ABCs Of The Retailer's Q4 Customer Journey: Coffee Is For Closers

There are two movies I, and probably most people around my age, quote when referring to marketing and sales: “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Boiler Room.” “Glengarry” gets quoted more often, so I decided to focus on only one analogy from that movie to discuss the marketer’s role in this retail-heavy period of the year.

The ultimate rule of “Glengarry” is A-B-C: Always Be Closing.  That is what marketer should be doing regardless of where they are in their examination of the customer journey. This time of the year, which is filled with flyers and display ads touting deal after deal after deal, everything you do should be about closing.  As they say, coffee is for closers  -- and your retail site is going to be striving for a LOT of coffee in the coming weeks. 

The tricks of the trade are simple: Lead with action-oriented offers and promotions.  This time of year the customer journey becomes a shortened path, with every step focused on either closing customers or reducing the time for them to make their decisions. There’s very little leeway, because retailers have about seven weeks from today to sell everything they can sell.  It’s about conversion -- from the considered purchase to the impulse buy.  It’s about consumers with lists of people they need to buy for, and you offering up your products to match their list before they decide to buy something else. 



Search and display are the most likely suspects to do this work, but don’t overlook social.  Social influence and paid social placement are huge because of the implied consent of associating your brand with feelings of positive sentiment.  In other words, when people are perusing Facebook and seeing pictures of their friends’ families, they get all warm and fuzzy -- and your ad can be slid right alongside those feelings.. Referrals from friends who’ve used the product can also go a long way.

Mobile is going to be huge this holiday season, as more consumers are shopping on larger screens.  I can already tell that using my iPhone 6 screen is far easier than looking at my iPhone 5.  The additional real estate gives me space to see products and consider buying them. As I make my shopping lists and save them to Evernote, proximity to that list will help get me ready to pull the trigger and buy a product for my loved ones. 

Holiday season is about clearing the shelves and generating the lion’s share of revenue for the year.  Many retailers drive as much as 80% of their revenue in Q4. So always be closing!

What are some other effective sales tactics you’re seeing in the market this season?

1 comment about "ABCs Of The Retailer's Q4 Customer Journey: Coffee Is For Closers ".
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  1. Nicole Eppolito Spence from Google, November 12, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.

    Good piece, Corey. Your thoughts seem highly applicable for the consumer space, would you say the same for B2B?

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