Digital Marketing Tips for the Holidayson November 1st, 2017
by Nick Rojas
The holiday season comes just once a year so it's important you have a digital marketing plan in place to take full advantage of it. While some businesses are closing stores, several are still expanding. As such, it’s important to have an expansion plan. Taking steps like measuring your growth, assessing your company’s needs, analyzing revenue streams, and taking care of growing demand will help you get ahead of the game. Doing so now is especially important since we are gearing-up for holiday shopping. Don’t get left in the dust.
2017 Holiday Sales Outlook
Retailers should feel positive about the upcoming holiday season. According to Salesforce, sales increased by 4 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, and non-store sales went up 12.6 percent. As you can probably surmise, mobile sales are becoming more popular, and 2017 looks to be no different. Artificial intelligence (AI), and analytics are helping retailers predict customer behavior, and allowing them to figure out what products are popular with shoppers.
By now, most of us have heard about Cyber Monday. While Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is meant for in-store holiday deals, Cyber Monday gives everyone the opportunity to shop online in the convenience of your own home. According to Fortune, 2016 was a big year for online holiday shopping. During the last two months of the year, sales reached $91.7 billion, which is up 11 percent (from $82.5 billion) compared to 2015.
Last year’s holiday season also showed other changes with Cyber Monday becoming the biggest online-shopping day in history. It generated $3.45 billion on just that day, which is up 12 percent from 2015.
The given information shows a shift in how people shop. Indeed, online shopping has caused typical “brick and mortar” stores to close down, and companies are shifting focus to an online presence. Marketers who pay attention to the data, and numbers, should have a good holiday shopping season.
Optimizing your business for mobile isn't just about having a mobile friendly site, it also requires you to take advantage of all the features these devices offer and seamlessly integrate them into the customer experience. Push notifications are an excellent way to let your customers know what is on sale in your stores. The consumer feels valued when they land a deal and are more likely to be repeat customers even after the holiday sales.
Social Media Shopping Is on the Rise
Not only do people use their mobile devices to do their holiday shopping. They often will specifically use social media. Digilant Media Buying Agency predicts that one-third of Americans will be influenced by social media this year. Yet, retailer response time has been low. Brands and retailers need to open themselves up to all platforms that customers use. Social media customer service should be higher on every company’s list. After all, the shopping tide has turned toward social media, and interacting with the customer directly on the platform will get you a big increase in business.
Be on Multiple Channels
Your consumers likely utilize multiple channels so why not follow suit. While you shouldn't run yourself ragged trying to market on every channel, you should narrow it down to the most important ones: 2-3 social media platforms, email marketing, mobile, SEO and content marketing. More than any other day, the holidays are a great time to be aggressive in your marketing approach if you want to ensure strong conversions.
While the holiday season can be stressful on both retailers and consumers, don't let it get you down. Have fun with your marketing tactics and don't be afraid to get creative and try new things. At the end of the day, your holiday message should be one that instills positive emotions in your consumers and yourself.
About the Author:
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com.