Where will your customers shop this holiday season?
In the fourth quarter of 2013, the year’s prime holiday shopping season, a whopping 32% of Google search traffic came from mobile devices. One study showed that 30% of all e-commerce website traffic came from mobile devices in 2013. And with so many holiday gifts being smartphones and tablets last year, it stands to reason that those statistics will only increase for the 2014 holiday season.
Now that November is here, the 2014 Holiday Shopping Season is in full swing. Is your website ready for online customers this year? Whether you have a retail or service business, online holiday marketing is essential. Even though you may not plan to sell products on your website this year, you will likely see an increase in website traffic this quarter. Shoppers are not just looking for gifts this year – they are also shopping for home improvement projects, plumbing fixes before holiday guests arrive, carpet cleaning services, car detailing, restaurants to stop at between gift-buying outings…and the list goes on.
Below are 6 simple things you can do to make sure your website is ready for your customers this holiday season:
1. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but so many e-commerce websites are still using software from 2009 (or earlier!), and haven’t yet invested in modern website programming or design. If you’re a business owner with an online storefront, do you know how easy it is for your customers to purchase from their smartphones? Give it a try – pull out your own smartphone, and see how many clicks it takes, and how much you have to pinch-and-zoom just to add a product to your shopping cart.
Mobile friendly websites are not only good for customer sales and retention, but they also increase trust for your business and your brand. Consumers want to feel safe when purchasing from their smartphones, and if your website has been built so smartphone shopping is simple, your customers will know your site has been built with mobile shopping in mind.
2. Update your home page for the Holidays
First impressions are crucial – and your website visitors are going to be influenced to act within 3 seconds of loading your website. Do you have a slideshow on your home page? Incorporate some fun new holiday-inspired photography into it! Showcase some of your products or holiday specials.
A basic re-design of the home page of your content can attract clients without breaking the bank. Looking for ideas? We can help give you some suggestions!
3. Spruce up your SEO with some holiday marketing language
Did you know that you can control exactly what Google displays to your customers? Give your business a search online – the title of your website pages and the description that falls below them are all things that can be edited by your website developer. Marketing a product or a service specifically for the holiday season? Have a great Christmas promo going on? Say so (in less than 150 characters) right on Google’s organic search results.
If you don’t have an online store, but want to encourage people to call or e-mail you for seasonal specials or holiday orders, publish your contact information directly in this description so people can contact you fast.
4. Get your online inventory and shipping schedules together early
Nobody likes it when they purchase a product online, only to receive a phone call three days later to find out that their item is out of stock or won’t be delivered until December 26th. Make sure your holiday shopping schedule, shipping expectations, and return policy are clearly stated on your home page and thought the checkout process on your website.
5. Publish a Holiday E-mail Newsletter
An e-mail newsletter is a great way to contact potential customers directly and inexpensively. A branded e-mail newsletter cost less to send out than printed postcards and letters – and recent research shows that the return on e-mail marketing is actually higher than that of postal mail.
People are more inclined to impulse shop during the holiday season, so if you send out an e-mail newsletter featuring some great, inexpensive holiday gifts or must-haves, you may find some new customers visiting your online store this season.
6. Spice up your Social Media posts
Create funny, themed Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ posts this holiday season. Fun facts, jokes, and information are great ways to engage comments on your social media profiles. And don’t forget the picture! Adding a picture to a social media update will increase the post’s chance of being seen and shared. There are a number of websites that offer free holiday stock photographs (like this one) – or be creative and hire a photographer to come out and take some pictures of your staff dressed in Elf suits.
Need some extra help with your holiday marketing?
You can accomplish a lot of these things yourself, or with a little help from your website developer. Need some more inspiration or help with marketing this holiday season? Contact us for a free website consultation – we would be happy to talk about your current website, offer some suggestions for how you can make improvements, and talk about a long term marketing strategy to bring you more business.
And most importantly – don’t forget to have a happy holiday season yourself!