November 19, 2011
Surely your familiar with the idea of stores opening their doors at 9pm on Thanksgiving night to welcome Black Friday shoppers. Or perhaps, you’ve perused one of the many online guides developed for shoppers who are looking to land the best deals on Cyber Monday.
Whatever the case may be, if you’re thinking about sitting out of the holiday hoopla this season … think again. Whether shoppers brave the crowds on Black Friday or opt to shop online during Cyber Monday one thing is for sure — it will be the busiest and most lucrative period for business owners across the nation.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, continue to capture the hearts and pockets of consumers year after year. Some hardcore enthusiasts even refer to the holiday sales period as the “Super Bowl of Shopping.” For perspective, it’s estimated that Americans spent $45 billion on Black Friday purchases (National Retail Federation) while online shoppers spent $1.028 billion dollars on U.S. websites (ComScore), in last year alone.
Whether you’ve been strategically planning your holiday marketing efforts all year or you’re looking for turn-key solutions, here are eleven tips to help you increase sales and mange this year’s holiday crunch.
1. Boost profits and extend shopping sales for the entire month of November, instead of focusing on two days.
2. Develop or tweak your promotional calendar to schedule your deals, discounts and coupons over the holidays.
3. Launch a 24 hour flash sale and offer deep discounts on inventory you need to move or for services you’d like to promote.
4. Ensure your web-based or brick and mortar operations are capable of handling increased sales activity through the holiday. Look to cut lead times, shipping and handling processing and more to woo new customers.
5. Create viral promotions, affiliate and loyalty programs to spread word-of-mouth about your new sales offers.
6. Publish and e-blast a quick and dirty holiday gift guide that includes your favorite picks – from your company and complimentary products from other retailers or service providers.
7. Develop a unique social media contest to spur brand conversations and soft-sell your latest promotions.
8. Tweak your online marketing efforts and cut through the search clutter by ramping up search engine marketing efforts (pay-per-click advertising).
9. Give away an American Express e-gift card , retailer-specific gift cards or a Gift Basket with the purchase of a set dollar value of goods and services.
10. Prominently display your holiday promotions on all consumer-facing assets – this includes your store-front, website, marketing collateral, customer service talk points, packaging, email communications and so on.
11. List your deals with top coupon sites including RetailMeNot.com, Coupons.com, CouponCabin.com, CouponMom.com, 247coupon.com and more.
These are just a few easy tips that can prove to be successful as you put your holiday sales efforts into full gear. Did I miss a few that you’ve found to be effective? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Photo Credit: Career Confessions