Retail Tips

It’s the season to sell: marketing and sales tips for retailers this Christmas 

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Sascha Ploebst, Vice President Sales at Storyblok

Retail has undergone a significant amount of change in recent years. So many, in fact, that it is hard to remember what ‘normal’ looks like. 2020 saw an overnight switch to fully online retail. The year 2021 was marked by uncertainty due to shop closures and the rise of quick deliveries. The following year was marked by the supply chain crisis and global inflation. And 2023 continued with rising mortgage rates, rents and the threat of recession.

During this period, consumer behaviour and expectations are subject to continuous change. However, the key to navigating these troubled waters is the constant review of marketing and sales campaigns to ensure they are flexible enough to adapt.


Flexible marketing

If Christmas 2022 was about being highly tactical, efficient and competitive, 2023 is more about being flexible. People are likely to be on a tight budget, meaning they will buy less and look more for bargains. This may, counterintuitively, result in Black Friday sales.

There may also be a new increase in last-minute shopping as consumers delay their purchases in the hope of triggering and then profiting from the Christmas sale. Statistics from previous years show that most online Christmas purchases are made in November, with an additional spike in the week before Christmas. I expect this behaviour to be even more evident this year, as consumers seek to take advantage of the best deals of the year.

To execute an agile marketing and sales campaign, you need the right marketing infrastructure to anticipate and respond to market and consumer dynamics. Ideally, you should use a system that allows your company to respond quickly to any relevant marketing channel with the right content. It should be integrated into your sales and website analytics, so you can easily track the effectiveness of each marketing and sales campaign and decide which products need an extra push.


New solutions  

It’s important to remember that you don’t need a big monolithic tech stack to execute the perfect marketing strategy. These are generally inflexible, too expensive, and with Christmas approaching, time-consuming to set up effectively. Instead, there are all kinds of new solutions available that can usually be easily integrated via APIs (Application Programming Interface). This means you have the freedom to build a customised accumulation of tools that work for your business.

You also have the flexibility to swap in different solutions as your marketing evolves. A headless CMS combined with a good data infrastructure is a winning combination that enables highly responsive, data-driven marketing that is ideal for the holidays and beyond.

Marketing technology is also so advanced that with the right system, you don’t need a whole team of ‘power users’ with deep technical expertise to build and execute campaigns. Still, it is essential for marketers to add more strings to their bow. Understanding what your customer data is telling you and how best to respond to it is arguably far more important than being able to write smooth copy.


The ‘holy grail’ of marketing 

The marketing and sales team must have a range of skills and they must be fully integrated into the wider business. Information should flow from sales, customer service and backend analytics to your marketing and sales team and vice versa. Getting the ‘single customer view’ is, of course, the holy grail of any marketing and sales department.

But with tight budgets and little time, you can achieve a lot of ROI by updating your entire team on areas of expertise, such as the basics of data analytics. This can be done quickly and effectively through online courses. The result will be a much more proactive marketing and sales team and campaigns that evolve quickly and in line with data insights.

Essentially, your business is shifting from a top-down marketing and sales strategy defined well in advance to a more fluid dynamic where flexible initiatives can be developed and implemented quickly to respond to consumer behaviour. Not only is this the best way to retain customers during a period of uncertainty, but it also allows you to get ahead of your competitors and operate with maximum efficiency.


Limit your technology and upgrade your team  

In the middle of the holiday season, overhauling your technical infrastructure and retraining your team can seem like a daunting task. But with the clock ticking, you might be surprised at the motivation it can bring. You don’t have to do it all at once. Start by assessing your current marketing technology and identify any gaps that can be filled with new technology. From there, you can take a phased approach and gradually work towards a more comprehensive overhaul over the next year.

Similarly, do an audit of your team’s skills and identify where you need additional expertise now with the intention of setting up a long-term holistic retraining programme. Christmas is the best time to see how useful a dynamic and multidisciplinary marketing function can be for your sales activities. What you learn during this period will highlight how best to invest and plan for the future.


About Storyblok

Storyblok, the content management system (CMS) category leader, empowers both developers and content teams to create better content experiences across any digital channel.

Storyblok enhances audience experiences with best-in-breed performance, security, optimized omnichannel storytelling, and robust personalization. Enable content teams to create and manage content intuitively and independently with drag and drop visual editing, custom collaboration workflows, and a world-class digital asset manager. Empower developers to build anything, integrate with everything, and publish everywhere with Storyblok’s headless CMS architecture.

Leading brands such as Adidas, T-Mobile, Renault, and Oatly use Storyblok to shape their digital storytelling.

See why Storyblok was named the #1 CMS by G2 at and follow Storyblok on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. Retailwire is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts, or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Retailwire and Retailwire does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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