From what we have seen in the past year and a half, most people prefer to shop online now and the holiday season will come earlier than usual. This is because people are afraid of shortages and are concerned that they might not be able to purchase the gifts and items they need due to shipping challenges. Taking all this into account, businesses should start preparing for the holiday season right now. Here are six things you should do or start doing right now to help your business prepare for the holiday season.
Start Stocking Up
If you sell any items that need shipping from a different country, start stocking up now. From what we saw last year, there is a chance that you will not be able to order large quantities of the items you need to sell, especially if you wait until other businesses start putting their orders in. Also, if you wait, you might end up receiving the products too late.
This means that your customers will also receive the products too late, or you might not be able to sell anything in time. Remember that the further ahead you plan, the less risk you have of encountering supply chain issues and delays down the road. In addition, the earlier you receive the products, the earlier you can ship them and the happier your customers will be.
Optimize Your E-commerce Strategy
Businesses that do not have an e-commerce strategy are going to lose out. Such a strategy calls for an e-commerce website that is ready for an influx of buyers and a well-crafted marketing strategy to go with it. Think about things like whether your website is optimized for mobile shoppers, whether its content is compelling enough, whether your products are searchable and whether the website is ranking on search engines for your target keywords. Also, check that customers can complete purchases easily no matter the device they use to shop.
If you find any issues, correct them yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. There are lots of agencies and freelancers who specialize in e-commerce strategies standing by to help you get the most out of this holiday season.
Take Advantage of Novel Advertising Strategies
When it comes to advertising channels, you can expect that everyone will be using similar business advertising strategies. You can expect email, PPC, social media, and influencer marketing to be on top of most businesses' lists. There is no problem in using these advertising strategies, but the problem is that they are going to be so saturated starting now and through the holiday season that you will be competing with so many businesses for attention.
This is the reason why it is a good idea to incorporate some novel advertising strategies, specifically audio advertising strategies. Podcasts and audio mediums have become so popular that it is almost impossible to find someone who has not listened to at least one podcast.
By creating audio ads that run on your favorite podcasts, apps, and radio stations, you will reach people through a business advertising medium that not many businesses are thinking of or have thought of before. Platforms like Decibel make it easy to create audio ads, buy ad space and reach your customers through their favorite apps and podcasts. Once you create an ad for business advertising, Decibel makes it easy to do hyperlocal targeting so your ads reach customers who are closest to your business or in a target geographic area. You also get detailed analytics and total control of your ad budget.
Plan Your Offers
Offers can help your sales immensely. To avoid rushing things, start planning your offers right now. Think about the products you would like to discount and establish profitable price points. Once you know what your offers will be, start promoting those offers. There are many ways to do so but your email newsletter and social media platforms should work well for this.
You can also push them through banner announcements on your website or push wish-lists to your customers. The aim is to get these offers in front of as many customers as possible.
You also need to start thinking about incentivizing early shopping. Incentivizing early shopping means you will not have to deal with as large of a rush once everyone starts shopping. You can provide incentives such as longer refund periods, slightly deeper discounts, or even free shipping for purchases above a certain price point.
Optimize Your Content
Most of your customers will not have the chance to experience your products before buying them. It is therefore up to you to tell them what to expect through your content. The content you add around your products, be it description or blog posts, should grab their attention and persuade them to complete a purchase.
Your product descriptions should be enticing and descriptive enough. They should use highly searchable and relevant keywords so your products can be found on search engine result pages easily. You should be using high-quality, attention-grabbing images with the right descriptions, file names, and alt tags so they can be found on search engine result pages.
Try to answer questions such as why a customer should buy the product, how they are going to use it and any other relevant questions they may have about the product. Do not forget to ensure all measurements, colors, fabrics and other product qualities are accurate.
Optimize Your Advertising
If you have been running ads or have had a marketing strategy in place for a while, this means you have enough data to help optimize your ads and marketing. Most platforms have analytics baked into them and these analytics will come in handy. Use the insights gleaned from these analytics to make decisions about which products to advertise, how to advertise, and who to target.
Take advantage of A/B testing to provide the best user and customer experience on your website and around your brand.
The shift to online shopping is real and seems permanent. When it comes to online shopping for the holidays, your business should start getting ready right now. Doing so will help you not only increase your sales but also avoid potential supply chain issues around the holidays.