Here are our tips for tapping into the purchasing free-for-all that accompanies holidays and events – and boosting your sales accordingly.
Identify holiday opportunities
Major holiday events such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter will be pencilled into the diaries of most store owners, but it pays to identify less obvious events and opportunities as well.
Consider local or cultural events such as Chinese New Year – and even obscure but memorable ones like Talk Like A Pirate Day or May the 4th, known in some circles as Star Wars Day.
Doing so will give you a reason to reach out to your customer base throughout the year with special offers and discounts – encouraging return visits and sales outside of the peak season.
In order to make the most of these opportunities, planning ahead is a must. Put together a business calendar highlighting relevant holidays, festivals or celebrations, and outline the marketing approaches you plan to take in relation to these.
These may include holiday-specific newsletters, special discounts, limited-time product offerings, or holiday-themed product bundles.
With Kong, you can create many different kinds of discounts, and update your Homepage to feature holiday-themed banners and specific seasonal products.
Start planning ahead of time
If you want to get the most out of your holiday period traffic spikes, you’ll need to be proactive rather than reactive.
Check your stats
If your site has been in operation for a while, check your analytics to see which particular days of the year recorded the highest traffic rates. These stats will be a good indicator of on-going traffic trends, and will help you identify which dates to focus your marketing efforts towards – as well as any areas for improvement.
Make friends far and wide
A great way to increase your reach is by leveraging the reach of others. If you’ve curated a unique or interesting series of products for a given holiday event, approach key influencers to see if they’ll include your products in a gift guide. This can result in both a sales increase – along with an SEO-boosting backlink. Getting in early here is key, so start planning well ahead of time.
Stock up and be ready to ship
To keep your customers happy you’ll need to be able to deliver on your promises. Make sure you have adequate amounts of stock ready to ship – and be ready to pack and send as soon as you can. Given that many seasonal purchases are bought as gifts, and that time is of the essence, customers will be far less forgiving about out-of-stock items or shipping hiccups. If you anticipate a huge spike in sales, consider bringing on someone to help out during the busy period.
Every day can be a holiday
The sales boost you get during the holiday period doesn’t need to end when the holidays do.
Incorporate follow-up post-holiday marketing offers into your newsletters or customer outreach, or include a note offering a discount on the customer’s next purchase as part of your product packaging.
And if you’ve taken the time to prepare an event calendar for your store, you can use this to identify gift-buying options the customer might want to take advantage of for the next holiday on the horizon.
For example, if a customer has bought an item of jewellery as a Christmas gift, then perhaps they’d be interested in a discount or special offer on a similar item for Valentine’s Day.
Events that aren’t holidays
Don’t forget that special events in a customer’s life extend beyond the traditional holidays marked on a calendar. This is where personalisation is key.
Events such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduation days, and other milestones can all be leveraged for sales success – while offering a personal connection your customers will appreciate.
The type of non-seasonal events you choose to celebrate will depend on your store’s niche. If you sell pet products, consider offering a special promo to celebrate a pet’s birthday. If you sell photography equipment, consider offering promotions that coincide with photo-friendly events.
The relevant information needed to target your marketing emails can easily be obtained during the newsletter sign-up, the post-sales process, or as part of a giveaway – as always, the key is to have a plan in place.
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Get a calendar at the ready, or a pen and paper, and start thinking about all the upcoming holidays and potential events you can create to engage with your customers.