Tune Up These Four Areas For Online Holiday Sales Success

get ready for the cyber five cyber monday

This post is sponsored by Samsung. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Although none of the big greeting card companies have yet to market a card for Cyber Monday, it’s one of those special “named days” that virtually everyone knows about today.
In fact, online shopping for holiday gifts has grown so much over the last several years, that retailers don’t limit their strategies to just Cyber Monday any more. Today, the entire five-day stretch from Thanksgiving Thursday to the following Cyber Monday has been dubbed “The Cyber Five.”

With that importance in mind, let’s look at ways to make the most out of this intense shopping period for your business, as well as over the weeks that follow.

1. Social media

You have probably fallen into certain patterns with your social media posts throughout the year. Now is the time to do some rethinking and targeting. If you don’t have an editorial calendar to finish off the year, start one. (And, by the way, continue the practice after the holidays are over.)

Examine your merchandise and inventory along with your packing and shipping schedules. For example, if you have some items that have special shipping requirements that delay delivery times, you want to feature these products early in your marketing to prevent customers from getting excited by them only to be told that they can’t be delivered on time. Or, be prepared if you have items that are only offered during the season. Those “limited” items will be of high demand, so keep in mind how you are planning.

If you have excess inventory, you might want to promote those items heavily throughout social media and offer instore promotions, discounting them dramatically to draw in customers.

You can also use the social media, and customer reviews on sites like Amazonto discover the concerns and priorities prospects have regarding the items you sell. Review buyer comments on Amazon with an eye toward features they like and problems they’ve had with items like yours. Use this information in social media posts and blogs to persuade prospects.

You can also search Twitter for posts containing keywords that relate to your merchandise. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can narrow your search down by location using Twitter’s advanced search. You could tweet directly to people who express interest in items you sell and even offer discounts codes or coupons.

2. Online advertising

Take time to adjust your online advertising tactics. If you use Adwords, for example, thoroughly review your keywords and their corresponding bids. You probably want to rework some phrases to include holiday-related words. Being more aggressive with your bids is also warranted.

In the same way, balance your bids with your shipping schedule. You don’t want to be paying a premium for keywords and sending people to your website when you know you can’t fulfill their orders in time for the holidays.
Rewrite your ad copy to give it a holiday flavor, and don’t forget to change it after the holidays are over! Also, offer gift wrapping to support your customers.

3. Newsletters

The holiday shopping season is a time when you can get away with sending additional newsletters to your email list. Plan your sequence with the calendar in mind. Encourage early shopping with discounts. Boost later sales by stressing the fact that time – and inventory – is running out.

4. Mobile readiness
As much as a third of all holiday sales will be done via a mobile device. Look at your history and determine which items you sell have done well on mobile.

Further, tweak your mobile home page with sales in mind. Don’t make your customers poke at a half dozen tiny links and conduct searches on those tiny keyboards to find what they want to buy.

If you have a physical location, this holiday season might be the right time to start working with geo-targeting in your ad campaigns. In its most simple form, geo-targeting sends ads to prospects when they enter a specific geographic location. Google’s Adwords platform now has geo-targeting built into it.

And since we’re on the topic of mobile, I think 2015 holiday shopping is going to mark a historic moment in the evolution of mobile wallets. Have you noticed all the TV ads for Samsung Pay? It looks like several factors are converging to make mobile wallet use commonplace, including the rapid adoption of Samsung Pay.

Merchants will find the transition virtually seamless because it works with both old and new terminals. If you have a brick-and-mortar location along with your online presence, you should take a little time to let your customers know that you accept Samsung Pay.

Adobe expects online shopping to be up 11 percent this year, so the customers are going to be there for you. However, I expect the competition for those customers to increase as much, if not more.

Make sure you have a solid game plan as this critical period of time approaches, and when it gets here execute!

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