utilizing your holiday marketing.
Use your customer boom during the holiday season as a time to initiate or focus on long-term customer retrieval methods. Even in hard to break markets a majority of shoppers will start online, like auto sales, a brick-and-mortar sales base, has 86% of shoppers starting online. To use the world-wide-web effectively for e-commerce, at the very least you must have an email list. Repeat customers are huge revenue bases. These repeat/returning customers generate more revenue. Utilize the customers being driven into both your online store and live location to build a customer base that will return throughout the rest of the year. You can achieve this by focusing on raw customer data needed to drive return sales, like an email list, link creation to your value-based blog, or pushing users to leave reviews.
Using a guarantee during the holiday season means that customers who are stressed about the imminent holiday season will be more likely to reach out to your product. This means a booming holiday season, and if completed correctly, a follow-through for the years to come.
Mary Grace lives in the beautiful Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking, skiing, and everything in between. Email her directly, or tweet her @marmygrace if you have any questions or concerns.