The big shopping rush is about to set upon us and as a local shop or an e-retailer, you know you need a certain percentage of this holiday buying momentum to make your year profitable. The good news is that based on Internet Retailer reports, the e-commerce holiday sales are set for double-digit growth for 2014. Even if you are a local shop and may not have a website or sell online, there are affordable online marketing tactics you can do to ensure you’ll get some of that holiday spending spirit!

1. Online & mobile advertising

Whether you are an online store or a local shop, now is the time to increase or invest in your online presence, specifically in advertising. Branding Brand reported that in August 2014, a 51% of traffic to leading retailers came from smartphones and tablets and expect a steady increase in mobile shoppers.

Action #1: Invest in Mobile Advertising for this holiday season. This can be a solid tactic for a local retail shop who may not have a website.

Action #2: Test Facebook Advertising as they too report that 66% of their sales come from mobile users. Test early to ensure that during the holiday season you get your advert just right!

2. Optimize check-out

Now it not the time to skimp out on enhancing the check-out process on your e-commerce site. Remove hidden costs and make them any additional costs clearly visible these during “adding to card” step. Also make it easy to buy, remove the requirement that buyers ‘have to register’ and finally, add images of what they are about to buy.

3.Develop a Holiday Gift Guide, or two!

We like it easy. As a stressed-out holiday shopper, we look to our retailers to do the work for us. That’s why an annual Holiday Gift Guide, as well as gift packages, are very popular. To create a branded experience, one where customers wait for every year, you need to start with holiday packaging materials, new products, different product sizes. Don’t forget to hire a top-notch photographer, one who has experience in product photography.

Make enough photos so you can create a general holiday guide and then another one for either the rush period or a dedicated guide, like just for men, depending on what you offer. Also, hire a graphic artist to create a beautiful layout because you want people to share your guide!!

4. Introduce new products with a holiday promotion

According to Retail Information Systems News, 43% of us will pay full price in order to get the “perfect gift” for someone on their list. In other words, it pays to invest in creating your yearly Holiday Gift Guide as well as introduce new products. Take advantage of the buying mood.

If you are an e-Retailer, you have the opportunity to stretch beyond your traditional categories and introduce new categories that normally would not fit or you won’t have space in a brick and mortar location.

5. Expand your social platforms

I’m sure you know that we share the stuff we love to our families and friends via social media. This year, 44% of us will also spend the time to discover new products via social networks! In fact, more of us will check out items online, primarily on social media and specifically on Facebook and then go to the store to buy them, primarily to avoid shipping costs.

6. Create excitement for your store!

Today’s shoppers put more hours into online research before they make a purchase. Creating a giveaway is a great way to build excitement and fun to your customers during this special time of the year. Include deals, specials, free shipping or home delivery.

7. In-store visits increase in value

True, many shoppers will be turning to smartphones while shopping at your store, however, these shoppers, according to Caltech, will spend 50% more for items they can see and touch. This suggests that that while foot traffic to stores may have declined, the value and experience of in-store visits has increased. This suggests that in addition to introducing new products at your store, promotions just for the holiday season, home delivery, include something dramatic, like a stylist or develop service excellence attitude.

8. Expand your sales channels

As a local shop, you may need to expand your sales channels. This can easily be done by selling your products on Amazon or creating a Facebook page and promote that you offer home delivery.

photo credit: freepix

About the Author Cecilia

I am a marketing communications specialist, strategist, problem solver and founder of The Marketing Boutique. Services also include competitive analysis, public relations, content marketing to help companies reach their business goals.

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