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.

HOLIDAY SEASON MARKETING MISTAKES TO AVOID

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.

BUSINESS MARKETING TIPS FOR THIS YEAR’S HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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.