12 Ways to Get Your Business Ready for a Virtual Holiday

In 2020, consumers spent around $9 billion online on Black Friday alone, and 55% of consumers plan to spend the same, if not more than last year. That’s a 21.6% increase year over year. Holiday season sales are your last chance to generate revenue this year. With that in mind, it’s important to have a plan for getting your business ready for a virtual holiday. 

Here are 12 ways to help increase your revenue and ensure a successful holiday shopping season for your business. 

Keep Social Distancing in Mind

While it can be helpful to check your data and analytics reports from last year’s holiday sales, keep in mind that the previous years top-performing products or services will reflect very differently due to the current economic climate.  

Businesses that are prepared for this holiday season will reap the benefits. A Radial consumer survey regarding holiday shopping reported that despite the impact of COVID-19, shoppers have a stronger preference for online shopping. There are multiple virtual options you can provide to your customers that will provide a quick and safe shopping experience.  

Start Holiday Sales Early, End Later

If you don’t think people love holiday sales, just look at the chaos happening around any major chain or storefront hosting black Friday deals.  Consumers will go out of their way and literally lose sleep for an amazing discount. Although retailers should expect reduced in-person shopping this season, it’s suggested that businesses still prepare for an influx in virtual holiday shopping. 

Offering early holiday discounts and virtual sales extends purchasing opportunities and gives customers more time to engage. Consider optimizing your digital shopping experience by maximizing your online inventory. Review previous sales trends and make sure popular products and services are highlighted. Make it worth their while to shop online instead of coming in-store. 

Run Limited Time Holiday Discount Codes 

Digital transactions could increase by roughly 25 to 35 percent from November to January, totaling between $182 billion and $196 billion in sales. One way to make sure your business benefits from an increase in online shopping is by running limited-time holiday discount codes. 

Similar to the Kmart blue light specials before technology took over, running popup online sales is a great way to boost revenue during the holiday shopping season. These sales can easily be promoted on your website, social media, and through targeted email marketing campaigns. 

Offer FREE Curbside Pick-Up

Offering a Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) or curbside pick-up options elevates the customer experience. It is important, though, that businesses invest time and necessary resources into training and process development so that employees are prepared. 

Regardless of whether customers are waiting in line inside the store or waiting in their vehicle, they want to avoid long wait times. Having a clear plan in place that includes visible signage and designated parking areas, and cameras to notify staff when a customer has arrived are necessary for a smooth customer experience. 

Additional Benefits of Buy Online Pick-Up in Store: 

  • Increase Consumer Choice
  • Decrease Shipping Costs
  • Decrease Shipping Time
  • Increase Impulse Buys
  • Fewer Returns

Get in the Spirit With Holiday-Themed Landing Pages

While decorating your storefront helps get your foot traffic customers in the spirit, don’t forget to give your business website some holiday cheer. Adding a holiday-themed landing page is a quick way to show your customers that the holidays have arrived.  

Creating a holiday landing page where everything pertinent to holiday shoppers from gift ideas, coupon codes, information on sales, shipping deadlines, is all in one place is ideal. This collects all of the otherwise scattered information and puts it in one spot. Temporarily replace key inbound links to your homepage with a link to this page for an easy transition.

Tis’ The Season To Use Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising should be an annual tradition regardless of the season. However, starting your holiday marketing campaign before your competition can be a game-changer. One way to do so is with a targeted social media marketing campaign. Utilizing your social media outlets for holiday marketing is simple and can be done without requiring a huge advertising budget. 

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is considered to be one of the biggest periods for online sales. If you think it may be too late to launch a holiday push on social media, you’d be wrong. The last Saturday before Christmas is called super Saturday for a reason. 

Incorporate festive images into your Facebook posts that will reflect and tie in the magic of the holiday season. Add a personal touch by sharing a  story and encompassing the holiday.  Invoking emotion is an inconspicuous and powerful way to connect with your customers. 

Run a Holiday Google Ads Campaign

Running a strong Google Ads campaign can help make this holiday shopping season successful for your business. Between running ads on Google and promoting posts on social media, there are multiple options for you to choose from when designing your Google Ads marketing strategy. 

Begin by building your campaigns and ad groups granularly. Bucket your products into campaigns that make sense, based on your business or a particular industry. Since the holiday shopping season is so competitive, you may need to alter bids multiple times per day. Tracking product ad performance throughout the holiday season is essential for recognizing not only what people are searching for but what people are buying. 

Optimize Your SEO For Targeted Website Traffic

Creating a solid seasonal SEO strategy for targeted website traffic is key to leveraging the peak buying period during the holidays to its full potential. In most cases, this annual holiday season will result in a big or moderate spike in traffic and sales. So how do you get your seasonal products and offers in front of your customers? 

Seasonal content is the most effective way to attract natural backlinks and organic social media shares. Seasonal content has also been proven to bring in more sales. Seasonal SEO campaigns once set will be able to be re-used every year. You’ll need to update much of your content to bring it up back into the readers’ feeds and make use of previous years’ keywords, sales patterns, and experience.

Create an Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is a great tool for businesses of all sizes, especially during the holiday season. Businesses can use email to promote sales, invite subscribers to holiday events, showcase unique gift ideas, or even gift guides. The holidays can be a busy time for consumers. Launching a variety of your email campaigns, from welcome emails to offers and reminders is a great way to stay top of mind.

Research shows 41% of retailers will use “Buy Now” buttons in their email marketing, making it extremely simple for subscribers to make a purchase. By using a call-to-action button in your email, you can highlight a gift, a special offer, or even an event that a subscriber can buy in a matter of a couple of clicks. When the holidays are over consider sending a few “post-holiday” deals to your subscribers. This can help close a few more sales as well as get shoppers who received gift cards to start using them.

Provide An Optimal Customer Experience

While you may not have the opportunity to manage your customer’s online interaction with your business in person, there are ways to optimize their experience. One way to do this is by making sure your website is mobile and user-friendly. 85% of users will bounce off your website if the information they are searching for isn’t easily accessible. 

Another way to maintain an optimal customer experience is by making sure your ads are linked to the proper landing pages. Searchers click on ads on Google, Bing, or other search engines because they’re interested in what’s being advertised. Don’t miss an opportunity to provide your customer with an optimal experience due to broken links or misguided ad clicks. Creating a positive experience requires thinking about how customers are finding you, contacting you, and interacting with you online.

Plan For Post Holiday Business

Just because the holiday is over doesn’t mean the opportunity to continue generating revenue is lost. Most shoppers buy from you not just because of the discounts but because they enjoyed their experience. However, if you continue to provide discounts, you’ll be able to lure your customers back sooner. 

Adjusting your sale to include relevant products and services will keep your inventory exciting and new post-Christmas. Focus on a new year of opportunity. Offer items that will help your customers manage their productivity, focus on their health or assist with maintaining organization. This would also be a great time to release a new product or service. Basically, anything that can be logically tied into a New Year’s resolution.

Add An Online Shopping Cart To Your Website

More shoppers are buying gifts online this year to avoid crowded stores. If you don’t have an online or eCommerce presence, now is the time to get one. You can attract a larger audience of customers by providing an eCommerce option, and this can lead to increased holiday sales for your business.

Stax Online Shopping Cart allows you to create an eCommerce shopping cart to sell your products online with just one click, no configuration or technical skills needed. You can add items to the catalog, select those items, and automatically create an online shopping cart where customers can go to purchase products instantly.

All of these actions could help to bolster sales but only if attention is paid to inventory. You don’t want to have an issue similar to the Bath and Body Works candle sale debacle of 2020. Make sure your website stays up-to-date and accurate regarding what’s available in your store, and over-communicate any potential delays immediately. 

How Stax Can Help Your Business Prepare For A Virtual Holiday

The more prepared you are for a virtual holiday the more profitable your business will be. Building or optimizing an online store doubles your business’ ability to generate revenue. Whether it’s invoicing, recurring billing, pay by phone, contactless payments, or being able to receive payments through your website, Stax offers multiple online payment options that can help your business succeed. 

Want to learn more about the Stax all-in-one payment processing platform or interested in taking the next steps towards adding an online shopping cart to your business this holiday season? 

Reach out to Stax today. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you benefit from the right modern payment solutions right away. 

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