Take a Bite out of the Holiday Season: Success Tips for Food and Beverage Businesses

The holiday season is a busy time for food and beverage digital commerce channels.

Not only are internal teams preparing for the influx of direct-to-consumer (D2C) orders for friends and family gift exchanges, they’re also readying for a season of business-to-business (B2B) gifting by employers sharing appreciation for their customers and partners with gift baskets, boxes of chocolate, tins of gourmet popcorn, or packages of fine meats. The complexity of displaying, arranging, and fulfilling bulk orders (that often contain perishable items) during this critical season requires attention to detail occurring occur early and often between now and November to protect your brand and customer satisfaction.

garrett holiday

To underscore this, recently, the food and grocery worlds have been blurring with digital forces. Amazon has made inroads into subscription food kits, logistics, large brick and mortar investments, and food preservation patents, exemplifying that there is a large opportunity in the food and beverage marketplace.

rxbar holiday

Companies that do not have a strong ecommerce channel and/or rely on physical catalogs and sales rep relationships should strongly consider creating a plan to increase digital orders this holiday season to own their digital customer experience this year.

Gorilla has prepared this high-level list to help organizations advance plan during the summer months for a projection-breaking holiday season.

Organize a Seasonal Promotions Calendar

+ Review and build promotions calendar based on product assortment and purchasing patterns

+ Identify key dates to target for promotions – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Biz Saturday, etc.

+ Identify which types of promotions to offer – cart abandonment, discount codes, etc.

+ Are you offering gift subscriptions or gift cards? Include specific and easy to find FAQs for each product line to lessen doubts and inquiries to customer service

Review and Adjust Shipping Policies

+ Review current shipping carrier contracts, including projected rate increases based on last year’s order volume

+ Examine and fine-tune return and exchange policies, if necessary

hall holiday

Update Site Content to Reflect the Season

+ Create FAQs for gifting if you do not already have them. Include info for returns, spoilage, and shipping confirmations

+ Create B2B-specific landing pages and include case studies or quotes of companies that have leveraged your brand for corporate gifts

+ Plan on-site messaging for possible weather related outages or delays

+ Update paid advertising copy that coincides with the specific holidays and test out different CTAs

Leverage Email Marketing for Targeted Campaigns

+ Plan email messaging for possible weather related outages or delays

+ Segment email lists based on visitor’s previous engagement, frequency and mobility

+ Be sure to include a special email messaging campaign for those that ordered last year and those that were the end receivers of the gifts

+ Create a retargeting email campaign by segmenting lists on previous purchases and remarketing with items like additional accessories or related products

+ Include gift giving keywords in email campaigns with sales/discounts/promotions listed in ad extensions

+ Test emails in a render client like Litmus or Email on Acid

+ Be sure that emails are relevant and create a sense of urgency

+ Use a list cleansing and validation company, such as ImpressionWise or LeadSpend by Experian

+ Be mindful about increasing email frequency. If your recipients are used to receiving an email only on certain days, and suddenly it increases from two times a week to five times a week, they can easily become irritated and spam complaints may increase.

Run a Soft Campaign End-to-End

This can be done by leveraging employees or friends and families of companies to ensure proper infrastructure is in place prior to the holiday rush. Incentivize participation by providing promo codes and letting testers keep their ‘gifts.’ Be sure to complete the following steps:

    – Create the campaign on staging servers
    – Craft a marketing message
    – Complete onsite purchase
    – Physically “watch” the orders through fulfillment, warehousing and shipping
    – Report back on the condition of the package once delivered