The holiday season is upon us, and this can be your most profitable time of the year or your last chance to reach out to new consumers. And let’s face it. Yours isn’t the only business out there that’s expecting to take advantage of the busy holiday season and the revenue it will bring. With all the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, it’s more important than ever to think creatively to stay on top of the competition while keeping all your shoppers and employees safe.
If the pandemic has negatively impacted your business and you don’t know how to hit your year-end targets, don’t worry! Here, we provide you with tips on how you can boost sales, re-engage repeat customers, and explain all the retail trends. Learn all of these and other tips, while keeping your employees and customers safe and minimizing virus transmission within your premises.
First, Know Your Goals
You won’t know what you need to do for the holiday season without identifying your goals first. Set a meeting with your trusted employees and develop goals to hit different targets along the way. Ask your employees about their experiences and what they noticed last year during the holiday season. List down suggestions about the things that had failed and worked successfully to draw conclusions and develop strategies for this year’s holiday. You also have to define your goals. List the things you want to achieve, whether those are for revenue, customer engagement, and social media following.
To prepare your business and for you to maximize the holiday revenue, start planning your goals now. Early planning is the key to boosting your profits as you head into the final months of the year and get the chance to have a happy and prosperous New Year!
Move Your Business Online
Many people have moved much of their lives online in 2020 due to the pandemic. For retailers or brick and mortar businesses, that means having the capability to sell online to gain more revenues and stay on top of the market.
Here are some key points about why you should move your business online.
- According to the Visa Back to Business Study – Holiday Edition, nearly seven in ten small businesses see the winter holiday season as a top sales opportunity for their business.
- According to Salesforce, sales could grow 30% this year.
- According to Visa, 60% of Americans will do the majority of their shopping with local retailers this year.
- According to Deloitte, experts expect holiday retail sales to increase this year between 1% and 1.5%, amounting to between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion from November to January.
- Small businesses need to have a strong digital plan to gain more customers.
Take these statistics into consideration and start planning how you can move your business online before the holiday kicks off.
Staying organized is important, especially during busy times to stay on top of your game. So, what can you do ahead to make sure everything is in order?
Offer products that your customers will want. Look at last year’s sales to identify the products that resonated best with customers and other items that didn’t.
When you already have an output about what’s best to stock up, order early to help the suppliers get the product to you in time for the holidays. This will also help you to avoid rush shipping charges and meet your customers’ needs with ease.
Review current strategies and policies.
Check new policies, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, to counteract any holiday season-related hiccups. Review all of your policies concerning returns and shipping, especially on areas that may require many days to ship.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Is your marketing ready for this holiday season?
Strategizing in anticipation of this time of the year is a great idea to help your business stand out among others. Here are some guidelines to attract all of those holiday shoppers using a good marketing strategy.
Have a shopping website.
If you don’t have a website, this is the time to create one. According to eMarketer, online holiday shopping increased by 13.2% in 2019 to $137.6 billion. That number is expected to grow significantly, especially this 2020 holiday season due to the pandemic. Also, make sure your site is mobile-friendly as 44% of all holiday e-commerce sales in 2020 come from mobile users. Then, give your customers valuable website content. Come up with holiday content that relates to your business. You can research holiday trends, conduct surveys, or ask your employees to create content that is interesting and relevant. Also, make sure to add holiday elements on your site to mirror the festive atmosphere.
Create social media accounts.
Social media makes it the perfect place to try out new holiday marketing efforts to promote your brand. You can promote sales and events on these platforms to reach out to new consumers. Make sure to reflect the festivities by creating a holiday ambiance on your social media pages. Always post holiday-created content and holiday-themed photos of your products to keep your customers engaged.
Use an email campaign.
Email marketing still proves to be one of the most effective ways to connect with existing customers and reengage inactive customers. Send your customers a holiday email greeting, provide early access to a sale, or an invitation to a special event. Through this, you can also create a promotion that offers discounts or a referral program in exchange for an email address to build an email list and expand your customer base.
Identify the trends for this year and see what people are searching for related to your business and the holidays. Update your website SEO to maximize your search ranking.
- Use keywords like seasonal, holiday deals, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and gifts to your website content, and other holiday keywords related to your business.
- Optimize for local search.
- Post updated business info, such as the address, phone numbers, and business hours, including any special holiday hours.
This 2020, more and more customers are shopping online due to the pandemic. So it’s important to make sure your website is running smoothly and is ready to handle new customers. Now is the perfect time to give your business website an upgrade to prepare it for the busy holiday season.
Can users easily find your most popular products or services? Is it user-friendly? Does the checkout work smoothly? Those are just some elements you need to check to make sure your website can accommodate all the holiday sales.
Set a time to check any bugs. Don’t forget to double-check all payment processing to avoid losing potential revenues. Make sure your merchant credit processing will have no issues. Then, update your website with all the necessary holiday information, including holiday hours, shipping, returns, and special pricing.
Here are some major 2020 online shopping days you should take advantage of and prepare for as a business owner.
November 26: Thanksgiving Day. Last year’s online spending on Thanksgiving Day was $4.2 billion, from $3.7 billion in 2018.
November 27: Black Friday. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. On this day, many retailers offer extended shopping hours and one-day sales, so you can also plan one. In 2019, online shoppers spent $7.2 billion on Black Friday, from $6.2 billion in 2018.
November 28: Small Business Saturday. American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 to inspire consumers to patronize local businesses. In 2019, the sales on this day generated $3.6 billion in online sales, up from $3 billion in 2018.
November 30: Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving. It was created in 2005 and has grown to be the biggest online sales day of the year. Last year, online sales on Cyber Monday were $9.4 billion, up by 19.7%.
December 14: Free Shipping Day. Free shipping day started in 2008. It is a one-day promotional event with more than 1,000 participating online retailers offering free shipping, with no minimum order and delivery guaranteed by Christmas Eve. You can also register your business and participate in this event to attract more consumers.
Don’t forget to take note of these important dates, so you can plan your strategies.
Take Care of Your Employees
Holidays are typically a time for companies to show appreciation for their employees. But with the pandemic and all the social distancing guidelines imposed by the government, it will be impossible for organizations to throw a traditional party.
But there are still ways on how you can take care of and show appreciation to your employees. Keep your employees safe and help them feel good about the holidays by planning carefully.
First, start developing a schedule for your staff, especially if your business will require additional holiday hours. You can plan a skeletal workforce or give incentives for your employees to work overtime to make sure you will not be short-staffed. You can offer monetary incentives or an additional paid day off after the holidays.
You can also plan office holiday traditions with a more updated version to encourage your employees to come together as a team, especially during stressful and busy times. Put decors on your office spaces that will reflect your staff members’ diverse traditions and heritages. You can also plan out a party with extra safety precautions, or maybe a virtual one. Ask them what they want, even if you have to delay the celebration until January.
Talk About Safety
This year’s holiday season may be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that should not hinder us from celebrating our traditions. And that should apply to your business, too, since this will be your chance to drive your revenue. You can do that by updating your policies and implementing safety protocols.
Safety concerns remain the most important factors for some consumers, especially for businesses that have in-person interactions. Keep all your employees and customers safe by:
- Implementing extra cleaning and disinfection
- Putting social distancing guidelines around your business
- Creating an option for private shopping
- Providing paperless options for invoicing and payment
- Contactless delivery and pickup
- Staying updated on all current policies
- Securing all the permits, especially for COVID-19 safety implementation
Make sure you and your employees are prepared to keep your store safe and hazard-free.
Don’t Forget About Self-Care
It’s easy to get so caught up in worrying about your business and forgetting to take care of yourselves. But you should realize that this can affect your health and eventually your business.
Take some time to decompress. Delegate some tasks to your trusted employees to lessen your burden. You can also take a day or two before you tackle all the holiday tasks to get yourself ready and rejuvenate.
The holiday season is always crucial, especially for retailers, since this will be a wonderful opportunity to drive sales. There are many holiday marketing strategy ideas out there, but regardless of which ones you implement, make sure to prepare, plan out, test, and track everything to have a smooth holiday experience.
And after all those hours of preparing for the holidays, you should not forget to celebrate the Christmas season. This is our chance to relieve all our stress caused by the pandemic. So, remember to have a good time and encourage your staff to do so as well.
Are you already feeling overwhelmed by the holiday season? Proweaver, Inc. has other tips for you to keep your business on the go this season despite the crisis. We have professionals who are committed to helping many businesses as much as we can.
Feel free to explore our website to browse more helpful blogs, or contact us at +1 (800) 988-3769.