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Victoria’s Secret, CVS tap social media for last-minute holiday sales

Being as the Christmas shopping frenzy is the biggest commerce season of the year and is coming to a close, retailers are hoping to maximize last minute sales this week and leverage the pull of social media to do so. For instance, Walgreens shared an image of products fit for stocking stuffers with a link to purchase, while Etsy shared a link featuring local shops within the user’s area.

“During the final days of holiday shopping, retailers are trying everything to spur more sales and social media is a great way to multiply the exposure of offers to followers’ network of friends,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “More and more shoppers are tapping social media for holiday gift ideas and retailers need a visible presence on the social media platforms where their customers are active.

“As some shoppers’ grapple with finding the perfect gift, suggestions on social media might provide the answer,” he said.

Social media examples
Unfinished shopping lists are on numerous consumers’ minds leading up to the big holiday this week and retailers are reaching their audience where they spend the most amount of time. Posts of last minute gift ideas or links to purchase are guiding users who have yet to complete their purchases.

Victoria’s Secret shared a GIF of its iconic boxes being stacked along with text “don’t be late, order 2-day shipping by 5pm EST today for Christmas Eve delivery,” including a link to purchase items on its commerce Web site. The retailer is giving users specific instructions on purchasing in time for the holiday, which can promote positive brand sentiment as well as drive sales.

Abercrombie and Fitch shared a compilation image of various watches available for purchase, enticing followers to purchase for a gift on Twitter. The text of the tweet read “truly timeless gifts: our classic leather #watches, just in time for #Christmas,” along with a link to its wallet and watch collection.

CVS is targeting users who have completed their shopping but are putting the finishing touches on gift wrapping, sharing a link to details on Twitter for a deal on wrapping paper and bags with the hashtag #deal alert.

Retailers reach out
Macy’s followed a similar strategy all holiday season long by wishing Instagram users a happy holiday through short video snippets, incorporating various Christmas themes and linking back to its commerce site to drive gifting sales (see more).

Also, Victoria’s Secret did not let its large Instagram following go to waste during the airing of the brand’s popular fashion show, with users able to shop the featured items in real time (see more).

“Social media strategies that inspire engagement, participation and sharing will help retailers stand out from the crowd,” Mr. Naumann said. “Using visual social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are ideal for younger shoppers and Facebook and Twitter have a broader audience.

“The key is to make messages unique and compelling enough to inspire followers to make purchases or ‘share’ with their friends to extend the reach of the promotion,” he said. “The least effective social media campaigns are ones that are broad discounts, not personalized to the audience and don’t offer specific gift ideas.

“When shoppers are in the last minute panic mode, they want ideas more than discounts. Everyone has discounts, but the retailers’ that offer the best suggestions for presents will be the winners.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily