This year’s holiday season is upon us. We have already started noticing the Christmas displays going up at local stores right next to the Halloween displays. Whether you like the holidays or not, this year is going to be one for the record books…the advertising/marketing record books, that is. Online strategists have forecasted this year to be “the most connected holiday shopping season – EVER!” The Smartphone is single-handedly changing how people shop as it is becoming our own personal shopping assistant, from checking prices, and reading reviews to watching product demos and checking availability. It is no surprise that the top spending days in 2014 for in-store sales are also the days we saw the biggest spikes in shopping searches on mobile devices.
Here is an interesting fact: Last year, 78 percent of all holiday shoppers used the internet to research products prior to purchasing. More shoppers are turning to the internet to not only become educated on their purchases but to avoid the hassle of going out to actual stores and battling the crowds, and nearly 28 percent of all retail sales were influenced by shopping-related mobile searches. If you are not marketing towards these customers, you are missing a big piece of the pie, and it will only continue to grow.
Another reason to market online is because with online shopping, you often don’t need to wait until “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” to purchase your products. Forty-eight of shoppers say they made the majority of their purchases prior to these big shopping dates. 1 out of 4 said they even started making holiday purchases before Halloween. How is your business preparing to conquer this year’s online shopping season?
One way to get your business noticed among all the big box stores is by advertising within the search engines themselves. People are always searching for products that you offer, now your ad will show up for those keyword searches and sway people towards your business. We know what you may be thinking: “This type of marketing sounds expensive–since I’d be competing with the big box stores!” Don’t be scared. It is actually quite affordable–even for the smallest of budgets. Google keeps things affordable by offering your ads on a pay-per-click basis. This means you will only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it, bringing them to your website.
Another way to offer value to consumers is by posting product reviews or demos on your website / YouTube channel. As we mentioned earlier, this year’s shoppers want to be educated on their purchases. All it takes is a quick video to show how a product works, how it is assembled, or even a review to hook new customers. A little perk of YouTube is that it is owned by Google and is rated #2 in search engines. Go figure!
The last way to gain exposure this holiday season online is by ramping up your social media presence. Shoppers always want to show off and brag about the deals they came across. With a social media presence, your business will now be searchable to those people. Your business will also be able to inform followers of exclusive deals and savings while they are holding their shopping device.
We understand the holiday season can be stressful for both consumers and businesses alike. These easy tips will assist you in growing your business all while making it fun and profitable.