From the Personal Branding Blog
Holidays can be a trying time for any company. While some companies see increased profitability and patronage during this time of year, other businesses struggle with marketing, consumer interest and increasing labor costs. However, many of these issues can be eliminated by adapting your ecommerce platform to the mobile-centric nature of today’s online shoppers.
When it comes to offering steep holiday discounts, retailers are now starting their sales sooner than ever before. As such, it’s a good idea to begin your holiday planning as early as September. Apart from giving you the opportunity to tackle all of the approaching festivities, this also lets you begin your research into the latest consumer interests, needs and trends.
An early start such as this also gives you ample time to develop and rollout any pertinent marketing campaigns. Not only will this ensure your preparedness for the upcoming holiday rush, but it also gives you the chance to start pondering plans, including potential sales and advertising strategies, for the New Year.
Capitalize on Holiday Travel
Historically speaking, it’s always been difficult to advertise to consumers during their travels. Roadside bulletin boards and radio advertisements aside, there are few routes to connect with potential shoppers who are visiting family or going on vacation. In fact, approximately 64 percent of shoppers spent more on their overall travel costs than actual gifts in 2015.
With mobile marketing, however, retailers can now deliver messages, promotions and information on new product launches via SMS message. Moreover, consumers can use their mobile device to access the Internet, thereby allowing them to peruse digital flyers and place online orders.
Take Advantage of Popular Shopping Days
Black Friday is generally the busiest shopping day of the year. As a result, retailers from every niche suddenly find themselves offering massive discounts and sales that are unheard of at any other time of the year. While this trend still holds true at physical, brick-and-mortar stores, studies have shown that online shopping is just as popular on this specific date.
You might not realize that online retailers have their own counterpart to Black Friday. Cyber Monday, which takes place on the following Monday, is meant for armchair shoppers and those who don’t dare brave the madness that is typically associated with Black Friday. The concept of Cyber Monday has become so popular that some ecommerce sites cannot even handle the additional traffic.
If you’re expecting a sudden uptick in online visitors during this period, you might want to consider upping your bandwidth capacity and strengthening your ecommerce servers. Ensure the presence of a recent system backup and, if necessary, review your current disaster recovery plan. Not only does this ensure the stability of your site during the busiest time of the year, but it can safeguard the personal information, including credit card numbers, of your customers.
Give Your Website a Holiday Theme
A holiday makeover is a fantastic way to achieve continuity between your marketing tactics and your ecommerce storefront. This simple tactic can even boost brand or product awareness.
Remember, you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to give your site a new look. In fact, companies who regularly change up their site’s aesthetics are bound to draw in even more visitors. The popular search engine Google, for example, frequently modifies their iconic logo to celebrate special events and holidays. On big holidays, a portion of the traffic to the site is just there to see what they’ll come up with next.
Just make sure that your new theme is compatible with most popular mobile web browsers. The smaller displays and limited functionality of today’s smartphones and devices might run into problems when translating large images or advanced coding. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a third-party web developer or IT specialist to test your site. You don’t want to encounter any bottlenecks or unexpected errors when the big day finally comes.
Synchronize the Online and In-Store Experience
Coordinating the customer experience both online and in-store is another great method when trying to maintain continuity and reinforce your brand’s image, culture and attitude. It can also save a lot of time when creating promotional campaigns, planning future sales and targeting specific demographics.
Given the prevalence of mobile communications, as well as the growing amount of consumers who are constantly on-the-go, there are plenty of options to consider when synchronizing your customer’s ecommerce experience with that of the physical store.
Flash sales, which usually only last for a matter of days or even hours, work extremely well with mobile marketing tactics. Because details of such discounts can be distributed instantaneously, and since they can be distributed to certain demographics or even your entire mobile customer base, you’ll be able to meet the needs of your shoppers like never before.
Some companies have even embraced in-store kiosks, which serves as an informational hub for customers. These units can display nearly any type of helpful information imaginable, including specific product details, sales deadlines, special offers and more.
Meeting Increased Demand While Still Enjoying the Holiday
Despite the sudden uptick in business, the holiday season doesn’t have to be a stressful time for you or your company. By finalizing your marketing campaigns as early as possible, utilizing mobile advertisements to target specific demographics and ramping up your workforce to meet the increased demand, you’ll be better poised to take on the impending consumer rush.