The holiday season is easily one of the busiest times of the year for companies of all shapes and sizes. The gift-giving season usually brings promises of discounts and flash sales that encourage consumers to spend more money than they usually would. But the winter holiday season also presents businesses with a unique challenge. To make the most of the annual winter holiday shopping craze, companies need to find a way to stand apart from the competition. Fortunately, there are holiday business strategies designed to help companies do just that. Here are five ways you can prepare your business for the holiday season.
Tips for the Holidays:
● Analyze Metrics
A business strategy needs to be backed by relevant data for it to be trustworthy. The information you gather from customers through surveys, previous purchase information, and social media engagement can provide your business with valuable insights into their behavior. These insights can then be used to frame your holiday business strategy and ensure it is effective.
The first and most important step in gathering this data is deciding on KPIs or key performance indicators. These are relevant metrics you can measure to get an idea of how effective your previous marketing campaigns were and how consumer behavior changed as a result of your efforts. The KPIs you settle on will depend on the behavior you want to learn more about. For instance, you can judge the level of engagement your company has with its audience by measuring likes and reposts on social media and the number of responses your questionnaires receive. Regardless of what KPIs you decide to track, the most important thing to remember is that the data must be timely. This means that the information you gather has to be recent enough to be relevant. Data from three years ago is unlikely to help you this holiday season.
● Create a Holiday Marketing Strategy
Marketing to consumers during the holidays requires a different approach than during other times of the year. This is because consumers have different expectations for the ads they see around the winter holidays. Most notably, shoppers have become accustomed to winter holiday sales and deals. Plan on offering site-wide discounts or bundles around Christmas and other winter holidays. Recently, marketing analysts have discovered that holiday shoppers have started shopping for gifts earlier than in previous years. In fact, many consumers have started their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. Consider extending your sales into earlier parts of the month to take advantage of this fact. However, not all businesses can afford to simply extend a weekend sale into a week-long event. In these situations, we recommend splitting the sale up across the different platforms your company operates on. For instance, have a digital sale through your website for a few days and then switch to an exclusive sale in your physical storefront. This allows you to offer the same discounts over a longer period of time.
● Give Customers What They Want
One of the most important factors that will determine the success of your business during the holidays is the user experience you offer. Holiday shoppers will not tolerate a long, complicated shopping experience anymore. They expect to be able to easily find the products they want and be able to purchase them without much hassle. There are dozens of ways to improve the user experience of your online store, but the checkout process is arguably the most important. Online consumers will abandon a chart halfway through the checkout process if it is too cumbersome. This means that almost purchased a product but decided against it, which is a huge loss for eCommerce companies. Simplify your checkout process to keep your cart abandonment rate low. Remember to offer several shipping services at checkout to ensure any shopper can have their purchase delivered in their preferred way.
Here are a few other quick tips to simplify your checkout process.
○ Enable guest checkout
○ Remove unnecessary fields
○ Offer free shipping
○ Offer several payment options
● Holiday Optimization
It’s no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) will help a company organically grow its audience. But what a lot of businesses don’t realize is that SEO can also grow awareness around your business for the winter holidays specifically. Google’s algorithm is smart enough to recognize seasonal content which is content that is only relevant during one important part of the year. Creating pages that cater directly to holiday shoppers is an excellent example of seasonal content. If you continue to update those pages for the winter holidays at the same time every year, then Google will begin ranking that page higher during the gift-giving season.
● Prepare For Holiday Logistics Stress
Though the winter holidays are an excellent opportunity to sell a large volume of products very quickly, that can be a challenge in and of itself. A large influx of purchases means that your warehouse will have to increase its order fulfillment rate. Brands that sell their products internationally will undoubtedly have the most difficulty keeping up. That’s because different countries have different holiday shipping deadlines that need to be met. For instance, NZ couriers have stated that December, 16 is the final day a package can be shipped for Christmas while USPS will be accepting packages until the 19th of December.