To do so, you need to beat the competition that's trying the same. There can be only one, and you best make sure the customers choose you. Let's get started!
1. Check how sturdy your site is
The rise in profitability is related to an increase in traffic. More customers and sales coming during the seasons will bring that extra cash inflow, but there are some caveats. Let's say that your regular site user numbers are in the thousands. Now, add a zero to the end of that number, and you will get an idea of how much traffic you can expect.
The question that arises is "Can your site infrastructure handle it?" When all those customers come pouring in, the load on your site increases exponentially. That increased load severely hampers the overall user experience. Bad user experience leads to fewer sales and reduces your chance of having a returning customer. When you start testing now and implement site stress testing, you are laying the foundations for the upcoming shopping surge.
2. All hands on deck!
Increases in traffic and customer numbers aren't the only increases during the seasons. When it's crunch time you need to have every person on board and focused. Before all that shopping spree starts, plan shifts and arrange for everyone to be on board. All systems need to be green at all times and to keep them that way, raw manpower is required, and diligent watch over anything that can go wrong must be covered. Any hiccups, blockades or crashes are costly as customers won't stand idly, while you scramble to fix them.
Each minute costs and is entirely preventable when you have people to work with, and all of you are on standby. Start planning so that all that great digital marketing you prepared and its results don't go to waste. Imagine hyping up and preparing your site for all those customers, only for a slight hiccup to put a wrench in your plans. You know the exact dates of holidays during the seasons. When you know the date, it makes planning that much easier. The sooner you start, the better.
3. Crank up the social media
Everybody knows that the holidays are coming and what days will be special, but do they know about your offers and plans? Keeping people informed has never been easier, considering the power and reach of various social media platforms. Your social media serves as a funnel and a notice board. Here you need to strike a fine balance between informing your customers and starting your marketing plan too early or too late. If you want to let your users know about your upcoming Black Friday deals, September might be a bit too early, for example.
There is only so much information one person can handle. With so many tips & tricks, with loads of moving parts to juggle at the same time, it's easy to make mistakes. Costly mistakes are preventable if you have good and reliable local SEO services to help you out. Any helping hands you can get will contribute to boosting your sales and making the most out of the coming holidays. Outsourcing, partnering up and cooperating with professionals in their field leads to a fruitful exchange and a possible long-term collaboration.
4. Freshen up old content
You don't need to start from scratch if you went through holiday seasons in the past. The data is there, business practices have been tested, and you have some starting material to work on. People love what's familiar but not stale. Taking your ideas, discounts, sale tactics and promo material from last year and giving it a fresh coat of paint, is a valid strategy to start.
All that data is also laying around and waiting to be analysed. What went well and what went bad? There is surely something that resonates with your customers and makes a lasting impression. And some things went wrong last time. All that data creates starting points and guidelines for you to start working on when it comes to this year's holiday season. Mistakes of the past can become profitable events in the future if you learn from them.
5. FAQ/Q&A pages are your saving grace
Information about anything your customers may inquire about has to be available at a moment's grace. When we gave an example of how much your traffic will increase, that's the same ratio as how much your questions will increase. Your customer support can only handle so many problems at a time, and having a dedicated, refreshed, and visible FAQ/Q&A page for your customers saves everyone a lot of hustles.
Customer questions can range from anything related to shipping, return policies, order status, product how-to etc. Covering them under your FAQ page and utilising the data from previous years increases customer enjoyment and streamlines the process. Customers want to get in and get out in the shortest time possible. Creating a site that caters to that need while validating user time will capitalise on the coming holiday season.
6. Benchmarketing tactics
Benchmarketing is when you compare your performance VS the best in the industry. The point is to identify great and working business practices and apply them to your company. Everything is fair in love and war, so when it comes to profits, anything goes. The best is there for a good reason, and benchmarketing their strategy can show you how and why they got where they are. Distilling the essence of their moves and applying that to your case can lead to surprising results.
Don't consider benchmarketing as mere copying but more of a case study on how to approach the holiday season. Starting from scratch is great and admirable, but you can get a head start if you look at other great examples. If someone is successful, there is often a good reason why and you can apply that to you. The result will show you how much you need to improve to catch up. The holiday season may be the break you need to close the gap.
7. Tools of the trade
A handyman is only as good as his tools. You can only make so much with the options presented to you, and you want to have the very best. Success comes from tools like Ubersuggest, Woorank, Google Trends and others. They will show you what people are searching for and when. And a whole myriad of info will prove invaluable for your marketing plans before and during the holidays. Business decisions are made from reliable and diligent data.
To get that data, you need means, and people with experience in the field. While people can be hired, outsourced or already employed, their results depend on what they are working with. Finding the answers to important business questions that will lead to profitable decisions starts with the right tools for the job. Timely implementation and training produce such requests that will help you out during the upcoming times.
8. Paid advertising
Organic, natural and spontaneous growth can only get you so far. While such methods are desirable when time is of the essence, paid advertising is here to help. It may seem counterintuitive to pay for something you can get for free, but the market is merciless, and competition is cutthroat. You can have the best content with the perfect social reach, only to get out-ranged with a competitor that paid more. Investments in ads, pop-ups and video ads bring your message to the customers over your competition.
This method is easy to trace in the cost VS benefit field. When you invest in any form and area of paid advertising you have a clear cost vs gains comparison. The increase in traffic, exposure and retaining customers makes or breaks such investments. You may even fail the first time, but you should not give up straight away. Learning from your mistakes leads to better and more profitable decisions in the future.
Opportunities lie there for the ambitious to capitalise on. Seizing the initiative and rushing to be the first in anything makes for a profitable endeavour. Holiday seasons are ripe with opportunities for small and medium businesses and individuals to get the break they sorely needed and grow to the size they deserve. The rapid expansion of your customer base, rising profits and expanding markets are all good problems, but that's a topic of a different discussion. Now the most important thing is to focus solely on the coming seasons. After that, if you did everything right, it's time to reap the rewards. We wish you all the best.