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What Are Local Retailers Doing to Drive Holiday Traffic? [Survey]

What are local retailers doing to keep up, stand out amidst advertising oversaturation, and spur in-store traffic and sales during the holiday shopping season? We did some digging to find out.

Small Business Saturday is coming up fast on November 26, unofficially kicking off the ever-important holiday shopping season. This time of year is critical for small businesses, many times determining their success in the coming year.small business saturday shop small

If we are to keep them at the cornerstone of the American economy throughout and beyond this hectic time of year, we must take an investigative eye to what strategies they find effective and see where we can provide any necessary support.

To do just that, we recently sent out a survey to local retailers using Promoboxx. The 50+ responses we received shared their insights into tactics that drive traffic, digital marketing strategies that spur in-store sales, and what brands can do to best support them during the holiday rush.

Key Findings of the Survey:

  • Over 19% of the retailers surveyed say that they will be utilizing Facebook advertising to stand out and drive traffic this holiday season, more than any other marketing tactic.
  • Retailers also listed Facebook advertising as the most effective digital marketing strategy for driving in-store sales year-round. Email marketing was second.
  • During the holiday rush, 52% of local retailers say that brands can best support them by creating holiday promotions that are only available through brick-and-mortar locations.

The Results: Retailer Survey, 2016 Holiday Shopping Season [November 2016]

Retailers Turn to Facebook Advertising and In-Store Events to Stand Out

While traditional forms of advertising like newspaper and radio are largely losing traction across the board, they still carry some weight among local retailers. Nevertheless, they don’t hold a flame to the effectiveness afforded by Facebook advertising and in-store events, and retailers are taking action.


Facebook advertising offers retailers unprecedented access to highly accurate consumer targeting capabilities, allowing them to effectively reach relevant, valuable customers.

Two expert retailers recently spoke to us about the high impact in-store events had in driving local consumer engagement.

The fact that these two strategies were the most heavily attributed to driving traffic only highlights the retailer shift away from traditional advertising and the need to get creative in order to set themselves apart.

Facebook Advertising Is the Most Effective Strategy for Driving In-Store Sales

As noted above, Facebook offers retailers unprecedented access to highly accurate consumer targeting capabilities. Facebook has also become easier than maintaining a website for many retailers, who have fully turned to the social platform due to its ease of use.

With these tools, retailers can now easily and effectively reach the customers that matter most with highly relevant content directly in the Facebook News Feed on mobile devices (where they are increasingly spending their time).


To see the true local impact Facebook advertising can have, learn how New Balance drove measurable in-store sales by running targeted Facebook mobile News Feed ads with Fleet Feet retailers via Promoboxx Local Ads.

Brand Support During the Holiday Rush Hinges on Brick-and-Mortars

Despite their best efforts, retailers are still time and resource-strapped and can always use the support of their brand partners, especially during the holiday shopping season.

According to the results of the survey, the best way brands can do this is by providing holiday promotions that are only available through brick-and-mortar retail locations.


By providing retailers with holiday promotions like these (and the digital marketing funds to effectively advertise them), brands can truly underline the essential connection that small businesses help to create with local customers.

A retailer shares their candid response: “Digital Marketing funds should be the key to the heart of any small business who plays in this arena, but in-store promotional materials are appreciated. Our marketing budget does not afford us the ability to create professional, distinctive content, so that is welcomed.”

To see how leading brands like New Balance, Mohawk Flooring, GE Appliances, and more are supporting their local retail partners with digital marketing, download the 2016 Aligned Awards lookbook >

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