It seems every year, the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. It may actually be true this year since product shortages and delivery delays are still a lingering issue. 31% of U.S. consumers say they’ll begin shopping for the holidays before the end of October — well before Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals launch. So that means business owners need to step up their marketing efforts sooner rather than later. If you work with a marketing agency, now is a great time to share this blog with them and plan a meeting to go over your holiday plans. If you don’t work with an agency, here are some things you can do now and consider doing to prepare for the holiday season.
Plan The Schedule
Take a look at the calendar and decide what your holiday hours are going to be. Come fall, there are multiple holidays to consider, so plan in advance with what your business hours will be and please share them with your marketing team. Being made aware of holiday schedules can be an early gift to your marketing team.
Hours should be shared on socials and posted to your website to give shoppers a heads up. Even if you are an e-commerce business, letting your customer base know when to expect slower than usual communication or service because you are out for a holiday is best.
Additionally, taking a look at the calendar allows you to plan for when specific posts should be shared. Knowing what day the holiday falls on, all of the holidays you want to hit on and figuring out when specials should run should be a part of your plan.
Lessons Learned from Previous Holiday Seasons
If you were in business last year, it may have thrown you for a big loop because of Covid. It was an interesting holiday for business owners and marketers for sure. So take whatever lessons you learned from last year, plus the previous holiday season and consider what worked and what didn’t work.
There is no shame in repeating things that worked in the past, because they worked! Recreating a whole new marketing plan does not have to happen every single holiday season. If you were happy and successful with whatever the plan was in the past, keep with it!
However, if you want to change things up a bit, this is also a great time to put feelers out for what your customer base is looking for and interested in, or making sure you are trying your best to have popular items in stock. When everyone else is having delay or supply issues, you could be the one with super fast shipping and delivery because you planned ahead. Send out an email and ask what is going to be hot this holiday season when it comes to gift giving. What is really going to be on that list for Santa?
Don’t Miss Out
People mostly get their ideas for holiday gifts from the internet! So be sure to have your products front and center for people to research, share, and purchase. Given that 60% of early holiday shoppers say they consider purchasing items recommended to them while shopping online, much of this year’s holiday purchasing could be impacted by brands’ and influencers’ holiday content on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
Social media is a great way to share your products and services so think of creative ways to let people know about your business so they are interested in it early on. Don’t miss out on those early shoppers because you can really get ahead with your own goals early on because of them.
Check Your Online Presents – We Mean Presence
Now is a good time to be sure everything is still the way you want it to be on social media and the internet. What ads do you have running? Do they need changed up to meet your holiday plan and goals? How about your social media information – is it all correct still? Hours are right, contact information still goes to the correct person, and your posts are still relevant?
This is also an opportune time to tune up your website. Take a walk through it to make sure all of the links work, the information on there is up-to-date, and get all of your products situated to your liking. There is nothing worse than a potential customer visiting your website only to find a broken link or a dead end.
Be The Human Part of Your Business
We can’t stress this enough. Behind every business is a human. Customers want to know that human, so let them. Re-introduce yourself if you haven’t in a while. Give your background story, why you created this business, and what it means to you when someone makes a purchase. We all know the objective is to make money, but where does that money go? Does it go back into the community? Share how! Does it go toward something for your family? Share where you went on vacation or what activities you do. Expand your brand and make your business more than just about the product or service. Make it about the people that make it go ‘round. Do you have employees? Share about them! Show your appreciation for their work and loyalty because it is sometimes hard to come by. When you make your business human, it makes it more than just an Amazon or Walmart. People will want to buy from you over them because they know where their dollars are going.
As always, if you ever need our assistance, we will be here to help you when you need it. Good luck this holiday season!