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Holiday Recap: Top Five Customer-Engaging Omnichannel Campaigns


As we wrap up another holiday season, it’s time to review some of the most innovative and successful omnichannel promotions launched by retailers.

Some of these promotions were brand new, some were updated versions of established favorites. And some directly drove purchases while others built brand awareness and general holiday goodwill. But all five of the selected campaigns engaged customers in ways that should help boost loyalty long after holiday cheer fades.

Harry & David

Harry & David hosted an interactive social media campaign called #TastetheHolidays. Consumers who signed up for the campaign online and followed Harry & David on Instagram and/or Twitter could win a variety of prizes.

To register, customers posted a photo of holiday flavors or foods on Instagram and/or Twitter and tagged their post using hashtags #TasteTheHolidays and #Sweepstakes, and also mentioned Harry & David in the post.

Harry & David shared favorite photos from the entries throughout the duration of the sweepstakes and randomly selected four grand winners. Harry & David intelligently leveraged the increasingly popular visual aspect of social media in this campaign, using technology from digital marketing solutions provider HelloWorld. Consumers are more likely to post or look at images, rather than text, on social platforms.

eBay/Westfield – Pop-up stations

eBay came up with a clever solution to help Americans solve a common dilemma: what to do about unwanted holiday gifts.

The online marketplace retailer operated pop-up selling stations in three select Westfield shopping centers across the country during “Boxing Weekend” from Dec. 26 (Boxing Day) to Dec. 27.

eBay and Westfield’s partnership recognized that the holiday shopping period does not end Dec. 25. It also includes post-holiday returns and exchanges, which are perfect opportunities to make additional new sales.

Allowing consumers to use eBay to help sell unwanted gifts to each other reduced the volume of returns for Westfield tenants while also providing a new revenue stream from consumer sales and driving additional traffic to malls.

Lowe’s – Santa Tracker

Lowe’s introduced a new mobile holiday app to help consumers prove that Santa is in fact real and visiting their homes. The retailer included a “Santa Tracker” feature on its Iris by Lowe’s app that connected to the retailer’s Iris automated “smart home” system.

Free for existing Iris customers, the app prompted a series of questions that, once answered, allowed the physical Iris devices in a consumer’s home to sync with the Santa Tracker. The app also offered new virtual invisible "Santa sensors" and a "Santa camera." On Christmas morning, the app revealed when, where and how Santa visited. There was also a Santa Tracker app for non-Iris users.

Users could check the app before Christmas to make sure the sensors are working and open the app Christmas morning to confirm when Santa visited the home and how he moved around inside. Santa Tracker did not directly result in any additional sales or revenue for Lowe’s, but is a good example of using digital customer engagement for “soft” ROI.

Belk – Santa Baby

Regional department store retailer Belk Inc. used social media to make the holidays a little more fun and rewarding for its shoppers, while also boosting its social following and brand awareness.

North Carolina-based Belk, which operates about 300 stores, teamed up with digital marketing solutions provider HelloWorld for the return of the Santa Baby sweepstakes, now in its second year. In an effort to increase mobile opt-ins and ultimately boost brand awareness and consumer engagement, Belk and HelloWorld allowed customers to create personalized e-cards, gifs, and TV spots.

Participants were able to enter the sweepstakes via the revamped mobile-optimized Santa Baby site, and earn additional entries by sharing the campaign on social networks, following Belk’s social media channels and referring friends to enter the sweepstakes. Additionally, entrants were able to personalize and share Santa Baby gifs as well as customize e-cards, which had the chance to be featured on the official sweepstakes site.

Office Depot – Elf Yourself

Office Depot re-released its Elf Yourself mobile app. The app, which Office Depot has offered every holiday season since 2012 and launched as an online platform in 2006, is a prime example of how retailers are using apps to build positive consumer sentiment and brand awareness.

Elf Yourself allows consumers to make funny videos of themselves and their friends dancing as elves. One billion elves have been created on the platform since its launch in 2006, by 480 million users in 215 countries.

This year, Office Depot also allowed consumers to make Hanukkah videos featuring “Moshe the Mensch” or dancing cats.

Elf Yourself does not directly drive sales, although there is a link to the Office Depot e-commerce site, and the “Moshe the Mensch” feature promotes the “Mensch on a Bench” product. But it definitely places the Office Depot brand in the middle of consumer holiday fun, which is one heck of a “soft” ROI.

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