Merry Christmas. 8 Things Small Retailers Need To Think About NOW To Prepare For Holiday Sales.

While most of the US (and the rest of the world) are sweltering and not thinking of snow, leaves, Christmas or Hanukkah, small businesses who want to leverage MORE Holiday sales than last year need to start preparing now.

One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that your customers can browse and buy from you on their mobile devices.

According to email marketing service Campaigner’s annual Mobile Trends Survey of nationwide consumers, promotional emails incite purchases made on mobile devices. The data reveals a 22 percent increase in mobile device purchases as a result of email marketing in 2013 from 2012.

“Retailers have a significant opportunity to embrace the growing market for mobile shoppers this holiday season,” said EJ McGowan, general manager, Campaigner. “The results from our 2014 Mobile Trends Survey indicated that while consumers are more interactive with mobile content and purchasing, marketers are still providing a lackluster mobile experience. In particular, the survey revealed that some consumers feel content is not personalized, underscoring the importance of relevant content to increase sales and effectively engage with consumers.”

Here’s a few things you MUST do to get your online experience ready for customers

  1. Clean your marketing lists – make sure you have right contact information for all your customers and prospects
  2. Brainstorm with your marketing team on what marketing campaigns you should do to attract the right prospects to your web site.  If you don’t have a marketing professional to work with – hire one to assist – at least to help you with ideas, if not for the actual execution
  3. Consider tools to help you with your marketing – Infusionsoft (automated marketing campaigns), Reach Local (online advertising platform), CBS Local’s Audio Ad Center (local advertising – including radio) and more. See my ultimate guide to small business marketing here
  4. Update your web site . Work with a local expert to ensure the navigation of your web site is well designed and easy to navigate.  Make sure your web site is FAST – customers will not tolerate slow web sites. Check out 10 Web Site Musts for help.
  5. Segment your marketing lists. Do you know who on your customer list is male? older? in Texas? In Oregon? Do you have a way to market different messages to your lists, based on who they are and how they buy.
  6. Partnerships can be important – do you know complimentary businesses you can consider joint marketing campaigns with
  7. Focus on your LOYAL CUSTOMERS – yes spend time getting new customers, but spend MORE time on the customers who already buy from you. Create campaigns to get them to buy MORE and to get them to refer more business to you.
  8. Security audit is important . Ensure that your network access points, ecommerce transactions and etc are all secure. Work with a security expert


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