For many retailers, both online and offline, a good portion of your income may depend on how you do in the coming weeks.
Yes, busy times are ahead, and the good news is that online holiday sales jumped 14% in 2010. To help you make the most of the coming holidays, here are a few tips.
- Get your website holiday ready. Just saying “Happy Holidays” or having an image of falling snow on your web site will fill your customer with the holiday spirit and put them in a gift buying mood. And why not put the Twitter bird in a Santa hat? Also, now is the time to create product pages and “Buy Now” buttons for holiday packages.
- Check you calendar and plan email campaigns now. There are some important dates coming up. Black Friday is on November 25th and Cyber Monday follows. Will you offer your customers free shipping? Discounts? Gift certificates? Make sure customers know about your special offer in your email campaigns.
- Send Holiday cards. Everybody loves cards. What better way to engage your customer and show good will than to wish them “Season’s Greetings” and let them know about special Holiday offers? Consider enclosing a free gift, such as a coupon, gift certificate or special offer that will keep them coming back to your site.
- Create Holiday Specials. It goes without saying that everyone appreciates a good deal around the holidays, when their dollar needs to be stretched.
- Offer Gift Certificates. Even if your business does not have any Holiday inventory, everyone appreciates a gift card or gift certificate to a service they may use in the future. This is a great way to generate revenue if you own a business such as a nursery or car wash that stays busier in warmer months.
- Bundle products into gift packages. No matter what your business, now is a great time to put yourself in Santa Claus’ shoes. What do customers want to buy as gifts? Perhaps if you have a dog-grooming business, you can bundle flea treatment, a brush, and a gift certificate to your service. If you own a spa, sell gift certificates online, along with a luxurious assortment of spa treatments and candles in a basket.
- Stand Out From The Competition. Every business wants to maximize sales around the holidays, so make sure you stand out from the crowd. Use images in your emails, blogs, and social media posts. Introduce your business “family” to let your customers know about your family values and personable approach (these are important around the holidays). Involve your customers in a fun way — how about a survey about Christmas or an online game? Coloring pages for the kids?
- Have a Holiday Party! If you have employees, they will appreciate a day spent socializing and drinking egg nog instead of working. If you need to build your business — and who doesn’t — invite business associates and clients to enjoy the festivities.
- Prepare For High Volume Email Sending – around the holidays, you may be sending more emails and capturing more email addresses than you thought possible. Make sure you can handle the volume of email correspondence with a copy of Email Marketing Pro Small Business, and integrate it with a mail sending service that can support large volumes of marketing materials you will be sending. At Atlantic Software, we use certified, cloud-based email servers to ensure that our emails get delivered without worrying about quotas set by our Internet Service or Mail Provider. Now, you can to! See Option 2 under Upgrading.
These are just a few ideas for making the holidays fun, colorful, and profitable. Remember, the most important part about the holidays is to enjoy yourself and the company of your friends and family! Happy Holidays!