Get yourself and your online store ready for the Holiday Season

Having an online business always has its ups and downs; there are times where business is slow and also times that it’s swift. But business sales increase the most during holiday season, where mostly customers received their salaries, bonuses and cash gifts, and they tend to spend it on buying stuffs they want online. Based on research, a few retailers make up to 40% of their annually income within the final quarter alone.

Being pre-occupied by running your ecommerce business in finding ways to gain more customers, you tend to forget about the incoming holiday season, where you should prepare the most, like making promotions and new digital ads to attract and gain new customers.

Planning ahead is the key to having a prosperous year as an online retailer. You should be prepared and ready at all times.

You should keep in mind, that you should embrace positivity and be equipped on having this business you should be up for what is coming ahead, to be ready for this upcoming holiday.

Let's start the ball rolling!

The Importance of Being Prepared and Planning Ahead on a Holiday Season

Everybody is fully aware of what holiday can do to your sales, because it is the season on where sales increase the most, which is the last quarter of the year. It is the most important season to those retailers. There are still a few months left to be able to get ready and reach high ranks on your yearly target, to release new products and put up those old inventories on sale to be able to clear them out.

Planning on this holiday, you have to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready. Because the process is not that simple, there are steps and rules that should be followed. Every day you’re always in a hurry, everything must be thoroughly checked and planned, like on your marketing, managing, shipping and providing great customer service. You should not miss any important holidays in order to avoid the downside on business.

Mentioned below are the Holidays spent this year:

  • St. Patricks Day
  • Easter 
  • April Fools
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day 
  • Independence Day

As an online retailer, there are times where you miss some important holidays which is okay and normal especially if you’re only new in this field of business. But you should raise you heads up and learn from your mistakes, it’s best to always plan ahead and start earlier.

The Right Time to be Prepared

Mostly costumers also plan ahead of time in buying presents or stuffs for their selves, they search things up in online the things they want to purchase earlier than the time they are going to purchase it, which can be seen in Google Trends. This is a good lesson for us to always plan ahead, to be able to cater the possible needs of possible customers, you should start now.

Upcoming Holiday Dates

Mark your calendars on the upcoming Holidays

Holidays are everywhere; mostly it is on the last quarter of the year. It /is best for you to familiarize and keep in mind the important holidays that you think suits well on your business, in where many customers would purchase on that holiday.

If there are major holidays there are also non-official holidays that also are important. This includes:

  • Green Monday - December 9th – Green Monday is the final Monday earlier to Christmas and is ordinarily the shipping cut-off for most postal outlets to induce standard dispatched bundles to clients sometime recently Christmas
  • Free Shipping Day - December 22nd – Free Shipping Day is a one-day occasion held yearly in mid-December (this year it is December 18th).  Sellers are encouraged to offer free shipping with ensured conveyance sometime recently Christmas. You'll sign up to be recorded as a member of Free Shipping Day here.
  • Super Saturday - December 22nd – Super Saturday is the final Saturday before Christmas, a major day of income for American retailers, checking the conclusion of the shopping season they and numerous clients accept starts on Dark Friday. Super Saturday targets last-minute customers. Ordinarily, the day is ridden with one-day deals in an exertion to gather more income than any other day within the Christmas and occasion season. 

As you have noticed, there are a lot of Holidays that online retailers can participate in, especially on the months of November and December.

Tips on how to Prepare for the Holidays

Being able to finally internalize the importance of planning for the holidays is a good reason to get started on being well-organized, equipped and prepared.  There are brilliant marketing campaigns that can supercharge your holiday sales. Earlier than you start executing on campaigns, you want to start by way of making plans some important components. Here’s what ought to be accomplished to be able to be on top of everybody and to thoroughly plan for the upcoming holiday.

Stated below are the plans you must apply: 

1. Choose those Holidays that would suit with your products sales

Choosing which holiday your store would suite well that you think will increase sales is the first step. Like mentioned earlier, there are a few sorts of holiday almost every week within the final two months of the year. It would be stressful and will give a hand full of responsibilities if you participate in every holiday, so it is best to choose wisely on what holiday to participate in. 

Doing a major holiday promotion, it is best to choose two or three to tackle. For example, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, especially if it is your first time.

2. Be organized with the help of a promotional calendar

If you have finally chosen what holiday you will be going to participate, you should start doing an outline of your next step. Despite the busy schedule and overloaded tasks, you still have to be well-organized in order to reach your goal. 

In order to plan out the steps that are necessary to execute your campaigns, you need to have a promotional calendar. Promotional calendar helps you stay organized and to keep in track on your schedules to plan sales and promotions on holidays. In setting up a promotional calendar, you must add things such:

  • Dates and times you'll upgrade the illustrations and standards on your site  
  • Dates and times of your limited time mail deployment 
  • Dates you will halt publicizing for each promotion

Instead of randomly taking of notes from your phone or any of your notebooks. It would be easier and simpler to create a promotional calendar, you can either have it printed or have it on your phone like a Google Calendar which will definitely keep you an easier job.

3. Expand your payment options and have your return policy open

In running a business, it is expected to have customers who would seek a return or exchange on their item.  With this, it’s best for you to think and analyse if it is best for you to consider changing some of your policies in order to accommodate your customers concerns. You should weigh things if it’s would help you increase your sales and on how it would affect your business and how you originally plan things and the actual processes. 

Moreover, maybe changing policies and adding additional payment options would benefit your business. There are now new ways of method of payment that many possible customers are using. You should think if your inline business could benefit from this. If ever implementing this method of payments it would lead you to welcoming visitors and possible customers that use these methods of payments.

4. Choose the best ad channels for your business 

All businesses must be able to create ads that should gain attention to all online visitors, advertisements are very crucial yet important in order to attract possible customers. Creating advertisements should be well thought out, to avoid unwanted scenarios. In preparing holiday promotions you must have to be equipped in having the right marketing needs and materials. Marketing campaigns is a step-by-step process that should be done well; you should not miss any step-in order to achieve your goal. That is why it’s best for you to plan for this ahead of time.

There are few advertising channels that will be a huge help for you in where you should post your ads. There are the six most outlined popular advertising channels:

Post it on your Blog posts- Being able to post on a blog allows you to share information about your business and its services, it would be a huge help of attracting online visitors and possible customers especially on holiday season on where people are usually surfing online looking for potential products or services that they would want to purchase that you might be selling. Blog posts helps you promote your business and helps to make it more credible and approachable for people to purchase and connect with you.

  • Email Marketing- This is the key to have the best sources of traffic and best ROI (Return of Investment). There is a great possibility that there will be increase of traffic and garnering sales that will be higher than others channels if you just try to borrow and improve existing customer database. Moreover, you should check and apply on your database on what the customer prefers and what is mostly purchased to be able to increase sales when publicizing your campaigns.
  • Pay-Per Click (Google AdWords)- It’s best to use Google AdWords in the pay-per-click advertising in your holiday promotions. People especially online retailers surf on the internet scrolling to best deals that they can see, it’s better to use catchy phrases and strong words to tempt potential customers.
  • Facebook Ads- Facebook is one of the most popular online application, many people are always scrolling through Facebook, which is a great opportunity for you to promote and put your advertisement. Indeed, in case you've got never used Facebook Advertisements before you'll be able to be up and running in less than 30 minutes.
  • Social Media-Many people are always paying attention on social media, especially on a holiday; they are searching for great deals and promotions for them to purchase as gifts or just to treat themselves. It’s a good idea to grab this opportunity in publicizing your promotions.
  • Retargeting- This will let you show your online promotions to those people who have already visited/checked your site. This is one of the most useful and effective way in advertising especially during the holiday season.

Be ready and prepared

It is important for you to have time management, especially when you’re loaded with tasks. Especially in a holiday season, this is usually on November and December. You need to keep your tasks aligned and you have to be prepared in making your promotional calendar. 

There are things that you have to prepare. Stated below are the key components to have a successful online campaign

Emails- You know how easy writing an email can be, you just have to create what your message is and send it right away the person you are going to send it with just one click. You have to create your promotion that is concise and would your receiver want to purchase what you are advertising or promoting. You have to plan it out well because once you send your email there’s no longer taking it back or unsent it. You must choose or well whom to send your emails to increase effectively.

Tip:  It’s more effective and easier to use a tool named Klaviyo in preparing your email efforts over the holiday.

  • Ad Copy- It takes up time and energy when writing strong and creative ads. It will need you to exert more effort in creating catchy lines and sentences that would make people get interested in your business. So, if you don’t want to fail and have a very rough time, it’s better that you start making early. 
  • Blog Content-It’s best to write your blog earlier, so that you have to write something that is wonderful and effective in catching people’s attention. With so many things going on, making a blog would no longer be your priority. So, start while there’s still not much going on. Posting blogs before any other marketing initiatives would make it Google pick yours up and attract traffic.
  • Landing Pages- It’s hard to have a conversation with random people, but with landing pages it will help increase your conversation rate and sales during the holiday season. You should consider making separate landing pages for your ads. With HitMe, it will just be very easy to create a new collection for each promotion.
  • Design and Graphics- Creating visual content is very useful to relay your message to your audience in a very attractive way. Design and graphics will help you increase your promotional rates and keep your campaigns smooth and consistent.  It will help people easily understand what you are trying to promote, but creating design for your work is not easy yet it needs more time and effort, so creating ahead of time would make it a lot easier for you.

Additional Tip:  You can access HitMe Experts to give you a big help in offering you great and beautiful graphic designs for your holiday promotions or sales.

Choose your path

There a lot of different methods on where to market your products and services, you could just choose one of the many social media marketing online.  In marketing you also need a bigger part which is tracking your efforts, on where it is being exerted on. Properly tracking you r efforts will lead you to weigh whether you have succeeded in your campaigns and achieve your goals.

Google Analytics or any similar analytics program will be a huge help. It might be confusing and new to you at first but in the process, it will just go along smoothly.

Google Analytics Guide for Beginners will provide you more information and idea on setting up Google Analytics for your store checkout.

Overall tracking set up guides you and gives you the necessary information on how to use campaign specific tracking to manage the results on your promotions effectively. This method uses traceable link, called a UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameter for each of your campaigns and advertising channels.

To have a far better and wider understanding and idea about setting up using UTM Parameters, go to How to Track Your Marketing Campaigns in Google Analytics.

Carry your plan

Now that we have tackled everything let's proceed to the final step which is executing or publicizing your campaign following the promotional calendar you created. After all the steps you have made to progress and have everything all planned and set, now is the time to carry out your plan. 

You should be open to changes for improvement

If you are open for changes in your promotions you will be able to improve your business and boost your sales for you to gain success, but make sure that you have already settled down with your Google Analytics and the success rate of your business.

There are few steps you don’t want to miss like auditing your campaigns performance after the holiday season. There a plenty of things to learn about running campaigns, you will be able to learn to one’s success and downfall, that will lead you to do better, strive even harder and prepare next time.

Follow all the tips to keep your online store on top

Inculcating all the steps and procedure that were tackled will be of much help for you in preparing your holiday campaigns. Make your upcoming year more blissful and successful for your business and always remember to start now, with a smile and positivity especially in engaging with a conversation with possible customers, never lose hope and do better.