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5 Ways to Prepare Your Small business for the Holiday Shopping Rush—Right Now!

Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Holiday Shopping

5 Ways to Prepare Your Small business for the Holiday Shopping Rush—Right Now!

The holidays can be both your most profitable time of year and your best opportunity to reach out to new customers. You can make the most of them by planning. If November and December are your busy season, here are five things you can do now to get ready. 

Take Care of Things You’ve Been Putting Off

If you’ve been considering changes that would help you bring in more customers or streamline your processes, put them in place now. These might mean a website update, an improved inventory tracking system, or some extra help with marketing. 

You won’t have time to make big changes once the holiday shopping season begins. And, if you delay, you’ll miss a golden opportunity to boost your business and make it run more smoothly. 

Prepare content ahead of time

The idea is simple: if you can take care of something before the holiday rush, you should. While much of your promotion and outreach can only be done during the big shopping sprees, a lot of your content creation can be done any time—and then filed away to be used when needed. 

Blog posts, social media graphics, videos, and other such content can be prepared early and saved until they’re ready to be posted online. And because these materials often take a few weeks to produce, now’s the perfect time to start. Regardless of how frequently you post, you’ll want as much of a backlog as you can get. The more content you have stockpiled, the easier it is to adapt to sudden changes later. 

4 DO’S & DON’TS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY MARKETING SUCCESSFUL 

When it comes to what kind of content to prepare for the holiday season, remember to stay on theme. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Gift guides 

As a retailer, you’re seen as an authority on shopping. That’s why many hopeless gift-givers look to you for advice on what to buy their loved ones. Gift guides, like this one, are popular content during the holidays for this precise reason, and they also allow you to highlight specific products and specific product variations or features. 

  • Product reviews 

You can use your retail authority to give your opinions on certain products as well. Product reviews in general are evergreen content, but they get more hits during periods like this when people shop more. Stick within your area of expertise and research which products your target customers are searching Google reviews for. 

  • Comparison charts 

If gift guides are too simple, you can advance to comparison charts. Particularly skeptical shoppers—which there are a lot of—prefer more in-depth content regarding purchase decisions. Comparison charts that deal more in details, like specific features and prices, can appease even the shrewdest shoppers. 

  • Holiday-themed fun pieces 

Not all content strategies revolve around promotion. For brands that prefer the friendly and personal approach, you can release more casual content that still follows holiday themes. Think: “Ways to Spend a Snowed-In Weekend” or “How to Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments,” like this one. The operative part is the holiday theme; that’s what people want to engage with during the holidays. 

5 MUST KNOW HOLIDAY MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS 

Plan Your Marketing and Promotions

Set aside time to strategically plan your holiday marketing. Use all the data you have, including what customers responded to last year, what the current trends are, and what you know about your loyal customers’ needs and tastes. 

The internet is a great resource for creative ideas—just make sure they will work for your business. 

Identify the marketing channels that are most likely to give you a good return on your investment, whether this means Facebook ads, direct mail postcards, email campaigns, or traditional newspaper or radio advertising. 

Once you have planned your promotions, go ahead and order your free giveaways, have direct mail and ad pieces designed, and create a timeline so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be launching when. 

Optimize your Website

It’s your big night: what are you wearing? Stylish and distinguished evening wear that makes you look sophisticated and authoritative? Or the same outfit you’ve been wearing since the spring? 

For online retailers, the fourth quarter is your “big night,” and you’ll see more sales if you’re dressed to your best. We’re talking about optimizing your site design: fixing bugs, streamlining usability, rewriting text for SEO, and finally adding those expansions to your to-do list. 

Your site should be perfect by the time your first-holiday shopper arrives, so it’s best to start any renovations as soon as possible. If you have a bug list, now’s the time to address them. If not, ask your customers for feedback. It’s not too late to implement a free survey to get feedback directly from visitors. 

If you’ve been planning an update or redesign, is it feasible to do it before November? Serious site rebuilding can sometimes create new problems that aren’t immediately apparent, and you don’t want to spend all this time redoing your site only to have some problem with your checkout a few days before Thanksgiving. If you’re going to fast-track a site update, make sure you have enough time for spotting errors and debugging. 

The importance of site design goes double for mobile. Although historically, the desktop has dominated the majority of eCommerce transactions, new research shows that advantage is shifting to mobile, with mobile sales predicted to account for 45 percent of 2020 eCommerce sales—and those statistics only factor in completed sales, not all the people using mobile devices just for shopping research. 

One of the best approaches to optimizing your mobile site is—surprise! —checking previous data. This time, you’ll want to check your user data, specifically which mobile devices are most popular with your particular shoppers. These reveal, in no uncertain terms, which screen sizes and operating systems you should prioritize most. 

Try to Automate your marketing process as much as you can

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your day-to-day workflows and never take a step back to see what you could streamline. Now’s the time to do just that—make automation a habit. 

In eCommerce, there is plenty of time-saving automation you can use all year—things like automatically following up on sales. But there are plenty of tasks that ramp up during the holidays. Automating them now will save you precious hours when the rush hits. 

What you automate will depend on the apps you use, but there are some universal options. For example, by automating your social media marketing, you can automatically post content across all your platforms, let people know when you have new blog posts, and track your social mentions. 

5 CROSS-PROMOTION TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES 

 

If you’re looking for digital marketing advice or free consultation then send an email or give us a call! Our experts will help you.

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