Simple Steps to Improved Online Sales and Marketing this Holiday Season
The holiday season is often more hectic than it is jolly for businesses, parents and just about anyone besides the kids that are getting most of the gifts. Although stress comes along with the holiday season, it’s important to remember that this time of the year is often the most rewarding in terms of sales, and it’s essential to capitalize on these customers hungry for deals.
With the holiday season pretty much here already, it’s not just time to think about picking a Halloween costume, but also time to think about a big holiday marketing push. If you run a business with physical and е-commerce stores, you're likely planning separate marketing initiatives for each arena. This is essential for maximizing profits during the holidays. However, you may be missing a crucial third dimension to your marketing plan.
To increase public awareness and sales over the next few months, it's time to consider all the potential avenues of contact for prospective customers, and create a multi-pronged advertising strategy that targets customers online, in-store, and in a combined, crossover setting. Planned and implemented early and well, your all-encompassing marketing push will be sure to create a more engaged clientele and greater profits.
Get festive and decorate
Every year, when the holiday season starts, you will see storefronts, merchandises or any commercial street with bright Christmas lights and fancy holiday ornaments. This is also true online. A brand makeover during the holiday season is always a good idea to stand out from the rest of the competition.
You all decorate your stores and office for the holidays, right? So why wouldn’t you decorate your online storefront or business site?! Get your website users in the Christmas spirit by decorating your website, social media accounts and email blasts. Decorate according to your user base – if your online style is more classical and subtle, use subtle decoration that will fit in with your site’s theme. If your site is more upbeat and colorful, go all out and dress it up.
Create landing pages with custom content for each of your target audiences. Segment your buyers into audience groups; write content that they will relate to; and guide them the products that suit their needs. Depending on your gift options, you may also want to create individual landing pages for certain groups of products or promotions with fun holiday related content.
Be social and spread the holiday cheer!
Use your social media platforms to spread the holiday cheer. Be careful not to bore your followers with a constant reminder of your products. Give them engaging content that gets them excited about Christmas! If you are engaging with your audience in a positive way, they will likely consider you for their holiday purchases without you having to give them a hard sell. Another fun way to spread the cheer is to have holiday themed contests with holiday related prizes or gift cards that they can use on your website.
Make your customers feel the holiday spirit! Whether you send them a personalized email or a letter in the mail thanking them for their business, they are bound to head back to your store for the next purchase they need to make. After all, making someone feel special during the holidays is a way to bring them back as a lifelong customer.
Leading up to Christmas, incorporate the holiday spirit into your email and direct mailing pieces. Send holiday themed newsletters, deal announcements, Christmas gift ideas and more.
Leverage other online sales platforms
Many people choose to do their online holiday shopping solely through providers such as Amazon and Best Buy for convenience. Amazon has seen record breaking holiday sales of over 21 billion dollars… that is a heck of a lot of sales to push through a website. Do some research and see if it makes sense for your company to sign up as a seller.
Use this time to check in on which of your free social media posts have performed well over the past few weeks. Test out some holiday posts in early December. If any of them blow up with the organic traffic, consider paying for an ad, using the exact same post that performed well as a free Facebook update.
The holidays are a time for sharing and caring. Consider giving a percentage of all your holiday sales to a charity and let your potential customers know how they can show support. Show your customers that you care and sponsor a local charity or event.
Offer some freebies
Offer free gift wrapping (if applicable) or throw in a free gift. If you’re feeling generous, why not offer included shipping on select or all of your products. Why should you do this, you ask? I’ll tell you why… people expect holiday sales and specials. The fact of the matter is -- if you don’t give consumers some sort of special treatment, they will find another provider who will. It is important to have some sort of hook to show your potential customers that you value their business.
Make it easy
Everyone is busy and on the go during the holidays. Be sure to make it easy for your customers to make purchases right from their mobile devices. If you haven’t heard of responsive website design before, now is the time to learn about it. Build your mobile webpage in a responsively designed one. This means that your website should change its layout when it detects that the user is using a mobile phone.
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Stay in good spirits! This may seem silly to include in my holiday sales tips, but I think it is important. When a customer contacts you through the website, social media, or your live chat, stay upbeat and positive. Great customer service with a smile goes a long way. Also, this suggestion isn’t limited to just the holiday season, of course.