Prepare Your Website Marketing For The Holiday Shopping Season.

Eight weeks until Christmas, don’t fret there is still time to prepare your website for the holidays. As we know websites have become a crucial marketing tool not only for online stores but for brick-and-mortar retailers as well. Your potential customers are doing two things, doing research online and purchasing online as well as using the internet more to do research before going out to make their purchase.  The practice in fact is so common that it has it’s own acronym, ROPO (research online, purchase offline).

Smart retailers are already preparing their websites and online marketing campaigns for the holiday shopping season. If your company hasn’t started you may have a few weeks to get things in order before it’s too late. Here are 5 steps to help you get on your way.

 

sparrow digital web marketing holiday 2018

 

1. Analyze past and current data.
Dig into your Google Analytics or whatever analytics tool you use and review your data from the previous holiday season.  Compare the years and see how our business sales have been working.  Analyze your web traffic, and see where your traffic is coming from and what pages they are spending time on.  What worked and what didn’t? Then ask yourself what actions should you take to improve sales further.  If you have not set analytics up, make sure you to do so, you can not afford not to.

2. Think mobile.
Mobile usage is growing steadily, and if you don’t have a mobile strategy this year it’s likely you’ll be driving customers into the arms of your competitors. Google Analytics from June to September 2017, over 40 percent of online transactions were made on mobile devices and is only growing. Now, with more than half of all internet traffic coming from a mobile device, it is extremely important to make sure your website is primed for mobile viewing. Thinking mobile means having a responsive website, mobile site, or mobile app, or a combination. Google specifically recommends you use responsive design, but the point is to consider all your options and how your customers want to interact with you and act accordingly. Simply ignoring mobile users should not be an option.

4. Work on SEO–right now.
SEO (search, engine, optimization) takes longer than other digital marketing efforts but its worth the time investment for your website’s long term health.  If you’re planning on launching a new website and hoping to capitalize on the holiday season this year, you’re too late. Sorry, it takes months to get SEO going. Nonetheless, now would be a good time to start on SEO for 2019, so get started! If your website is already well-established then you might be able to launch new content right now and get it ranking quickly, in time to still get a substantial return.

5. Start a conversion rate optimization (CRO) program.
Getting lots of traffic to your website is great, but if you don’t focus on conversion rate optimization you may be leaving a lot of business on the table. Using A/B testing data from Optimizely you can perform tests that will tell you whether you should change the colour of a button or the text on that button, whether you should change a headline or the content on a page, or whether altering image results in more sales or conversions. These tests take time to set up, run, and analyze, so waiting until November will mean you’ve missed your chance.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to engage in a process that is quite this scientific, at least spend some time thinking about it and make common sense changes to improve conversions on your website. Make it easy for people to buy, which means make it easy for them to find products. You can do this, by arranging products into lifestyle bundles where suitable products are ‘curated’ together. Create specific customer profiles like, ‘The Workout Buff’, The Foodie or ‘Jewellery Junkie” collections.

6. Invest in Google & Facebook Ads
These two advertising tools provide any business with an incredible ability to target their clientele where and when they are likely to shop. The tools can be somewhat confusing for the inexperienced digital marketer. But when used right they are a powerful addition to any online shopping marketing plan.

7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a direct line of communication between you and your customers.  Once a customer has signed up to receive your newsletter, make sure you stay in touch with relevant and timely content! 

If you need help developing your holiday marketing plan contact us today. We’re here to help you succeed.

It’s never too early (or late) to get started. Happy holiday marketing!

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