According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the holiday shopping season has grown to span an entire month of November (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday). In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know as an e-commerce entrepreneur to sell during the upcoming holidays – and what you should be doing now to set yourself up for success.
When are the upcoming holidays?
There are a few upcoming significant holidays that entrepreneurs should be aware of so that they can prepare for their peak sales season now.
- Black Friday (November 23 – 24): Traditionally, Black Friday has been the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, with many retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day to get a head start on the rush. According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, the shopping season is extending earlier into the year, with three in 10 consumers planning to start shopping by the end of October.
- Cyber Monday (November 26): Cyber Monday has become the second largest online shopping day of the year, second only to Black Friday. In fact, according to data from Adobe, Cyber Monday has grown to become the biggest online shopping event in history, with $6.6 billion in sales expected this year—that’s up 10% from 2017.
- Small Business Saturday (November 24): Similar to Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday has become another big online shopping day that e-commerce entrepreneurs need to prepare for. The day was initially created to help promote small businesses and entrepreneurs by encouraging shoppers to support local businesses instead of larger online retailers.
- Giving Tuesday (December 2): This holiday was created as a day of giving back and thanking those who positively impact the world. This is typically a day when people donate to charities and nonprofit causes they believe in. However, Giving Tuesday has become another day when e-commerce entrepreneurs can drive sales and grow their businesses.
Know your audience and their buying habits
Before you start planning any marketing strategies for the upcoming holiday season, you should look at your customer data to understand your audience and their buying habits. Most importantly, you want to ensure your marketing efforts are focused on your customers, not competitors. Start by reviewing your customer data and segmenting your customers into different groups based on their demographic information (e.g., age, gender, household income, etc.). You may also want to consider segmenting by buying habits and product interests. For example, you may want to segment your customers based on their previous purchases, product interests, website traffic, and online actions (e.g., clicks on your website, time spent on your website, social media activity, etc.).
Why is this important? This will help you identify your target customers, their needs, and what they’re looking for during the holiday season. You can then use this information to create more effective marketing strategies and increase your chances of conversion during the holiday season.
Set clear goals for your marketing strategy
After you’ve segmented your customers and understand their needs and buying habits, you need to set clear goals for your marketing strategy. What are you hoping to accomplish with your marketing efforts during the upcoming holiday season? Are you hoping to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or both? Start by identifying your goals, and then create a marketing strategy around them. The best marketing strategies are focused and targeted, so don’t try to do everything simultaneously. Instead, identify the top three marketing efforts you want to focus on and run with those. For example, you may want to focus on increasing brand awareness and sales through email marketing and running a Facebook ad campaign for your online store. Again, you don’t want to try to do everything at once or risk spreading yourself too thin. Instead, you want to focus your efforts and maximize the impact of each marketing effort.
Plan out your ad budget and ad types
After you’ve set clear goals for your marketing strategy, you need to plan out your ad budget and types. Where will you be running your ads? What types of ads will you be running? Where will your ads be running? What kind of ad creative will you be using? You should plan out your ad budget based on your goals for the marketing efforts you want to focus on. For example, if you run a sponsored ad on Facebook and drive sales, you should plan how much you want to budget per day and ad. You may also want to set a cap on the ad dollars you’re willing to spend per day.
The holiday shopping season can be hectic, so you don’t want to spend your entire ad budget on one day. Instead, you want to build up a campaign and have funds to sustain it throughout the rest of the season. You should also plan out the type of ads you want to run. Do you want to drive brand awareness or sales? Do you want to drive clicks to your website or your email list? What do you want people to do after they click on your ads? You also want to consider the ad creative you’re using. What images, videos, or copy are you using in your ads? Where are you sourcing your ad creative from?
Get your site ready to sell now.
Once you’ve set clear goals for your marketing strategy and planned out your ad budget and types, you need to get your site ready to sell now. Start by conducting a thorough inventory of your current inventory levels. You don’t want to end up with a shortage at a time when your customers are most likely to be purchasing from you. Next, create a plan to restock and re-order your inventory as soon as possible. Ideally, you’ll want to fill your inventory as soon as you know what items are selling the fastest and running low. You should also be monitoring your website’s traffic and conversion rates to identify the best-selling products. This will help you determine what products to re-stock your inventory with now. You also want to ensure your website is set up properly to drive sales during the holiday season. This includes optimizing your product pages, driving social engagement, and setting up your feed for marketing campaigns.
Maximize your sales now!
The holiday shopping season is an excellent opportunity for e-commerce entrepreneurs to sell their products and increase revenue. However, you need to get ready now and prepare for the rush. Start by understanding your audience and their buying habits, setting clear goals for your marketing strategy, and getting your site ready to sell now. Then, you can rest easy knowing you’re prepared for the upcoming holiday season.
Elly Virtually can help manage your ads, design your content for the holiday season, curate captions, and help increase your sales for the upcoming holiday season.
Schedule a consultation today!