Preparation is the key to success and this rings especially true for businesses and e-commerce companies looking to make the most out of the upcoming holiday season. While consumers might not start making their purchases until late-October, it doesn’t hurt to already be on their mind with the right messaging.
Of course, you’ll want to temper any heavy holiday messaging until the holiday season gets a closer. But if you already have your plans laid out well in advance, the transition between your non-holiday digital marketing plan to your holiday marketing plan will be seamless and your promotions will be much more effective.
The last two months of the year are notably crucial to your business, with the National Retail Federation noting that 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers takes place during this time frame. Within this two month period, there are a couple of specific days that you’ll want to target including:
- November 23, Black Friday:
- November 24, Small Biz Saturday:
- In 2016, 112 million consumers supported Small Business Saturday by shopping and dining out.
- Total spending reached approximately $15.4 billion in 2016.
- 72% of consumers reported they were aware of Small Business Saturday.
- November 26, Cyber Monday:
While these three days are definitely worth recognizing, there’s still plenty of joy (and sales) for the remaining holiday season, especially for e-commerce businesses:
- Online shopping totaled $108.2 billion during the 2017 holiday season. (Adobe Digital Insights)
- During the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, shoppers spent $19 billion. (Adobe Digital Insights)
- Retailers had their best holiday season in 2017 since 2011. (EMarketer)
- 2017 saw a 17.8% increase in retail e-commerce sales. (EMarketer)
- E-commerce sales are expected to expand by 15.3% in 2018. (EMarketer)
- Mobile sales will account for 52% of total sales. (PracticalEcommerce)
If you’re ready to get in on the action, your catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing have some fantastic holiday marketing strategies to keep your holiday season Grinch free.
See Green on Black Friday
Black Friday is a hectic day and will require everyone on your team to be on the same page to handle the high volume of customers. If you want to make the most out of the day, you should start by:
- Organizing for any major sales and preparing your inventory to ensure that you’ll have product favorites and the staff to effectively pull off any event you might hold.
- Build anticipation beforehand by creating a teaser campaign that includes ads geared towards special products you’re going to have on sale.
- Make sure that your website speed is up to par. If you’re dependent on online sales, a lagging website can be disastrous for your Black Friday. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly as well.
- An email marketing campaign is a necessity. Just make sure to target past and potential buyers.
- Developing landing pages can complement your email marketing campaign. Keep things general enough so that a single landing page can work for the entire holiday season.
- Regardless of the season, social media should always be in your digital marketing plan. Posts should highlight products, sales, answer questions, and provide insight into your product (lifestyle pictures always work wonders, too).
- Include a countdown timer on your website to drive the urgency of your Black Friday sales. Even a stock count can keep customers on their toes if they know a specific product is limited.
Small Business Saturday To-Dos
Small Business Saturday is the perfect tool to promote your business for the busy holiday season and into the new year. There are a number of tactics that can be used to drive sales including:
- Remind people about Small Business Saturday through social media, email newsletters, and website banners.
- Offer sales that run before Small Business Saturday and until after Cyber Monday to keep customers coming in after the day passes. Plus, you’ll be able to better manage your inventory and have a clearer view of what items customers want.
- Offer a special service or product like free gift wrapping, a limited-edition product, or a special menu item that big companies can’t match.
- Make sure your website is mobile-optimized since 64% of shoppers use mobile search on smartphones before heading to the store.
- Post plenty of visuals on social media and don’t just tell people about sales.
- Make sure you have enough staff on hand as this may be the first experience with your business for many new customers.
- Millennials love local businesses, so your local business should love millennials – target them.
- Offer a fun and joyful environment if you have a brick-and-mortar store. Free refreshments, treats, and family-friendly activities are always a good choice.
Make Cyber Monday Spectacular
Your digital marketing strategy should be developed early enough (think NOW) in order that the transition between these prime shopping days is as smooth and seamless as possible. You’ll definitely want to utilize some of the same strategies on all three days (i.e. plenty of heavy social media coverage on your sales and special items) but you can also enhance your marketing strategy for Cyber Monday with:
- Cyber Monday specific promotions are a must and a great way to get consumers excited about any special items that might be on sale only on this day.
- Contest and giveaways build excitement and have the added benefit of helping you collect data that can be used for email marketing campaigns or to tweak ad copy to better meet consumer expectations.
- Cyber Monday is a mobile mega-day, so make sure your site is mobile optimized. In 2017, Cyber Monday saw over $2 billion in mobile shopping alone. Don’t miss this opportunity.
- Millennials are the biggest Cyber Monday spenders and you’ll want to target this demographic group.
- Recommendations and reviews need to be in place. Today’s shoppers are savvy and often base their decision to make a purchase based on reviews of your company and products. Offer some benefit to clients to leave you a positive review (think discount).
- Place a countdown on your product pages to let clients know when an offer is beginning and ending. A time-sensitive sale can encourage customers to make the purchase immediately rather than hold off.
- Don’t be afraid to surprise customers and extend your sale. Cyber Monday is not the end of the holiday season and extending your sale can work wonders to remind clients who haven’t made their purchase to get it done.
- Retargeting ads is one of the most effective tools that you have in your arsenal. Most website visitors will pay your site multiple visits before making a purchase; these leads simply need to be converted and targeting ads are just the thing.