How to Get Your Business Ready for the Holidays
It’s hard to believe the holiday season is almost upon us. That’s right, in just a few weeks, after gorging ourselves with turkey and sweet potato pie, the radio stations will make that dreaded (or anticipated!) switch to holiday music 24/7. For consumers, the frenzy begins. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Any Given Sunday, you name it, there’s a designated shopping day for everyone.
Of course, consumers are just one side of the coin. This is a business owners’ time to shine. With 20-40% of sales happening in the last two months of year and eCommerce sales expected to grow by more than 15% this year, businesses can really cash in.
Not sure where to begin your holiday preparations? Whether you’ve got a physical business or an online store, we’ve got you covered.
Freshen things up with a holiday design
The leaves are turning and the snow is (almost) falling; you know what that means! Your physical and online business is ready for a holiday makeover. Deck the halls by adding festive photos to your website and snowflake icons to your homepage, creating a special winter collection or promoting products or services with a cool Holiday Badge from the Wix App Market. Don’t forget to give your website a once-over to make sure it’s optimized for mobile shoppers. Afterall, holiday season mobile spending has reached an astounding $17 billion! Fortunately, your desktop is automatically converted to a mobile-friendly site thanks to the Mobile Editor.
For those with a brick and mortar shop, lure your buyers in by going all-out with your holiday decor. Get those holiday tunes on your speakers and set the tone for the ultimate buying experience.
Create a social and content calendar
Now that you’re business has got the holiday spirit, you can make a plan. One of the best ways to begin building your holiday marketing plan is by creating a content calendar. This is essentially a day by day plan of all the content you will be churning out throughout the holiday season (and beyond!).
A content calendar is like a structured to-do list that allows you to tackle one task at a time and helps you understand exactly what you need to gather to make your business shine. We’ll talk about the specific types of content that go into this in just a moment, but in the meantime, we’ve created a killer content calendar that is chock full of innovative ideas to help you stand out this holiday season. Feel free to use it in its entirety or as a jumping off point for your own schedule. But remember; the more content you post, the more likely your customers are to engage with you.
Run holiday sales
The holiday season is all about giving…major discounts! With over 35% of shoppers making holiday purchases before Thanksgiving, this is the time to start pushing some sales. On our handy content calendar, you’ll notice we took the liberty of including a few promotion ideas. You can run a “buy one get one free” sale, offer 50% off all products or services, give free shipping for 24 hours and so much more! When planning your sales, keep in mind that you want to create a sense of urgency. Sales that run for a limited amount of time tend to give buyers the kick in the butt they need to make a purchase.
Pro Tip: Create hype around a specific product by adding a “special holiday price” label.
Promote your business
With your sales schedule in order, you can dig deeper into your content calendar and prepare the rest of your marketing materials. This can be broken down into two main categories: direct advertising and content marketing.
Direct advertising includes:
Landing Pages: Try a one-pager to show off a holiday collection or to promote a sale. Everything you need to know about LPs can be found in our newest eBook here; consider it our holiday gift to you!
Paid advertising: Create engaging ads and target your audience in order to bring in new business. This topic is a world of its own, so I recommend you take a moment to learn about Facebook advertising and the basics of Pay Per Click or PPC advertising.
Email marketing blasts: Send a coupon to your customers or let them know about your latest blog post with Wix email marketing.
Banners and lightboxes: Upload a holiday-themed banner to your blog or notify website visitors of a sale via an eye-catching lightbox.
Content marketing includes:
Organic social posts: Communicate with your followers on social; make them feel that there’s a person behind the screen.
Blog Content: Update your blog with some holiday inspired content.
Your website itself: Why not refresh some of your important pages? This is a great time to fine-tune your About Us page in order to really hook your visitors.
Prepare for the storm
With the amount of traffic (physical or not) you’ll (hopefully) get, you have to get ready for the storm. This means that you have to take care of all the technicalities in order not to disappoint your buyers. To do that, be sure you:
Stock up on inventory – particularly your best-sellers!
Prepare your packaging and delivery labels for the season.
Touch base with your shipping providers; make sure they can handle the busiest time of year.
Hire extra staff if needed.
Provide the necessary information
Look, I know it’s 2017 – but the fact remains that some people are still hesitant to shop online. In order to make your buyers feel safe and secure, there are few things you need to do.
Make sure your contact information is visible on your website’s homepage, your FAQ page is up to date, your return policies are clearly displayed and all of your shipping information is written out on your product pages. Be sure to enable automated confirmation emails so your buyers know when their package has shipped, and add a tracking number to each order so your clients can sleep soundly knowing their gift is en route. The more information you provide, the more trustworthy you’ll appear. And, while you’re at it, consider adding customer reviews or testimonials and a press section to show off your praise.
Go the extra step!
I hate to break it to you, but your business isn’t the only one vying for attention during the holiday season. Remember to think outside the box! How can you optimize your exposure and engage your community in the most fun way? Here are a few simple ideas you can easily implement:
Reach out to customers with a large social following and ask them to write a guest blog post for you.
Partner with a complementary business and run a cool holiday campaign together.
Have some fun on social with cool mini-contests or creative videos.
Work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For those with a physical shop, learn how to boost your local SEO to increase foot traffic.
Analyze and optimize
Preparing your business for the holidays in advance gives you time to optimize along the way. Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights will give you an idea of how your content is performing and because you’re a boss and prepared so far ahead, you have plenty of time to experiment and improve.
Make some subtle changes to your website every now and then, experiment with different social posts, or promote a different coupon and see what your buyers respond to and act accordingly.
Is your business ready for the holiday season? Get the complete holiday marketing calendar and checklist now.
By Jillian Altit