The holiday season is a great time to sell products and services. According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, the average person will complete about 39.5% of their holiday shopping online. (up from 38.8% last year). Additionally, Shop.org, (the digital division of NRF), is forecasting that online holiday sales will increase between 13% and 15% to as much as $82 billion during the months of November and December. So what does that mean to online marketers? How can we make the most of our websites to gain a piece of this eCommerce?
Thanksgiving is the New Black Friday
According to the Adobe Digital Index 2013 Online Shopping Forecast, competition for consumer spending will be especially fierce this year. Some of the highlights of Adobe’s “Online Shopping Forecast” are:
- Thanksgiving will be the fastest-growing online shopping day in 2013. (up 21%)
- Six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is predicted to result in a potential cut of $1.5 billion dollars in potential online sales.
- Online sales this shopping season are expected to grow by 12%.
- Over the past three years, Thanksgiving Day online sales have grown faster than any other
- If the Thanksgiving day trend continues, it is predicted that (within the next 5 years) retailers are expected to sell more online on Thanksgiving Day than on Black Friday.
- It is predicted that retailers will transact more than 20% of their online sales via mobile devices.
Note: CMO.com is Adobe’s “content” site which provides digital marketing news and insight for senior marketing executives around the globe. “Adobe’s predictions come from analysis of 450 billion visits to 2,000-plus retail Web sites during the past seven years and a survey of thousands of consumers around the world.”
Ideas for Preparing Your Website for the Holidays
Here are a few random ideas that I have either tried myself or have garnered from others. (Please use the comment section to add your own suggestions. In the holiday spirit, lets share.)
- Add a holiday specific product or service.
- Incorporate holiday graphics into your emails and newsletters.
- Add a holiday graphic to your blog/website and Facebook page.
- Make your website mobile-friendly. (I use the WPtouch plugin for WordPress.)
- Consider offering free shipping.
- If you offer a service, promote gift certificates.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising)
One of the things that I want to remind everyone to not forget is PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising). I’ve written a series of posts before on PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising) and I still maintain that it can be a very affordable and effective method of advertising. Don’t be afraid to try it. You just need to keep in mind a few basics (which I’ve covered before and will again).
So, over to you. Do you run special promotions around the holidays? What tips and ideas can you share? Have you thought about running a special holiday promotion for a product or service?
Note: This article was originally published in November of 2011 and has been updated to reflect data from the 2013 holiday season.