Autumn is in the air. That means it’s time to start planning and executing holiday marketing strategies.

By now you’re probably familiar with the ongoing feeling of uncertainty the pandemic has brought, but that doesn’t necessarily make it less stressful—especially when it comes to planning content for the holiday season when retailers traditionally rely on gaining a crucial chunk of their annual earnings.

Seeing the drastic drop in sales as lockdowns came into effect across the country this spring and many Canadians were laid off, you or your client might be questioning the value of your marketing initiatives this year.

However, take heart and take note: According to Statistics Canada’s recent retail trade update, retail sales were up almost a quarter in June. In fact, the report states that “after three months of sales below pre-pandemic levels, retail sales in June were 1.3% higher than they were in February 2020,” before the pandemic hit North America.

Sales were up in every province as businesses re-opened. Ontario rose the most with a 33.8% increase. Auto, furniture and home furnishings and clothing and clothing accessories had the highest increases over the previous three months.

This update aligns with other industry snapshots. Ipsos, for example, suggests that consumers are now past stocking up on essentials and are ready to spend a little more on themselves, adjusting to our changed reality. Their survey showed “purchases in non-essential categories increase as well. Fashion and apparel and home and electronics are starting to see an uptick as well.”

Digital and e-commerce remain a powerhouse for retail sales in Canada too, totalling almost $30 billion in June 2020 .

What do these sales data mean for your holiday content marketing strategy? That this is not the year to throw in the towel when it comes to your holiday marketing strategy – in fact, it might even be the year to amplify your plans to meet pent up demand.

Even though the holiday season will be unique, with smaller gatherings and finances still tight for many, the push to find some normal in it will continue, and gifts will be a part of that.

Whatever approach you choose to take, be nimble, communicate clearly and openly, and have patience for a long season.

For help creating or implementing your holiday content strategy – from digital campaigns to earned outreach, influencer marketing and video content – reach out to your account director or connect directly with us at info@fifthstory.com.