Is your online business ready for the holiday season?

But this is just the second week of November. More than a month to go for holidays to begin.” Did this just cross your mind? If yes, you have already lost a big chunk of sales this year.

A recent Google report said that 30% of online consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.

Google report

However, there is no gain crying over spilt milk lost revenues. And anyway, there is more to the holiday season for marketers than targeting for Christmas.

Even though a little late in waking up to holiday sales push, you can still make a killing with Black Friday round the corner.

But how do you go about it?

You just need to engage your site visitor with compelling content, social media presence, mobile presence and festive season offers.

To begin with, know your opportunities

1. Since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is celebrated as Small Business Saturday (on November 30 this year). In 2012, people spent around $ 5.5 billion at small businesses.

2. Base your content push strategies on content consumption behavior. Consumption tends to be:

  • More on smartphones in holiday season
  • More at night in holiday season
  • More during weekends in holiday season (Outbrain)

3. Social media traffic converts 77% more during the holiday season (AddShoppers).

4. 58% of cell phone users use their phones for guidance on making buying decisions at physical stores (Pew Center Study).

People are in a festive mood: Give deals and offers that add to their spirit

The Christmas Holiday season is all about family time with food, laughter and just being relaxed. It is also a time when people pay more heed to their life values.

So, how should you give offers and deals?

If yours is a small business storefront, be prepared with deals and offers for Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 30).

Free shipping is a hot favorite holiday offer of the consumers. As an online retailer, plan to give limited period free shipping offers during Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and of course, from Christmas till New Year.

Make sure your offer engages the browser, whether using a mobile or on PC. Sort out the most sought after customer needs, and create a smooth layout for ease in browsing.

Wondering how to create engaging ads?

You can get a number of tools for creating call-to-action banners and promotional web pages, photos and images for social media.

Americans use mobile a lot for holiday buying decisions. Is your mobile website ready?

Americans consume mobile website content three times more for holiday shopping than otherwise. (Outbrain)

They use it to compare prices, get product info, go through customer reviews, and of course, shop online.

Do you run an online store, or a physical store promoted online with a website? It is time to get your share of the increased sales during holiday season!

Welcome the site visitor for holiday shopping with smooth navigation, redeemable coupons and engaging email promotions.

Intuitive, smooth navigation

Make sure your navigation gives an optimal user experience and is SEO friendly so you can get traction from search engines as well.

It should make good use of white space, too. That’s because too much stuff generally repels web users.

Redeemable coupons

For your physical storefront, offer redeemable coupons via apps or email.

This way you lure those niche customers who only browse the products on their mobiles, but buy what they wish in person at the physical store.

Email promotions

There are just too many of these on any special occasion – most of them destined to reach the trash bin!

To do any better, your email should touch a chord with consumers who are in a festive spirit of happiness with charity.

Your customers are already bombarded with “Special Offers”, “Limited Period Deals”. Sending another one of these will not cut the ice.

Why not send an email that promises to donate a dollar to charity for every sale you make?

Now, this might just get your customer in the right mood to buy your stuff – or at least open your email.

Do not miss out on social media sale promotions

Social media traffic converts 77% more during the holiday season (AddShoppers).

So, it is time to be social media ready and maximize revenues from your holiday season sales push. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Integrate your mobile and social media strategy to achieve maximum shares for your products (or services).
  • Offer coupons, discounts and deals via social media platforms, redeemable at your online store or physical storefront.
  • Take as many amusing snaps of your company as you can find to post on social media. Personal appeal goes a long way in building brand loyalty and increasing sales in holidays.
  • Do not forget the 24 hours availability of customer service in your own excitement of the holiday season. Make sure you respond to complaint mails, comments and shares in your social media platforms.

How and when to push content for holiday season sales

Just keep in mind a few important facts about content push during holiday season (Outbrain):

  • Total smartphone content consumption during holiday season was 251% more than what it is usually expected
  • Smartphone users prefer mobile optimized sites for holiday shopping while very few online stores or sale promotion sites have such sites
  • Late night content consumption increases during holidays. So, never wait till morning to push that latest ad online.
  • Have special content push policy for the weekend as content is consumed more during holidays.

Five weeks to go for Christmas. Six for New Year. You’ve got a lot of time to work out a winning strategy for major sales push, if you haven’t done that yet.

The bottom line is to keep it simple, touch a chord with the consumers in holiday mood, and make great offers that they just cannot resist.

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