The holiday season is upon us! We just celebrated Halloween, and there’s only a few weeks left till Thanksgiving Day arrives. Soon enough it will be the most joyous time of the year, when neighbourhoods will display stunning lighting, beautiful carols will float in the air, and you will hang Christmas stockings in hopes of gaining financial prosperity! Keeping the festivities and merriment aside, this time of the year is especially exciting for both ecommerce and local business owners. This is when buyers go into an overdrive and shop to their heart’s content! And you should take full advantage of that. Proper planning and the right kind of marketing will translate into sales faster than you can imagine. So, you better get started!
Online vs. Offline shopping – what do customers prefer?
Buyers today are divided into two primary groups – online shoppers and retail store customers. While the old school folks prefer going to physical stores and checking out multiple varieties of products before making purchase, the more digitally savvy crowds opt for shopping from home with just a click of the mouse! However, things do overlap sometimes when customers choose to do a digital research first and then make the final purchase from a retail store. Gone are the days when buyers would just walk into a store without any preconceived notions, and buy stuffs they like. Today’s generation is equipped with smartphones, social media and search engines, and that enables them to make well informed purchase decisions.
Modern day marketers know the importance of a strong digital presence even for local businesses. However, the majority is still unaware of how lack of online visibility is hurting their business. Considering today’s consumer behaviour, it can be said with certainty that every local business owner, digitally savvy or otherwise, should at least focus on Google My Business listings. Maintaining the business profile and updating important information is crucial. For example, if you are extending your store’s closing time for the holiday season, you need to mention that on your page so that customers, doing shopping till late can come to your store. Failing to mention that may cost you sales!
So, you would need to bring your A game on to make the full use of the holiday shopping craze. Here are few important factors that you need to remember:
SEO and its nitty-gritty details:
If you have a website, getting it optimised should be your first priority. If you haven’t been paying attention to SEO, chances are that your site is in really bad shape, which is preventing it from appearing on the top ranks of Google search results. After the onslaught of algorithm updates that the major search engine released in the past few years, many marketers and SEO experts lost their way. Today, sites need to be optimised in terms of search relevancy and user experience. Simple improvements can make a huge change. Here are few of the basic requirements that your website must meet:
- Meta descriptions
- Page titles
- Authentic product reviews
- High quality product images
- Well written product descriptions
On the other hand, if you don’t have a website, you must make up for it by having a great Google Places business page. Don’t forget to add information such as your store address, opening and closing time, and the kind of products you sell. All relevant information should be displayed on your page to give the users what they need.
Taking a mobile friendly approach:
The invention of smarthphones has given the buyers the power of choice. They are no more reliant on their desktop computers to carry out searches. Now customers can look for products online while they are on the go! In fact, mobile searches and online shopping through mobile devices have increased significantly over the past few years. This trend has changed the game for the online marketers. Google now prefers websites that are mobile friendly. Meeting these requirements may get you a ticket to the first few ranks of the search results. Creating and implementing responsive design is not a herculean task. All you have to do is upgrade your website to meet the changes.
Don’t ignore social media:
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and many more have become integral parts of online marketing. A great standing on all social media platforms gives you better online visibility. It also helps you reach a broader network of customers. Through these social media sites, you can promote your business, while letting the customers know vital information about what your company does and offers. Start by being active on these social media platforms. You can then move on to exploring various advertising options that these sites provide. Facebook, for example, offers a range of interest and demographic targeting options that help you to focus more closely on your target audience.
Paid search Ads are also there:
Want to take your online marketing efforts to the next level? Well, maybe it is time to invest in paid search! Whenever you search for a particular product or service, you will see few select companies showing on top of the page. These paid ads get a screen space that’s missing in organic search. While getting top ranking organically is a sign of hard work and great quality, paid ads give your business a sense of authority. You may have often heard marketers speak ill of PPC. To be honest, there probably isn’t a better way to gain quick recognition than implementing Pay Per Click campaigns. However, it takes a seasoned marketer and a robust strategy to make PPC work.
So, these are just some of the straight forward and utterly important factors that you need to keep in mind when looking forward to boosting sales during the festive seasons. If you want to climb the ladder of success fast enough, there are ways that will make your journey much smoother. Play smart and exploit every business opportunity that comes your way!