If you’re a merchant, you’ve probably had your holiday marketing plan for this year in the works since the end of last season. That time of year is back, and consumers are preparing for the best deals of the season. In order to deliver, we’re going to provide some of the best tips, pointers, and best practices to make your holiday season as a merchant professional the most successful yet!
The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects sales in November and December to go up 3.6% from 2015. This is a record number consider the 10-year average increase in sales was 2.5%. And if you’re an online retailer, you’re in luck because online sales are expected to rise 7% from last year. This includes non-store sales such as direct-to-consumer (D2C) and kiosk sales.
Here are tips on how to capitalize as a merchant this thriving holiday sales season!
Holiday Marketing Dates
The first step you have to take as a merchant is to assess all of the key holidays from October through December. Next, determine which dates matter most to your business and customer base and go from there. Important holiday shopping days include:
October: Columbus Day, Halloween
November: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday
December: Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa
Be Mobile Friendly
If you’re an online retailer, it’s essential that your website is mobile friendly. Make sure the ‘Add to Cart’ button and ‘Checkout” buttons are easy to find and accessible. Otherwise, customers will jump to the next best site and complete their purchase there.
Keep Payments Simple
Following on a similar note, once people have found your ‘add to cart’ and ‘checkout’ buttons with ease, it’s time for them to pay up. With many people paying on their mobile devices, make sure your shopping cart system is capable of scanning credit cards so people have the option of not entering their information manually. This is an important feature when it comes to the problem of mobile checkout abandonment. Also, make sure to have different payment options available like credit, debit or PayPal.
Have an Offer, Sale, or Discount
In order to keep customers coming back time and again, you have to give them a reason to do son. And having a special offer, sale or discount will do just that. Holiday promotions can be a great way to differentiate you from your competition.
Protect Customer Data
This may seem obvious, but in the hustle and bustle of the holiday, season security can be overlooked. But customer security should be a top priority for merchants due to the rise in fraud and the increased abilities of hackers. With more October through November being the business shopping time of the year, the risk of credit card and identity theft is at its peak. If you’re a brick-and-mortar merchant, make sure you have EMV readers, Apple Pay, and other mobile/contactless technologies to ensure your business is PCI compliant and therefore has the strongest security protection. Merchants who are not PCI compliant are now responsible for paying all chargebacks for fraudulent transactions.
Use the Right Technology
This can be one of the most important things you do for holiday marketing this season. Use e-mail marketing, SEO, and product re-targeting ads to boost awareness and sales!
Grow Your Business
Whether you’re an online seller, brick-and-mortar shop owner, manufacturer, distributor, or service provider, you all have a common denominator: grow your business. We hope these tips provided insight for the upcoming holiday season, and we hope it is a success for you and your business!