The never ending hustle and bustle involved with running a company often causes entrepreneurs and other business leaders to push back preparing for the Holidays until it’s too late. This is a potentially disastrous mistake considering that many retailers and e-commerce sites make up to 40% of their annual revenue November through December alone.
Anytime spent preparing now will pay off this holiday season. Here are a few areas of focus to ensure you claim a piece of the $620 billion consumers will be spending on their loved ones this year.
Fine Tune Your Mobile Experience
Both Amazon and Target recently announced that 60% of their 2014 Q4 purchases were made via mobile and that they foresee it as only going up this year. In fact 45% of all 2014 holiday traffic was done on mobile devices. Brands without a smooth mobile experience are vulnerable to frustrated customers and lost sales. Simplify your sites layout as much as possible, reduce unnecessary text and avoid using Java or Flash. Conduct some usability testing prior to Q4; you might be surprised how ease-of-use affects purchasing decisions. If you have an online store we suggest creating your own app for easy conversions.
Build Buzz with PR
Positive editorial coverage is an essential way to drive sales during the Holiday season. However, PR can’t be turned over in a day. Most major print publications close out their gift guides by August and online outlets are always taking notes for their annual online guides. Now is the time to start seeding product samples to impactful media so you can beat out the competition for those coveted gift guide spots.
Participate in a Holiday Media Event
With most holiday gift guide editorial teams already assembled, our agency will be heading up to New York City on June 18 for our annual Holiday Showcase. We will demonstrate new gear for the holiday season to 200 top editors, providing an excellent opportunity for them to start vetting the latest gift ideas well before deadline. You can also participate in CE Week, IFA or The Luxury Technology Show to help drum up early exposure
Test Your Holiday Line Up
You want to be sure to stock up on as much inventory as possible of products that are set be your best sellers. Take advantage of the direct communication social media provides by offering “sneak peaks” into your holiday collection. Let your customers create wish lists, vote or ‘like’ their favorite pieces or organize a few fun giveaways to see which items get the biggest response. An added bonus is that this is a great way to engage with your fan base.
Set Your Products Apart
Well-crafted product videos are a fantastic way to set your brand apart in a crowded CE world. Video marketing shows consumers that your company has a personality, demonstrates product in action and increases your online reach. Incorporating visual elements to your website and social media pages is a great way to convert customers who may be on the fence about buying your product. Studies show that 73% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if they watch a video explaining it beforehand.
Provide Incentives for Ordering Early
Now is the perfect time to start building out your promotional calendar for the rest of the year. It will keep you organized (and more importantly sane) during this critical spending period. Offering consumers things like early discount codes and free shipping are great ways to raise cash in advance of the large purchase orders you will be making. Your promo calendar should include: times for updating new graphics to your site, email deployment and the beginning and end date for each campaign.
Identify Potential Customers Now
The most effective email lists are grown, not bought. Expanding your email base takes time, being proactive about growing your list now gives you a good head start. Some of the best ways to collect emails are too offer deals to subscribers, add social sharing buttons to your employee’s web signatures, promote online contests, work with a partner website or online newsletter and add a QR code to your print collateral where people opt in to your database.