StartupNation by Tom Now: If you are an online retailer or otherwise rely heavily on the holiday season for a good percentage of your sales, guess what?
It’s time to prepare your website for the holidays. Believe it or not, the time is now. In September. With no time to lose!
So, you’re probably thinking, “Come on, Tom. You’ve got to be kidding me. I can wait for at least another month before I need to be thinking about the holidays…”
Well, if you want to maximize your sales over the winter period, and if you want to avoid last-minute fire-fighting, panicking and compromising, there are a number of first steps that you should take right now.
These steps include the development of the following strategies, plans and initiatives:
Customer Acquisition Strategy: How are you going to win new customers? What is it that will make them purchase from you this holiday season, as opposed to anyone else?
Customer Retention Strategy: What specifically are you going to do to ensure repeat business from existing customers? What are you going to offer your current database?
The WOW Factor: How are you going to absolutely “Wow!” your website visitors during the holiday season?
Holiday Promotional Planning: What special holiday promotions will you run? What is the lead time that each promotion requires?
Website Infrastructure: Will you need any additional website functionality to support your holiday initiatives? If so, make sure you are acquiring the right technologies and securing technical resources now.
Marketing Integration Planning: How will you integrate your promotions and campaigns across your entire marketing mix?
Agency/Consultant Alignment: Have you already laid out a plan with any marketing agencies or consultants with whom you work? Collaborate with them now to build the perfect marketing plan, rather than blindsiding them the week before Thanksgiving with urgent requests…
Inventory Management: This one is rather obvious, but make sure that your inventory management is aligned with your promotional plans.
Testing: Be sure to allow sufficient buffer time to test new web pages, technologies and site functionality before going live with your holiday initiatives.
Post-Holiday Planning: And remember that the true “holiday season” extends well beyond the end of December. Look to leverage people’s natural urge for “renewal” in the new year. January can also be an opportune time to appeal to customers looking for bargains.
About the Author: Tom Now of Website Marketing NOW helps small businesses maximize their website results through Website Consulting, Website Audits and additional online marketing services.
To start learning how to create an amazing small business website that thrills your site visitors and drives your revenue growth, read Tom’s book Make ‘Em Scream “Gee Whiz!” – A Roadmap for Creating a Small Business Website that Ignites Your Sales.