With the holidays only 3 months away, many marketers are already starting to plan their strategies to attract holiday shoppers to their site.
So what can online marketers and website owners expect this holiday shopping season? Unfortunately the outlook isn’t great. A recent study released by eMarketer has some concerning figures for online retailers, including:
- 64% of people will be spending less on everyone this holiday season
- 42.7% will only buy gifts that are on sale
- Only 21.6% will be doing more shopping online
Don’t fear though, the trick will be for online retailers to look at their visitors closely and tailor a marketing plan specifically to these visitors.
I have outlined a few tips to ensure your business is ready to go:
Get organized early – Fiona Dias of GSI Commerce believes that most customers this year won’t wait for the traditional Cyber Monday sales. She suggests that savvy shoppers will start looking for bargains as early as Halloween. So make sure you advertise your best prices around this time.
Use Twitter for fast exposure to shoppers – Twitter allows retailers the opportunity to constantly put their name in front of customers with flash sales, gift ideas and answers to questions.
Check your website can handle large traffic volumes – There is nothing worse than finding a great deal online, but being unable to access the website as it has crashed under the strain of traffic. Online retailers must ensure their website can handle the pressure well before the holiday season starts. Also, go through the steps of shopping cart to ensure that it is functioning properly.
Book banner ad campaigns now – If you’ve come across a web site where you would like advertise your products and services, it’s probably best to book your space now. You may find that as it draws nearer to your intended date of launching a campaign, it will also be the same date for other merchants – ad space will be hard to get and may cost more.
Search engine marketing – You’ll need to start adding and tweaking content and optimizing now for your holiday oriented advertising pitch to start securing good positions in rankings.
Embrace mobile shopping – Did you know that Sears sold two $300,000 tractors through their mobile site last holiday season? This highlights the fact that shoppers are willing to purchase directly from their phones, so make sure you factor this into your marketing plan. The key, as suggested by Google New York’s Brian Murphy, is to deliver information, not advertising which will assist shopper when they are in a store.
Although you might not even be thinking about the holidays yet, now is the time to start planning.