Start Small Business Marketing For the Holidays Now
Well Shoppers, there are only 51 more shopping days until Christmas – that’s 12 Fridays if you are counting – and if you are a small business that relies on the holidays to boost your profits then you are most likely getting prepared now. In fact, ChannelAdvisor did a survey of online retailers in the US. and UK recently and discovered that 59% have already launched their seasonal campaigns. Three-quarters say that fully 20% of their profits come from holiday sales, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Not convinced that you should start your holiday marketing now? Check Pinterest then, where there is already a plethora of pins showing holiday decorating ideas and gifts. Another market researcher, CivicScience, reports that 47% of Pinterest users begin shopping before Thanksgiving – much higher than the 39% of the overall population. About 25% of shoppers begin in October and nearly half are already done by Cyber Monday!
As a small business owner, you may be wondering how you can compete during the holiday season and get your share of the sales. The answer is good marketing. Try a few of these ideas to improve your small business marketing during the holidays.
- Start now, but be creative. Remember to use bold holiday graphics in your E-mails, print ads, etc. Women are more likely to begin their shopping early, so construct your ad copy and images to appeal to them.
- Price aggressively. Early shoppers are looking for bargains now, when the selection is good. Appealing to this market now with competitive pricing can help you avoid making major markdowns later in the season. Highlight your pricing with phrases such as “lowest prices of the season” or other indicators to customers that they can get a bargain now.
- Ensure your online shopping experience is a good one. There is nothing worse that forcing a customer to search through your website for the information they need to make a purchase. If you are not sure about your website, ask customers to give you feedback or hire a web marketing firm to review your site and make suggestions. In 2014, almost half of the highest online shopping days were Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so think about offering specials on those days, or even scheduling E-mail messaging on those days.
- Begin the festivities! Yes, it might be 75 degrees outside, but bring a little holiday cheer into your business with holiday music, decorations and scents. About 1 in 5 holiday shoppers enjoy shopping in stores and they are more likely to make multiple trips. Keep in mind that the sense of smell is very powerful. Bring back a few fond memories for your customers by using seasonal scents like cinnamon, Christmas trees, etc.
- Make it Mobile. Keep in mind that more than half of all searches are now done on smart phones. Last year, 45% of the 4th quarter web traffic came from mobile devices like phones and tablets and 28% of sales last Black Friday were completed on mobile. Make sure you have “Buy Now” button prominently featured with your products. Most importantly, be sure your online store is mobile friendly. Not sure? Google will test it for you at no charge.
- Manage Your Advertising Budget. If you are using Pay-Per-Click advertising, adjust your budget on Black Friday to show more ads in the morning when more people are shopping. On Cyber Monday, target evening hours, as peak online shopping takes place then.
Yes, the holidays do seem to come earlier each year. As a small business owner, your seasonal marketing strategies should already be underway. But if they are not, give Deppe Communications a call at 904.524.0170 or Email info@DeppeCommunications.com and we will get you started.