Competing Online for Holiday Customers
If Black Friday elicits images of plague riddled, rotting corpses, you weren’t born post-1975. Previously known as the day after Thanksgiving, when retail businesses strive to see their numbers in the black, you’d better start much earlier than that to get the goose. Get your team, which should include at least one solid marketing writer, prepped and loaded with these tips for guiding clients toward the holiday shoppers.
On Your Market, Get Set, Go!
Hardcore holiday shoppers start stock piling on the day after Christmas. While marketing toward the holidays all year long is bound to leave a bad taste in many mouths, you can target these efforts as soon as September with limited backlash. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2012 approximately 40 percent of holiday shopping started before Halloween. Spendthrifts want to spread out their shopping, rather than attempting to buy gifts for everyone on Black Friday and beyond. In order to provide clients with smashing online sales, you’ve got to begin planning your marketing yesterday.
Everything is going mobile these days from eBooks to viral videos. Join the bandwagon by adding mobile marketing to your clients’ holiday season plan. Encourage your clients to create mobile ready websites that allow shoppers to navigate and make purchases using mobile devices. Suggest that clients set up social media profiles targeting the holidays, such as boards on Pinterest and digital coupons on Twitter.
Capturing the Moment for Internet Phobic Clients
One way your brick-and-mortar clients can promote themselves online is to incorporate visual images through Instagram. Have clients set up an Instagram account, after which they can create a contest for customers to snap shots of their wish list of holiday gifts of items or services found in their stores. The images are posted on Instagram, and the customer who has the most “loves” will win a prize, such as a gift certificate or the item on their wish list.
Finding Strong Suits
Clients who are selling online are up against some heavy hitters including Amazon and big box stores, such as Best Buy. Customers are quick to pick those businesses that sell the cheapest item, thanks to competitive pricing tools. While your clients may find this threatening, it is your duty to help them find their strong suit. Assist your client in identifying what helps set them apart from the online competition.
Perhaps they offer personalized service, such as the ability for customers to call and speak to actual people who really do work for the business when they have an issue. Your start-up company client might be able to offer a quicker turnaround for shipping compared to competitors since they have everything they sell in a single warehouse, rather than in dozens of distributors. Maybe your client offers personalization, such as engraving or initialing, on products that arem unavailable from online box store offerings. As your clients hone into their exclusivity whether in product or service, they are better prepared for online competition for the holiday shopping season.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.