It may be the dog days of summer, but fourth quarter is just around the corner! Here are 10 ways for you to prepare now to make the most of 4th quarter selling online.
1. Choose Holidays To Participate In - Not All of Them
The first thing you’ll need to do is to decide which holidays your store will participate in. Like we mentioned previously, there is some type of holiday almost every week in the last two months of the year. Participating and preparing for all of them would be madness so you’ll want to strategically choose your battles. If this will be your first time doing a major holiday promotion, we would suggest to choose two or three to tackle. For example, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.
2. Prepare Your Q4 Calender
Now that you know which holidays you want to participate in, it’s good to start mapping things out. Staying organized will be critical over the busy holiday season to help ensure the success of your campaigns.
Dates and times you will you update the graphics and banners on your site
Dates and times of your promotional email deployment
Dates your start and stop advertising for each promotion
3. Refresh Your Returns & Refund Policy + Payment Gateways
You’ll probably want to reconsider a few policies for your store in light of the holiday season and being competitive. Many online and offline stores will offer and more liberal and extended return and exchange policy for the holiday season. You'll need to consider if this is the correct move for your store by carefully considering the impact it can have on not only sales, but also how it will effect your already established processes.
Furthermore, now would be a great time to consider additional payment options for your store. If you traditionally only accept Visa and MasterCard, would your store benefit from allowing PayPal or even Bitcoin payments? These options are easy to switch on and can lead to a nice bump in conversions and revenue from visitors that prefer these methods of payment. This is important for dropshippers considering the time the products takes to arrive. DON'T FORGET
4. Find Out Which Ad Channel To Maximize. ( Refresh Your Ads )
You dont want to run same ad you have been running for 5 months into the 4th quarter. Every business, big and small needs to choose their ad channels strategically. Being too scattered will only compromise your campaigns in the end. One of the most important parts of preparing for your holiday promotions is to begin preparing your marketing needs and materials. Marketing campaigns have lots of components to them that all need to be in alignment to achieve the most success, which is why it’s so vital to begin preparing these things ahead of time. We could recommend choosing a few advertising channels you feel would be best and putting your best effort behind those channels. Below we have outlined six of the more popular advertising channels:
Blog Posts – We all know content is king and carefully preparing blogs with SEO in mind for the holiday season can help attract new visitors and buyers to your store. Consider blog posts for each of the major promotions you plan on having. With some careful SEO optimization your blog post can be an effective tool for attracting people looking for the products you carry.
Email Marketing – depending on your list size – can be one of your best source of traffic and your best ROI. By leveraging your existing customer database, your chances of increasing traffic and garnering sales will be much higher than other channels such as PPC.
Pay-Per-Click (Google Ads) - If you're familiar with Google Adwords you may want to consider using it as a pay-per-click advertising channel for your holiday promotions. Keep in mind though, that because of the popularity of the holiday season amongst online retailers, you’ll likely have to bid a little more aggressively for your chosen keywords than normal. Make sure to use a strong call to action in your ads. Use words like “Free Shipping”, “Percent Off”, “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, and “Holiday Sale”, to entice buyers.
Facebook Ads - Facebook Ads is a great way to get your promotion in front of your target demographic.
Social Media - The holidays is a good time to make use, or make greater use of your social channels as people are more open to shopping and are on the lookout for promotions.
Retargeting - Retargeting can be one of the most effective options for advertising your promotions over the holiday season. Retargeting to show your ads (on Facebook or Google) to people that have previously visited your site.
5. Check Your Suppliers:
You should keep in mind that some suppliers will be busy during this season so make sure you have trustworthy ones!
6. Start Early Not That Day
Don't wait for that day to come - Begin early. Example you can start your christmas sale ending november. That way customers can get items before December 25th
7. Announce Delivery Time
Customers don't want to live on without information! Make sure you update your product pages that delivery might take longer than required in some cases
The months of November and December are guaranteed to be hectic times. If you leave all the work till then, you’ll likely find yourself skipping out of key pieces due to lack of time. That’s why it’s so important to begin prepping your content right away so you can leave November and December to executing your promotional calendar.
So what should you begin preparing? Below we have identified several key component to successful online campaigns you should consider preparing for immediately.
Emails - If you have a email list, this is going to be an important promotional channel for you. If you’ve written promotional emails before, you know they can take a good deal of time and hitting the send button can be nerve wracking. This is because once you hit send, you can’t take it back. This is all the more reason to prepare this channel ahead of time. Keep in mind, because of the importance of the holiday season, you’ll likely want to be planning out several emails for each promotion. In addition, you may want to consider segmenting your email list for maximum effectiveness. Tip: A great tool to help you segment, prepare and track your email efforts over the holidays is Klaviyo.
Ad Copy - Writing strong and compelling ad creative can take time to come up with. This is precisely why it’s so important to begin writing ads ahead of time. .
Landing Pages - Next to emails, creating landing pages for your promotions and sales can be extremely effective at helping further bump up your conversion rate for the holiday season.
Design & Graphics - You design and graphics will help tie you campaigns together and keep things consistent. From your email designs, to promotional banners for your website, Facebook and Twitter. Graphics can help you visually and quickly help your followers and visitors understand your promotion. Getting design work for your campaigns done early can take a major task of your shoulders when it comes time to execute.