Christmas in August?

Retailers should prepare for an early holiday season with mailers and signage

The winter holidays are like, well, Christmas to retailers. With all the uncertainty over the last few years, one thing is for sure—customers start purchasing food, gifts, and decorations in October, and they don’t stop until the last jingle bell jangles.

In fact, the National Retail Federation reported that 2021 saw the most robust retail growth year over year in 20 years. And Insider Intelligence predicts that U.S. holiday spending will increase in 2022 by 3.3%, while brick-and-mortar sales will increase by .9%. 

The trend to buy online and pick up in-store, or “click and collect,” is expected to continue trending upward at a rate of 15% annually until 2024. 

And if last year is any indication, consumers will be ready to jump in early again this year. Shoppers cited supply chain concerns as their main reason for shopping well ahead of the season. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve will be rolling out their black Friday deals in October and stretching cyber Monday out for a week, as many did in 2021.

What does it all mean? From our perspective at B&B, it means retailers need to jump the line on holiday signage, fliers, mailers, coupons, newsletters, and more. For print planning purposes, it’s Christmas in August.

Last September, we guided our customers through the tricky waters of supply chain slowdowns that were hindering the paper industry across the globe. Things have loosened a bit in the last year and many printers—including us—are close to pre-pandemic turnaround times and stocked warehouses. But the holiday shipping frenzy will likely put the squeeze on schedules once again, and we want to help our customers plan for the retail season.

Here are some tried-and-true tips to keep you sitting pretty in print projects come fall.

All about the bling

Holiday retail is all about the bling—and that means specialty substrates or embellishments that give a big bang for the buck. If you are planning something sparkly or otherwise outside-the-box, give your sales rep extra time to ensure that what you want will be in stock and ready to go in time for the retail rush.

Work with our team to ensure your digital art files are created correctly to add on that special something, whether digital metallics, a sweet die-cut, emboss or foil finish!

B&B Christmas in August

A sign of the times

With click-and-collect orders expected to increase, make sure your signage is up to date and reflects any changes you have made to your pick-up policies in the last year. You’ll need on-brand all-weather signage for your outdoor spaces and indoor signs that reiterate your message and introduce new customers to your program.

Also, most stores have removed social distancing and indoor directional signage over the last year. Yet, COVID is still with us, and infection levels fluctuate. You may want to update signage around optional mask policies and social distancing. They need to be easy to read and posted in multiple places. Since policies vary from store to store, ease customers’ minds by posting yours outside, so they know exactly what to do when they enter your store. 

And, of course, if you are launching your seasonal sales early, you’ll need to order endcaps, counter stands, posters, wraps, banners, and more even earlier.

Read our deep dive on the five print products your store needs yesterday.

Make sure your holiday cards are in the cards 

Informational mailers, coupons, and holiday greetings are essential for businesses to keep up with their customers and stakeholders while making that final appeal. A high-touch series of mailers throughout the holiday season can keep you front of mind. Contact us early so we can help you plan your direct mail marketing campaign for the fall season. We can print everything at once to save time and money and hold later mailers to send on a schedule that fits your sales.  

Whatever your print plans are for the fall, start them earlier than you think! Your customers will thank you and come back for more.

B&B Print Source can guide you through every step of your holiday retail season. Contact us today to learn more!