Is Your Online Business Ready for the Big Shopping Season?

Thursday, October 10, 2013
holiday sales
The holiday season is approaching rapidly. Up to 40% of annual retail sales occur during October through December. Last year’s holiday season showed that online sales were booming even on big in-store shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This trend continues to grow, nearly half of shoppers plan to purchase gifts online this year. All these tendencies promise great prospects to businesses related to eCommerce, particularly to online retailers, daily deal websites and coupon providers. Here are some ideas to keep in mind that can help you to meet the big shopping season fully prepared.

First of all it is necessary to remember that the Christmas shopping season begins earlier than some people think. Many consumers start their holiday shopping before Halloween and they make their shopping plans even earlier in the year. That is why it is very important to have your sales and advertising forces geared up beforehand. The beginning of October is a critical time for online businesses to make preparations for the holiday sales rush.

The holiday sales season is the year’s largest period for consumer price hunting. It is noteworthy that consumers are often not loyal to a particular brand when gift shopping. During holiday shopping, people are buying many things they don't usually buy and price is the determining factor for purchase. Present-day shoppers use various channels to research products, compare prices and make purchases. But it is a matter of fact that an online experience and digital resources tend to dominate in consumers’ purchase decisions. Coupons from newspaper inserts are going out of use while online coupons and deal offers are becoming more and more popular among consumers. This opens new horizons for daily deal and group buying websites that offer deep discount offers and turns them into powerful marketing tool which can boost your holiday sales.

Social networking services also represent an efficient marketing channel that can help to attract customers throughout the holiday season. Social media provides great opportunities to reach people on the early shopping stages when they are researching products online and to influence their purchase choice. Besides, there are some new interesting advertising options provided by social networks, such as Facebook’s News Feed ads and Twitter’s retargeting platform, that allow to deliver engaging messages to consumers and can be used to promote holiday specials.

Another important trend of the holiday season is that consumers often rely on tablets and smartphones to help with their shopping. Even while shopping in a physical store, they research products via mobile devices. A holiday consumer survey by Google has revealed that over 60% of shoppers are using their smartphones more frequently during the holiday season. People are using smartphones to research brands, read product reviews, compare prices, check inventory and hunt for coupons. The consumers’ migration from desktops to mobile devices creates the need to keep your ads and website content relevant for users of mobile phones and tablets. It is a good reason to make a mobile site or a mobile application to enable your customers to make purchases via their hand-held devices.

The stakes in the big shopping season race are very high and the competition for shoppers’ attention is fierce. The earlier you start fuelling customers interest in your products, the more efficient marketing channels you utilize to power your holiday promotions and the smarter pricing strategy you use the greater your chances to win holiday sales.
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