How to Make It Big During the Holiday Season
Good news, Internet entrepreneurs and online marketers, it looks like you are going to have a lot of opportunities to hit it big this holiday season. Recent data shows that digital shopping is on the rise and more consumers are turning to their computers or mobile devices to shop for Christmas presents.
In a post aptly entitled “Holiday trends Marketers Can’t Ignore”, MDG Advertising created an infographic detailing the emerging digital shopping trends during the holiday season. Apparently this year, “Christmas came early… as more than 30% of retailers started advertising their Black Friday deals earlier in 2012 than they did in 2011.” In addition, 42% of merchants released Christmas ads as early as October.
So how will this season affect sales? The jury’s still out for 2012 numbers, but in 2011, “online sales increased by 74% the week before Christmas.” That number may be huge, but expect it to go up even more this year.
When it comes to mobile devices, data showed that 42% of consumers use their mobile device to check for sales and specials, while 37% browsed online stores on their device. Meanwhile, 37% of shoppers used their phones or tablets to look up store information, while 41% of consumers had gone mobile to look for competitive pricing on Amazon.
Need more reasons to optimize your site for tablets? Here’s an interesting finding: People who shopped using their tablets spent an average of $111. Shoppers on their desktop computers on the other hand, had an average spending amount of $96.
Speaking of tablets, it looks like they are on top of consumers’ wish lists this holiday season. The infographic furthered that “with 10% more people buying mobile devices for Christmas this year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more than half of all consumers want a tablet. One in four shoppers would even give up buying another gadget if it meant having a tablet instead.”
The numbers show that 59% of people would pick a tablet over a PC and that 34% “of those buying tablets this Christmas will be purchasing them for themselves”.
Missed the boat on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Too busy to advertiser early? Don’t fret. It’s not too late to get into the holiday fun. Besides, the infographic also noted that “as 57% of American will be shopping the day after Christmas, advertisers can keep the sales going right past the actual holiday.”
To get started with your holiday campaigns (or to boost your existing ones), check out the list below. These are some things that you can implement immediately to push your brand to the forefront and get more sales before the end of the year. Be sure to act fast though, as you only have a couple of weeks left!
Prepare for the holiday rush – Is your website ready for all that holiday traffic? If not, then you better get moving. As the above data indicates, visits to retailer websites are bound to skyrocket in the coming weeks. Be prepared for this. Ensure that your website is technically adept to handle the users that are going to rush in. Test the speed and efficiency of each page. The last thing you want is for things to slow down for your visitors. If your site takes too long to load, users will leave faster than you can say “Season’s Greetings!”
Use social media to promote products and sales – Doing any seasonal sales or promotions? Get the word out via social networks. Don’t forget to remind your fans and followers to do some holiday shopping on your website. Tweet those promo codes. Occasionally post images of your products on Facebook to give your fans a heads up. If you're on Pinterest, be sure to have images of your products up on your boards.
Offer incentives to shoppers – Consumers are in the mood to buy this season, so make the most out of it. Promote incentives that will get them to buy more products or services. For instance, you can offer free shipping if they spend $50 or more. You can also consider giving a "free gift" for every x amount that they spend on your site. These tactics can increase sales dramatically. And who knows? If you execute them well, you might even get your customers to do all their holiday shopping with you.
Use holiday-themed ads – Online ads can be very effective in driving traffic to your site IF they're relevant. This month, induce some holiday themes in your ads. Advertise your products or services that would serve as great gifts and encourage people to visit your site by promoting any sales that you may have going on.
Optimize all the components of your site – Ensure that your website is as helpful and as user friendly as possible. Take a leaf out of Amazon's book and make useful suggestions and product recommendations. Find other things on your site that could be better and act on them. For instance, does the search function on your website need an upgrade? Don't wait until after the holidays to improve it. Do it now.
Don't lose focus on quality – The holiday season can be extremely busy for businesses. But just because you're swamped doesn't mean you can skimp on the little details that make your products or services great. Never compromise the quality for quantity. Doing so can result in a lot of refunds and dissatisfied customers. Ensuring top quality for your products or services increases the chances of customer retention, and can pave the way for repeat business even when the holidays are over.
Optimize your site for smart phones and tablets – We will never get tired of emphasizing the importance of mobile devices. The mobile space is huge, and it will only continue to get bigger. A lot of consumers do research and shopping from their phones and tablets , so make your website as mobile-friendly as possible.
Conduct sales and promos – During the holidays, NOT having any deals or sales may not be the smartest decision. During this time of year people aren't just looking for a deal, they're expecting it. So if they can’t find the bargains that they’re looking for in your store, they’re probably going to look elsewhere.
Post useful and informative blog posts – Your holiday strategy shouldn’t just be about products, sales, and promos. Content also plays a huge part in driving traffic to your website, so do not neglect your editorial calendar. Write blog posts that are relevant to the season and promote them across multiple channels. To maximize share-ability, publish informative content that shoppers can actually use. Avoid being too promotional (you have ads and your storefront for this). Instead, focus on providing value and knowledge to your readers.
Image credit: MGD Advertising