Time to Get Ready for the Holidays!

A few days ago I got an e-mail from Practical eCommerce with a Bronto White Paper attached titled, The Top Twelve Marketing Tips for the Holidays. Then I started thinking about how rushed we all get around the holidays and of our unheeded vows year after year to start preparing early. Yes, it is July…but we need to start preparing NOW!

Then I started thinking about how I could take these twelve tips and apply them to how we could help our customers.  If you start now you will be ahead of the game. You can be assured that your competitors are already planning!

The tip I am most excited about is Mobile Opportunities. I know that I will be spending way more money than is in my budget because my smart phone is rarely more than two feet away and I can pick it up anytime and spend away. I am so good throughout the year (yeah…right!) that I can grant myself this one guilty pleasure.

Before starting on your Holiday Blitz, a great deal of planning and preparation is needed:

  • What worked/didn’t work last year
  • Are there trends for, day of week or time of day that you see your strongest sales?  – Launch your best promotions in conjunction with these times.
  • Create a “Holiday Emergency Contact List” of everyone involved in keeping your site going
  • Do you have enough stock…can you let people know when an item will be available if it is out of stock?
  • Ensure that your website is coordinated with your emails
  • If your site isn’t ready with the features you need, call us to redesign or add features

Here are the 12 tips:

Write an Email Production and Crisis Management Plan

  • Use a strong subject line.  Best to have 15 characters or less.
  • Featured products.  Promote the hot items that will sell.
  • New Banners and some redesign of your site can help here. Let your emails have a similar holiday feel
  • Feature your promotions in the email as well as on your site.
  • Ensure that you do not leave out the high price point shoppers…Tis the season for a bit more extravagance.

Maximize the Footer

  • Use the footers of your emails and site to provide additional opportunities.
  • Use the footers for shipping deadlines

Re-mail Strategically

  • The frequency of emails can result in increased revenues, but it can also increase complaints and un-subscription rates. Be sure to segment your subscribers who wish to be engaged.
  • Ask customers if they want to opt-in for special holiday promotions

Launch a Countdown Promotion

  • Deal of the Day – feature a single product with a significant discount
  • Countdown Promotions – Similar to a Deal of the Day, but with more urgency

Offer a Flash Sale

  • Promote limited time offers during peak mailing seasons
  • Don’t forget to accommodate all time zones of your customer base

Streamline Social

  • Get the “Like” and give a discount/free shipping/free item
  • Include comments from other followers (with their permission)

Identify Mobile Opportunities

  • The possibilities are endless… from scanning products in-store to social interaction like FourSquare check-ins
  • Social and Email: Give the customer a chance to shop from their purse or back pocket
  • SMS Coupons: Can be used in Brick and Mortar stores or your online store. No need to cut and carry around coupons. They are right in your Smart Phone!
  • Lines too long in the Brick and Mortar store??? No Problem! Order on your Smart Phone

Solidify Segmentation Strategy

  • Who are my best customers? Introduce special offers for your VIP customers.
  • What did customers buy last year? There are some products that people like to send out year after year. Utilize these items as main product shots to drive repeat purchases this year

Send Holiday Cards

  • Take time to say thank you to your customers – it can be promotional or non-promotional
  • Send out a card on Christmas Day. After opening gifts and eating a hearty meal, people will go online to order the items they did not receive

Build Post Holiday and New Year’s Strategies

  • Don’t forget the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. The purchasing hasn’t stopped.  People who got gift cards or money will have itchy palms waiting to spend it.
  • Didn’t get what you want?  Do a ” Get what you REALLY Want” promo

Send Shipping Focused Messages

  • Dedicate one message just to shipping cut-offs:
    • Last Day  for Standard Shipping
    • Last Day for Priority Shipping
    • Last Day for Overnight Shipping
    • All Shipping Guarantees Expired
    • Online Gift Cards

We, at KingWebmaster, are looking forward to helping you get your site “Holiday Ready”.  How can we help?

Advanced Shipping Manager – Upgrade to Version 2 if you are not using it now. Also check out our Add-On Features to make your life easier at the busiest shipping time of the year.

Promo Manager is nearly a necessity. This is the time to maximize the potential of your store.

Do you have good control of your stock? Avoid customer disappointment, and save yourself unnecessary customer service with Centrifuge.

Again my favorite, Mobile Commerce! I am hoping that all my favorite stores make it that easy to shop.

Do you want to give your store a spiffy new look? Our talented team of designers will give your store a well designed feel that will make it easy for people to shop.

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