Move over Thanksgiving, December is finally here! Time for holiday shopping and festivities. Most retail businesses have already been preparing for this season for months. But don’t fret if you aren’t one of them, or if you’re just looking for some last-minute ways to drive sales. Here are some quick holiday strategies to implement just in time for the holidays.
1. Holiday Gift Cards
Dispel the notion of gift cards being an impersonal gift that lacks forethought. A holiday survey done by Deloitte actually shows gift cards as the second most-gifted item, right behind clothing. Whether you offer digital or physical gift cards, use a jolly theme to go along with the season.
2. Post Shipping Deadlines and Offer Free and/or Expedited Shipping
Deloitte’s survey also predicts online shopping for this season to be the highest ever, with 50 percent of consumers anticipating shopping online. When online, 71 percent of consumers are looking for free shipping as the most desired promotion.
3. Update Coupon Codes with Holiday Cheer
Speaking of free shipping, get creative and festive with promo codes. For example, you could rename the codes for free/expedited shipping to “ReindeerShipping” or “SleighUpgrade.”
4. Send Personal Holiday Greetings with Promotional Offers to Loyal Customers
According to Hallmark, Christmas is still the number one card-sending holiday in the U.S. Do the same for customers and make them a part of your family. Send a personalized holiday card with a special promotion for them as thanks for their business.
5. Run a Holiday-Related Facebook Ad Campaign or Other Social Media Campaigns
As online shopping is anticipated to be at an all-time high, consumers browsing social media can make the quick transition from posting online to shopping online, if presented with an eye-catching post. Online contests or giveaways are also a great way to increase page traffic and promote your online presence while positively affecting customer relations. To ensure you’re running compelling promotions, you may want to benchmark your social promotions against your competitors’ to see what types of promotions they’re currently running or have run in the past.
6. Reach out to Customers Who Abandoned Their Shopping Carts
They were interested enough to add items to the cart and with some encouragement could easily finish checking out. There could be various reasons as to why they didn’t finish, ranging from price comparisons to indecisiveness. Entice them to finish the order with a promotion or a gentle reminder.
7. Optimize Your Mobile Website
Mobile users utilize their smartphones and tablets as personal shopping assistants to do anything from comparing prices and reviews to locating stores. Be sure the mobile version of your website is easy to navigate and use in order to avoid driving them away to a competitor.
8. Ensure Pages Load Quickly While Streamlining the Buying Process
The majority of people buying in-store will have done research online beforehand. Whether they’re accessing your site on the go or sitting on their couch, online users easily stray from site to site on a whim. Keep their attention by loading every page quickly and making the checkout process simple and easy.
9. Decorate Your Website with a Festive Theme
Akin to decorating a brick and mortar store to suit the season, enhancing your website will give a similar effect using seasonal banners and colors. This will encourage visitors to get into the spirit of Christmas and have fun with the holidays.
10. Create Last-Minute Holiday Gift-Buying Guides
There’s always that one person for whom you have no idea what to get. Creating lists will help showcase popular items this season and increase interactivity with customers. You can create various lists, such as one for the technologically challenged parent or the culinary genius in your family.
These holiday strategies will help you quickly gain a strong foothold and increase value as Christmas draws closer each day.
Contributing writer: Matt Chow