For a majority of business owners, the final stretch of the calendar year represents a season of unparalleled opportunity: Indeed, with holiday shoppers prowling for deals, the period between Halloween and Christmas can provide considerable padding to your yearly revenues. It’s no exaggeration to say that, for many businesses, the holiday shopping season is make-or-break.
Of course, your seasonal success hinges on your ability to generate traffic to your website, turn leads into conversions, and ultimately move product. In other words, it comes down to effective marketing. And as we enter this pivotal season, there are a few steps business owners can take to ensure their marketing strategy is holiday ready.
Tips for Effective Holiday Marketing
1) Review Historical Data
Assuming your business has been around for a few Christmases, you should have a decent backlog of historical data to glean from. Spend some time reviewing past analytics, looking for things like:
- Which channels (search, social media, email, etc.) tend to bring in the most traffic during the holiday season?
- Which campaigns or promotions have been most successful? Which have fallen flat?
- Are there specific products or product categories that tend to be big sellers during the holidays?
All of this information can be helpful in directing this season’s efforts.
2) Enhance Your Customers’ Experience
During the holidays, most shoppers have long lists of people they want to buy for, which means they don’t have time to waste on slow-loading, inefficient, or difficult-to-navigate sites. In other words, you’re liable to lose some business if your site offers anything less than a smooth, positive UX.
As we approach the holiday season, now’s the time to double-check your website for usability. Make sure it’s optimized for mobile. Make sure it loads quickly, checking it on different device types and browsers. And make sure your site offers clear, clean navigation and strong calls to action, guiding users through the shopping process.
3) Highlight Shipping and Return Policies
There are two things holiday shoppers always want to know. First, will the product arrive in time for them to wrap it and slide it under the tree? And second, if the product turns out to be wrongly sized or simply unwanted, do you offer a fair and easy return policy?
As you review and revise your business website, make sure your shipping and return policies are clear and prominently-placed. Particularly note things like whether or not shipping is free, and the final date by which orders must be received in order for them to ship in time for Christmas.
4) Consider a Holiday Facelift for Your Website
You don’t necessarily need an entire website redesign, but you may want to make a few small tweaks just to conjure some festive spirit. Updating your calls-to-action with holiday-centered verbiage, including some seasonally specific stock images, switching to Christmas-y colors for the months of November and December…these are small ways you can show some holiday cheer, and potentially help your website visitors to feel a bit more jolly about purchasing from you.
5) Highlight Your Popular Products
Drawing on the historical sales data you gleaned back in step #1, compile a list of the products that tend to be big sellers among holiday shoppers. Then, make sure those products are well-represented on your company website. You might even sweeten the deal by creating gift bundles (e.g., seasonally popular products grouped together, perhaps in a special case or package), or simply by providing modest savings for customers who buy certain products.
Another suggestion: Create gift guides or category pages that make it easy for shoppers to browse similar products, potentially inspiring them in their shopping efforts.
6) Send Emails!
Your email marketing list is an invaluable asset no matter the season, but it can be especially handy come the end of the year.
Simply put, email is one of the best ways to connect with previous buyers, and to entice them to return for another purchase. Specifically, use email to:
- Announce new products or upcoming deals.
- Provide special/exclusive savings just for your subscribers.
- Reiterate important policies, like free shipping or easy returns.
- Highlight your gift guides and category pages.
- Provide early-bird insights into new offerings.
7) Stay Active on Social Media
Finally, in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, maintain a strategic focus on your social media channels. Holiday imagery, cheerful colors, gift guides and links to bestselling products…these can all be effective ways to generate traffic and ultimately to boost sales.
Is Your Marketing Strategy Holiday-Ready?
The holiday shopping season provides business owners with incredible opportunity. To take advantage of that opportunity, you’ll want to make sure your website, email list, and social media channels are all working in harmony. Questions? We’d love to chat. Reach out to enCOMPASS Agency soon.
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