How to Capitalize Now on the Holiday Shopping Season

 

 

If you joined us on the Digital Download just over 100 days ago, we previewed the lead-up to Black Friday. So, now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have all come and gone, how did you do? Did you build out your social channels, utilize coupons, offer shipping promotions and build your base of online reviews from your current customers? If you missed the boat on these big shopping days, fret not. As December begins, there’s still time to capitalize on the holiday shopping season in the lead-up to Christmas.

 

Let’s look back at Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What can we learn? On Black Friday, a record $5 billion was spent online by American shoppers during that 24-hour timeframe. This number was a 16.9 percent increase from Black Friday in 2016. In comparison, in-store foot traffic was estimated to have decreased by 2 percent this year, which is likely a consequence of many brick-and-mortar locations choosing to close on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Cyber Monday set another record as the biggest sales day ever for online and mobile in the U.S., with online sales topping $6.5 billion. Sales on mobile devices alone broke a record, with an estimated $2 billion.

 

We knew already that digital sales are the future, and the future has arrived. Now, we see trends suggesting that it’s even more important to have an optimized mobile shopping experience as more and more consumers are buying straight from their phones.

 

Having an easy-to-use mobile shopping experience is even more important for small retailers. And according to Forbes, small retailers (defined as merchants with $10 million or less in sales) with an optimized mobile shopping experience saw visits to their sites convert at twice the rate of big retailers (defined as merchants with $100 million or more in sales). We know consumers love a great deal and an easy shopping experience, but with Small Business Saturday generating over $12 billion in sales this year, we see a growing trend of shopping small and supporting socially conscious companies,. An impressive new player in this space is tech startup DoneGood, which helps consumers find ethical and sustainable alternatives to products typically purchased from large corporations.

 

So, we know online shopping is a huge business driver, and sales are coming more and more through mobile. How does social media play a part, and how can you take advantage of these digital trends for the remaining days of the holiday shopping season?

 

  1. Optimize your mobile shopping experience.

This might be beyond the scope of what you can accomplish this year. However, if you can improve the ease of functionality within your online shop, do it. If you can’t accomplish this task this year, make plans now to take your mobile shopping experience to the next level. Shopify breaks down the questions to ask when you’re optimizing your store for mobile.

 

  1. Use your blog to create compelling content.

During the holiday shopping season, consumers are looking for ideas for great gifts for their friends and loved ones. Create a blog post or series of blog posts that highlight your products and tell the stories of who the consumer needs to buy them for.

 

  1. Change your profile and header images.

During key times throughout the year, you should customize your profile and header images to match the season. The holiday shopping season is definitely one of those times. These images are the billboards at the top of your social channels. Use them to let consumers know that you’re a part of the holiday season, and create header images that promote your holiday campaigns and promotions.

 

  1. Create a holiday campaign hashtag.

An easy way to gauge conversation surrounding your brand or product is to create a hashtag for your holiday campaign. If you have a brick-and-mortar store in addition to your online store, make sure that your campaign crosses over into your physical store. Ask your customers to share their experience online and use your hashtag. This will create buzz for your brand and help you track the conversation.

 

  1. Utilize social ads and target your audience.

You have to know your audience. We say this a lot. But it plays a part in every aspect of your digital marketing. During the holiday season, if you know who your target audience is, create a paid media campaign through your social platforms to put your products in front of the right people. Use compelling imagery that highlights your products and tells your brand story.

 

As with anything you do online, track and measure your results. Set goals at the outset and see how your campaign performs. If you need help along with the journey to mobile buying success, Social Factor is here to help. Contact us today!

 

William Moore

Author: William Moore

B2C, Digital Strategy, eCommerce, Social Media