Holiday Shoppers Are Coming – Are You Breaking Through the Clutter?

Does your mailbox look like mine? Ever since October ended my mailbox has been stuffed with a never-ending collection of catalogs for toys, PJs, dog treats, home goods, gifts and more.

Where was everyone the other 10 months of the year?

That’s the problem, right? Sometimes you don’t think about marketing your business until everyone else is doing it – and then you need to break through to be heard. Or even worse, you jump in during the heat of the spending season without any of your background work done – you don’t have a clear picture of your customers, you’re not sure what they’re looking for, and you’re unclear in your message when it comes to what you deliver.

But it’s never too late to turn that around.

Here are some 4 things to look at today to make sure you’re set up to compete during this busy holiday season.

  1. Is your UVP (Unique Selling Proposition) prominent on your website and social media accounts? Making sure that new visitors (otherwise known as strangers) that come to your site can quickly answer a) Where am I?, b) What can I do here?, c) Why should I do it? will put you way ahead of most of your competition.
  2. Are you starting to build a relationship with your visitors? Now is the time to do what needs to be done to lay the foundation of a relationship with your customers and website visitors. Make sure you’re collecting their email information so that you can communicate with them throughout the year. Plus, use your content to provide helpful holiday tips – it’s a great time to write about “Finding the perfect gift”, “Avoiding Holiday Stress”, “Setting the perfect holiday table”, etc.
  3. Are you communicating quickly with your customers’ inquiries? Nothing is worse than not being able to get the information you need when you’re ready to make a purchase. Even if you sell custom-made items, be sure that you have the staff on-hand to quickly answer pre-purchase questions for your site visitors. People are busy and they want to be able to complete their holiday purchases when they have their credit cards in-hand. True, you can’t man the phone 24/7 if you’re a one-person business, but you can make sure your email account has an auto-responder that lets your prospects know WHEN you will get back to them (ex: “1 business day”, “between 8am-6pm MST”). Also, providing FAQs in a prominent location in your site navigation is another great way to get your prospects’ questions answered.
  4. Add some holiday branding to your site. No one said your site needs to look the same 365 days out of the year. Help your customers get into the holiday spirit by tweaking the look and feel of your site for the holidays. For example – instead of that “boring” shopping cart icon, how about a Santa’s Sack instead? Or add images of snowflakes, use the colors green and red, etc to make your site more festive for the holidays. I’m not saying you should overdo it – but just like Target playing holiday tunes in the background while you shop, adding welcoming holiday themes to your site will get your customers in the mood.

Of course there is always “Holiday Sales”, “Coupons”, etc to increase your sales, but if you want to stand out from the crowd during the holidays, you need to do more than just follow what everyone else is doing.