“A successful holiday sales season depends on early planning and consistent marketing,” say the folks at Business News Daily, “especially if you’re a small business competing against retail giants like Amazon, Walmart and Target.”

 

Holiday shopping trends released by the National Retail Federation indicate that about 41% of holiday shoppers will start making purchases in November (with a noticeable surge after the elections), and at least 56% of consumers will do their holiday shopping online.

 

Source: National Retail Federation

 

Here’s what Business News Daily says sales and marketing experts are recommending you do now for a successful 2016 holiday sales season:

  1. Market to Loyal customers – It’s less expensive and time-consuming to target repeat customers instead of trying to acquire new ones, especially during the holiday season. Offering loyal customers personalized discounts and promotions is an effective way to promote holiday purchases.
  2. Optimize Website Checkout – Provide a fast and seamless purchase experience. Findings from a 2015 Radware report found on Business News Daily revealed that 57% of consumers will abandon a site if it doesn’t load fast enough. That means online shops have a small window of opportunity to successfully complete transactions before customers grow frustrated and look for more streamlined checkout services.
  3. Make Sure Your Website is ResponsiveResponsive websites essentially respond or adapt to fit the screen size of the electronic device being used, making the pages viewer friendly on mobiles and iPads, for example. This is important when you consider that shoppers not only use their smartphones to browse and research retail establishments and products, but they’re also using mobile to make purchases. Mobile shopping a trend that promises to significantly increase as we approach 2017, according to eMarketer. (Read more about responsive design here).
  4. Capitalize on Social Media & SEO – Make sure your customers can easily find you when they perform online searches, and take advantage of social media to keep consumers informed on products, services, and special holiday sales. (Read about utilizing social media here).

“The holidays are a great time to connect with your customers and to raise awareness of your business. With Facebook, you can increase sales and foot traffic by creating page posts and ads that speak to the people who matter most to your business at the right time.”

These marketing tips will help you improve your consumers’ online experience throughout the holiday shopping season and potentially develop loyal customer relationships that will last long after the holidays are over.

About Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software.

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