How Super Saturday can Boost your Retail Holiday Sales (With 5 Proven Approaches by Shopping Revenue Experts)
What a year in retail. Black Friday is barely behind you and now it’s time to turn your attention to that last-minute dash for holiday gift sales—the increasingly important, Super Saturday.
It’s a highly competitive time of year, and no doubt many retailers will be eyeing an extra sales kick to ease some of the pain of COVID-related closures, trading restrictions and just downright 2020 frustration.
So let’s talk about Super Saturday and what it means for you as a retailer.
In this article, we’re going to look at:
- What Super Saturday is
- Why Super Saturday is different in 2020
- 5 proven tactics to lift your retail sales
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What is Super Saturday?
Super Saturday is the last Saturday before the Christmas holiday.
It represents the last big push to maximize sales during the crucial holiday season. This year it falls six days before Christmas on December 19, so with rush shipping online sales still can make it to customers by Christmas Day.
“It’s a really important day for retailers as it serves as the close to the holiday shopping season that begins on Black Friday,” says Jacqueline Snyder, product startup expert, fashion designer and co-founder of small business coaching platform and popular podcast, The Product Boss.
“This tends to be a huge day for foot traffic to brick-and-mortar retailers as it is oftentimes too late to buy gifts online and it is a perfect opportunity to put seasonal merchandise on sale. It’s the last big push for retailers before post-Christmas markdowns,” says Jacqueline.
While its proximity to record-breaking days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday might put off retailers from investing additional resources to lure customers, Super Saturday is proving to be a critical day for business owners who want to end the year with a bang. So much so that last year Super Saturday retail sales reached $34.4 billion, beating 2018 numbers by 7% and even besting the retail behemoth, Black Friday, by 10%.
These are sales numbers you shouldn’t ignore!
Why this Super Saturday Will Be Different
But of course, it’s 2020, so this year the pre-holiday sales rush might be a little different.
“Super Saturday typically drives large in-store traffic as customers are rushing to pick up last-minute gifts. However, this year with the pandemic, and the large shift to online shopping, the in-store numbers will not be as high,” said Hillary Senko Cullum, a retail advisor, with 15 years of experience working with global brands like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci.
Even though store visits may be dropping, that doesn’t mean customer expectations will, says Hillary. “It will be very important for brands and retailers to adjust their fulfillment offerings to ensure customers still have the ease and flexibility to access the product,” she says.
“I expect to see a high volume of BOPIS—that’s buy online, pickup in store —as well as curbside pickup options. It will be essential stores are staffed accordingly to spend more time on picking and fulfillment for the customer, rather than servicing them while they browse the sales floor,” says Hillary.
5 proven tactics to boost your sales
This holiday season the key to boosting sales is clear and concise communication. Hillary recommends retailers should be crystal clear with their customers on:
- Store hours
- In-store safety
- Cleaning protocols
- Order fulfillment options
- Shipping timelines
It’s also now vital to make sure your online presence represents your retail brand and includes all available inventory. “This year the omnichannel experience is even more important as customers will be switching between online and stores. Making sure all inventory is available to be sold through all channels is key and will provide great benefits,” said Hillary.
“Start educating your customer base via emails and acquiring new customers via paid ads at least a few months before the event. Then, you can nurture the relationship, talk about your story and when the big day comes, you can ask your loyal followers and customers for support.” — Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, Co-Founder of Dr. Brite.
Here’s what else retailers can do to make the most of Super Saturday this year.
1. Offer curbside pickup and same-day local delivery
Retailers can offer alternative ways to shop on Super Saturday, if customers are avoiding in-person shopping, suggests Jacqueline at the Product Boss. “Meet those last-minute needs by offering curbside pickup and same-day local delivery. Really lean into meeting the needs of local customers—the ones that would be physically shopping in stores if there was no pandemic,” says Jacqueline.
“You will be servicing your customer through more channels so flexibility and preparation is the key. Be ready to meet your customer where they are, whether that is online, at the curbside or if they want to come in and shop in person.” — Hillary Senko Cullum, Wholesale and Retail Consultant, at HSC Advisors.
2. Excel at shipping times and costs
Hillary says the trend of the past eight months—with the increase in ecommerce sales penetration—will continue. “Many customers will opt to complete the entire purchase journey online and will expect the product to be shipped and to arrive in time for Christmas. Retailers need to have very clear communication about their shipping options to ensure customer service does not falter,” she says.
If you can, provide free shipping too. That’s the suggestion of Jonathan Frey, CMO of Urban Bikes Direct. “Shipping costs are one of the most common causes of shopping cart abandonment. Offering free shipping effectively solves the issue. If free shipping just isn’t on the cards, consider framing your Super Saturday sales offer in a way that customers will perceive as offsetting shipping rates,” says Jonathan.
“For example, you might offer a discount that matches or exceeds the cost of shipping. In any case, make any shipping or additional costs clear relatively early in the buyer’s journey. If shoppers know about them ahead of time, they will be much less likely to abandon their carts,” adds Jonathan.
3. Send exclusive, segmented email offers
To make the most of your email list at this time of year, start by analyzing your customers’ buying patterns, suggests Gilad Rom, the CEO of Huan, a retailer of smart tags for pets. “Create a segmented email marketing list highlighting your last-minute holiday promotions and offers. Target customers who haven’t shopped with you in a while with a ‘we miss you’ email campaign.”
Echoing this, Jacqueline suggests retailers segment and target their emails to customers within driving or delivery distance, while sharing how you help with curbside pickup or local delivery.
Super Saturday is also a great day to liquidate your inventory as the year comes to a close. Creating exclusive bundles that you don’t regularly offer by email can help you repackage inventory that has been sitting on your shelves for too long. Seasonal retailers like golf pro shops can use this as a way to liquidate their golf inventory as they close for the winter. Even golf courses that work year-round can take advantage of this by combining pro shop discounts with golf rounds to give as a gift, helping them fill up their tee sheet during the holidays.
4. Show up on social media [however you can]
Being seen on social media is another way to support your Super Saturday push too. “If you have the budget to spare, boost your social media advertising to increase your brand visibility to a wider audience,” suggests Gilad. “With the current pandemic, people are spending more time online so it would be a shame not to capitalize on the opportunity.”
If you can’t afford ads, don’t fret. “If you don’t have the budget for ads or if you want to make an organic push then show up on social media and utilize video,” suggests Jacqueline. “Go live and give a wide shot of all the amazing products in your store. Or go live and share specific products just like home shopping networks. You can also keep it simple and post videos and pictures of products in your stories and posts. If you have a Facebook presence and community, I’d advise doing the same,” she says.
5. Personalize the experience
This is one area where smaller retailers can thrive, as FitSmallBusiness retail and ecommerce analyst Meaghan Brophy explains. “Adding a personalized touch, such as engravings, embroidery, painted accents, screen printing or monograms to gift items is a great way to boot upsells while also drawing in customers looking for a thoughtful or one-of-a-kind gift,” says Meaghan.
Make the most of your Super Saturday sales
The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates each shopper will spend about $1,000 on gifts, food, decorations and other holiday products during the end-of-year sales season. After a difficult year for retailers, it’s never been more important to capitalize on upcoming shopping opportunities, like Super Saturday, to get a piece of holiday shoppers’ budget.
This doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel either. By working off of the momentum of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy, you can reuse many tactics and promotions originally created for those dates and repackage them with a last-minute shopping holiday spin.
It’s time to put your sales efforts into high gear to get customers new and old to choose your store this Super Saturday. Good luck!
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