Who Shops When
While one third of all consumers do their Christmas shopping ten days before Christmas it’s not a good idea for retailers to wait this long to start their holiday marketing strategy. After all, retailers earn around 20 percent of their profits between Late November and December. In order to take full advantage of shoppers’ buying behaviors during the holidays, it’s important for you to fully optimize your holiday shopping ROI.
When and What to Promote
As with all aspects of marketing, the most important part is to know and understand holiday shopping behavior. You can separate holiday shoppers into three categories:
● Early Shoppers – Many shoppers fall into this category, most likely because of Black Friday. These shoppers will purchase their gifts at least one month in advance.
● Average Shoppers– These consumers purchase the majority of their gifts during the first two weeks of December. Interestingly, these shoppers make up only 21 percent of the holiday shopper demographic.
● Late Shoppers – The second highest demographic, these shoppers wait until the last week to make their purchases.
What to Put on Sale
If you want to appeal to all three groups, you should already have come up with a promotional plan earlier on in the year and have it ready to launch by Thanksgiving for best results. When deciding what to put on sale you should consider the following:
● Items that are overstocked
● Items with the best profit margins
● Items in great demand
More importantly, you should keep in mind that your promotions should keep your current customers happy and attract new ones. Marking off your cheapest items might attract bargain hunters, but they are unlikely to stick around holidays and convert into regular consumers. If you use your market research and consumer profile to find the perfect items to put on sale you will be able to increase your revenue overall for the following years.
How to Promote Your Products and Services
Brick and Mortar Stores
While brick-and-mortar stores still have their place during the holiday season, more consumers are turning to the Internet for all of their shopping needs. This means that your holiday promotion should extend to your online presence as well. Adding simple things like holiday promo images or holiday sales tab on your website can significantly increase your sales. As well, if you don’t already have a mobile strategy, now is the time to implement one. After all, 66 percent of tablet owners and 76 of smartphone owners will make holiday purchases.
While your website might be command a majority of our attention, it’s important that you don’t neglect social media. Traditional advertising doesn’t have the same effect it used to. Today more people trust social media recommendations from their friends and family over commercials and ads. One of the best ways to get some easy shares and likes is to use the various social ads available on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can easily target your exact demographic and the more people who like your ad, the better your chances of making some sales. For increased visibility you can also host a some holiday themed contests and giveaways.
Your email list is another great way to generate more interest and revenues. While it might seem spammy to send out Christmas sale emails, remember that those who signed up for your newsletters are directly interested in your product. So long as you don’t flood their inboxes with emails, you’ll likely see a higher open and click through rate during this season. Of course, you still need to make sure your email is designed well and has a strong call-to-action for the products you choose to display. Your email should showcase your products and sale items immediately upon opening to capture your reader’s attention.
Don’t Let the Holidays Sneak up on You: Start Your SEO Strategy 3 Months Prior To Holiday Shopping
Pulling off a successful holiday marketing campaign doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you plan your strategy in advance. You should map out your plan at least 4 months before the holidays and start on your SEO strategy at least 3 months prior to your actual holiday promotions. Once you have everything in place, all you need to do is roll out the plan and make small tweaks as necessary and you and your consumers can have a happy and festive holiday season.
Guest Blog Post by: Ivan Serrano