How to Get Your Business Ready For the 2018 Holiday Shopping Season

Are you ready for this year’s holiday shopping season? The holiday season can be a lucrative season for your business if you are prepared for the holidays and know how to work this biggest shopping season in your favour. In case you want to prepare your business for the coming holiday shopping season, check out this essential guide that will set you on the path to success this winter.


Before we get into some creative marketing ideas and other tips to help you this season, it’s essential to go over some of the most common business mistakes made during the holiday season, so that you know how to avoid them.

#1 Avoid: waiting until too long to begin your campaign

For most consumers, holiday shopping begins towards the last week of November. This means that if you wait until mid-December to really get your holiday marketing going, you will be losing out on a significant amount of sales. You can ensure your campaign starts earlier by preparing marketing content ahead of time instead of leaving it to the last minute.

#2 Avoid: slacking on social media interactions

Social media is one of the hottest places to market right now, and this holds true for holiday shopping. It’s easy to slack off on your company social media during the holiday hustle and bustle, but you need to remember to keep up a strong marketing campaign on the social media front. It may be best to have a dedicated staff member or specific working hours to work your social media during the busier seasons.

#3 Avoid: Being too gimmicky

The holiday shopping season is one of those times of the year when gimmicks aren’t quite as ridiculous as they would be any other month but, as a business owner, you need to avoid crossing that threshold that will turn a fun gimmick into something off-putting. For instance, consumers prefer that businesses avoid using holiday figures—whether they are religious or secular—as marketing stand-ins; so, advertising that Santa himself uses your products likely won’t have a warm reception.


Now that you know some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid this year, it’s time to move on to those all-important tips that will help your business shine during this holiday season.

Tip #1: Consider partnering with a charity

Consumers are more likely to give to charities during the holiday season when the spirit of gift-giving and helping others is at an all-time high. If you are a small business, making the decision to work with a local charity—such as donating a certain amount of profits to charity or setting up donation boxes or even hosting a special event such as a toy drive—can really draw in local consumers who appreciate a spirit of giving.

Tip #2: Contacting social media influencers and bloggers about your products

If you sell your products online as well as a physical storefront, you can get some significant exposure if your product is featured on a “best gifts of 2018” blog post, social media post or even a YouTube video. To do this, you will need to look for relevant social media influencers and send them a message asking if they would be interested in reviewing or featuring your products.

Tip #3: Encourage user-generated content from buyers

User-generated content, or UGC, is content generated by consumers that act as indirect marketing through social media popularity and exposure. For instance, every year Starbucks encourages user-generated content with its now-iconic line of holiday cups; people are encouraged to post photos of their holiday cups on social media, which in turn helps drive more sales. User-generated content is especially useful if your products have some sort of noticeable brand aesthetic, such as a unique logo or tag that will help other users immediately identify the brand being posted about.

Tip #4: Decorate for the holidays

Consumers feel encouraged to shop and buy more when stores—both physical stores and online websites—are decked out for the holidays. Holiday decorations encourage a holiday shopping state of mind, which can help increase the number of purchases made by customers. Just remember to keep the decorations tasteful and straightforward; for websites, you can even feature holiday specials—such as discounts or special products—prominently on the landing page.

Tip #5: Host a giveaway

One of the best ways to attract consumers is to offer them the chance to win something for free. Giveaways are a great way to get yourself noticed on social media, and people who join giveaways are more likely to spend a moment than checking out your business’s website. And as you know, every click on your website is a potential sale, so a giveaway could potentially mean dozens or even hundreds of more sales than usual.

Tip #6: Keep sales going as long as possible through Christmas

It’s a mistake to think that the holiday shopping season ends the day before Christmas—or even on Christmas day. There are plenty of people who will be looking for last minute presents, especially if you have a physical storefront that people can run into to buy a gift for a Christmas Eve party or unexpected guest coming to Christmas dinner. If you are online only, don’t forget—people may still purchase presents that will arrive after the holiday season.


The holiday shopping season can bring in plenty of profits if you know how to market to consumers most effectively and attractively. Yet if you really want your sales to soar this holiday season really, you need to hire a professional marketing agency to take your marketing to the next level. A professional marketing agency will be able to carry out advanced marketing techniques that can help alter your holiday shopping season performance forever.

How to Plan a Seasonal Marketing Campaign

For any business, big or small, underestimating the importance of a seasonal marketing campaign can be a huge mistake. It is imperative to realize that an effective seasonal marketing campaign can not only increase your brand awareness but also make the bulk of your revenue.

Do you want to know about the most effective seasonal marketing tips and promotional ideas for the holiday season? If yes, then keep on reading!

Understand that the premise of an effective seasonal marketing campaign is to manufacture and provide content to the consumers that are both relevant and valuable in a time that matters. Given that this is the peak time for seasonal marketing for big events, it carries enormous opportunities for your business to drive more sales.

There is no denying that it takes a lot of time to plan an effective seasonal campaign and that’s why the majority of small businesses miss the opportunities and do not make the best of them. So, the main question is how one can plan a seasonal marketing campaign and take the most advantage of the given opportunity. Here is how you can plan a successful seasonal marketing campaign:

Step-By-Step Guide on Planning a Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Step #1: Pre-Planning Gives You an Edge over Your Competitors

Although a seasonal marketing campaign can be planned just before your annual opportunity, if you really want to take an edge over your competitors then start planning at least 2-3 months in advance. It gives you ample time to fully evaluate the whole market and come up with a unique, effective marketing campaign strategy.

Step #2: Determine the Goals of Your Campaign

This is a very crucial step because it helps in defining the direction of your campaign. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can plan accordingly. Therefore, ask yourself about the primary purpose of your marketing campaign, e.g. more revenue, leads, subscribers or something else. You can use the answer to create your campaign goals. However, make sure that your goals must be achievable, quantifiable, and time-bound.

Step #3: Determine Your Target Audience

Think of it like going on a vacation with all the information and pre-planning. It is obvious that you’ll gather some information before heading out. That being said, you cannot plan a seasonal marketing campaign without determining your target audience. For this, you’ll have to figure out whether you want to expand your reach or incentivize repeat customers and increase brand loyalty.

If you want to expand your reach then it is essential you start making a lookalike audience of people who currently use your products/services. Once you pinpoint why your current customers prefer to use your product/services, you can definitely strategize the campaign according to the strengths of your business.

Step #4: Be Creative but Also Do Some Research Similar Campaigns

Once you have determined your goals and audience, the next important step is to do some creative thinking and also do some research on similar campaigns. The reason why it is essential for you to do some creative thinking is that an original idea can help you achieve a lot of success. Doing research on similar campaigns is also highly recommended because it shows you how a seasonal marketing campaign is approached with the right content format, messaging, distribution, and emotion.

Step #5: Look for a Perfect Call-to-action

For a successful seasonal marketing campaign, you need to make a perfect call-to-action that can be for various reasons, e.g. engaging your customers, asking for information or driving more sales. Two of the key ingredients of an effective call-to-action are providing more value and sending a message in a more precise, clear way.

Step #6: Establish a Schedule and Follow It

When it comes to seasonal marketing campaigns, one of the most important factors to consider is timing. Many businesses either don’t establish a schedule or don’t follow it even if they create one. This means that you have to plan in advance for the upcoming events and execute those plans accordingly. In a nutshell, establishing a schedule means having everything prepared before the big events and executing the plans without any delay.

Step #7: Review Your Marketing Campaign and Adjust If Needed

Not everything goes as planned, right? What is your plan B or C if plan A doesn’t work? You need to be ready and make sure you closely monitor your marketing campaign. As you keep an eye on everything, you can make necessary changes in the campaign to enhance its performance. Needless to say, you cannot stick to just one strategy; you need to adjust your strategy accordingly.

Step #8: Hire a Professional Marketing Agency

If your previous seasonal marketing campaigns didn’t do well or you believe that you don’t have the expertise or time to create a good marketing campaign, the best and highly recommended option for you is to hire a professional marketing agency. Hiring a professional marketing firm has its own advantages. One of the most obvious advantages is the experience that these marketing firms bring with them. They not only bring a new perspective or save you a lot of your money, but they also have more technological know-how. Therefore, it is recommended to consider this option because it can really increase your chances of getting more out of your seasonal marketing campaign.

Seasonal Marketing Tips and Promotional Ideas for Holiday Season

Now that you have planned your seasonal marketing campaign, the next step is executing it. There are some really amazing seasonal marketing tips and promotional ideas for holiday season.

  • Create unique, quality seasonal content
  • Make content that provides value to the consumers (providing more value to the consumers increases your sales and brand awareness)
  • Use photo contests to promote your product/service; it can also be used to increase your brand awareness
  • Offer free samples
  • Go with the “limited-time offer” technique
  • Use social media for seasonal posts and ads

The Bottom Line

Well, now it can be expected that you can make the best out of the seasonal marketing tips and promotional ideas for holiday season. Make sure that you take a head start over your competitors by either planning a seasonal marketing campaign yourself or by hiring a professional marketing agency. Needless to say, planning the campaign cannot be a big problem if you follow the aforementioned tips.

Benefits of using chatbots for your business

Would it not be so helpful if a virtual robot works for you round the clock? Would you not be happy if most of your business duties are made more accessible and less hectic?   Chatbots are your wonderful business companion that will make life easy for you on your website.

Chatbots are a solution to myriads of problems faced by many businesses in these modern days. The main idea behind the introduction of chatbots is to support and scale businesses intending to improve their relationship with customers. That is, chatbots bring business teams closer to their customers. They can even schedule appointments and enhance customer service.

The idea of chatbots might be viewed as a futuristic one but, as stated by the Global Web Index Statistics, 75% of internet users utilize one or more messenger platform; thus, increasing the chances of success of this innovative idea.  However, research has shown that each internet user launches 24 applications in a month.  And it has also been discovered that among the 24 applications, they spend most of their time on just 5 apps. The most common apps are Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc.  This development makes it hard for chatbots to succeed as an application. The best alternative is to integrate the chatbots into one of these most visited messenger platforms.

Here are some benefits that you stand to gain when you introduce chatbot technology into your business website.

  • Chatbots are readily available round the clock

One great advantage of chatbots is that it is readily available 24/7. It is a frustrating experience when you have to wait for a long time listening to music before a customer service agent could speak to you. On the average, customers spend about 7 mins before they are assigned to a customer representative that will attend to their request.  Those days of waiting for the next free customer care agent are being phased out.  Chatbots are fast replacing live chats and other means of contacts like phone calls and emails on many websites and now provide a more natural way to schedule appointments or even function as feedback bots.


  • Chatbots help you save money

As a business owner, you will surely employ staffs, and you have to pay them for their services. You will discover that the more the business expands, the more the staff requirement and automatically the more your human resource expenses. These growing expenses can be reduced by the introduction of chatbots. Chatbots are profitable investments that allow business owners to reduce the number of staffs without any attendant effect.

A simple way is by integrating chatbot into your customer service section of your website to respond to simple queries of customers while the staff handles the complex ones.


  • Chatbot can be made to do repetitive work perfectly

There is bound to be errors if a staff is made to do the same task over and over again. The failure might result from boredom or over-familiarity with the task.  Chatbots can be programmed to do repetitive tasks without any problem.  They can be of help with tasks that are needed often and at a particular time. Their introduction helps save useful time thereby increasing productivity.


  • Chatbots handle customers professionally

There are limits to what humans can do at the same time.  According to a study, it has been discovered that a human being is capable of handling only 3-4 task at a time. Errors are bound to set in if it goes beyond that.  Unlike humans, chatbots are capable of handling thousands of conversations simultaneously.  Irrespective of the time of the day or the number of people contacting, chatbots will respond instantly and satisfactorily to every question.


  • Chatbots give total customer satisfaction

This is another great benefit of using chatbots for your business. They are not humans that react based on their present emotion or mood. An agent that is not in a happy or good mood will not attend to customers in a good way thereby leaving the customer unsatisfied.  Chatbots do not respond to customers based on their mood, they do what they are programmed to deliver.  They always treat customers most humbly and politely no matter the attitude of the customer.  A bot can be trained to speak with customers in their own language in case of hospitality industries where travellers may not speak the same language.


  • Chatbots help in targeting a wide range of Audience

Chatbots are an avenue to reach a wider audience through integration into popular messaging platforms like Slack, Telegram, Skype, Facebook messengers and the likes. Such a combination will make it easier for business and organization to target a wider audience thereby growing their popularity and customer base.


  • Chatbots help business owners perform surveys

A survey is one of the most tedious tasks to perform, and most of the survey attempts through emails and websites remain unsuccessful. This is because the audience lacks interest. Some reasons include lack of time, lack of motivation and many more.  A survey can be achieved by engaging feedback bots as they do their study simultaneously as they engage customers in conversation. They also work on social media websites to help you to collect data from many sectors.


  • Chatbots make Push Notification more noticeable and relevant

Push notifications are a more effective way of communication than emails. But, it has been discovered that most times, information does not catch the attention of the target audience.  This is mainly due to the fact that most online users see them as irrelevant and consider it a waste of time or distraction.  Chatbots are a practical solution to this problem.  They can be used to make interactive notifications that increase customer engagement and improve customer service quality and ratings.

Chatbots are fast becoming part of today’s business landscape and are proving that they are bringing more functionality and productivity to companies.