Yep, it’s October – the holiday sales period is here. Are you ready to get a piece of holiday sales for your business. Do you dread that you could have done better last year? Well let this be YOUR year. eCommerce platform BigCommerce research shows that many small business owners are optimistic about holiday sales.
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This is no accident, there’s 5 things small business owners will do to enhance their holiday sales:
● Seasonal hires focused on online order fulfillment: As shoppers continue to move online for better search and discovery of gifts, 75% of business owners who expect to hire, plan to expand their teams for order fulfillment capabilities and to ensure accurate and timely delivery. Approximately 17% of retailers have plans to hire additional employees for the holiday season, a slight increase in comparison to last year. Approximately two-thirds of those hiring seasonal workers will employ teams for one to three months, while one-third will employ seasonal help for more than three months — and as early as August — to accommodate consumers’ habits of purchasing holiday gifts earlier in the season.
● Marketing plans emphasize low-cost social media: The majority of respondents cited concerns about high costs associated with holiday consumer marketing, with more than half reporting their holiday spend accounts for no more than 20% of annual marketing budgets. Select retailers (14%) reported no plans to increase marketing expenses for the holiday, preferring to rely on organic traffic associated with the season.
● Social media advertising eclipses paid search: Among the surveyed retailers, social media marketing is top priority for the majority of business owners. More than 70% plan to focus on promoting their business through the existing communities they’ve built on social media channels, and nearly 45% plan to spend on social media advertisements. Search engine optimization and advertising scored a close second with 60% of retailers relying on their SEO-optimized online channels to help them stand out; additionally, more than 30% are budgeting for search engine advertisements. The survey also revealed that many retailers plan to rely on traditional marketing tactics, such as email marketing (60%) and word of mouth (50%).
● Planning a diverse mix of promotions: Approximately 85% of responding retailers are planning a variety of marketing tactics to close sales with new and existing customers. Top promotional vehicles include, percentage off discounts (58%), free or expedited shipping (41%), free gift with purchase (29%), loyalty or best customer offers (26%) daily deals (24%), and abandoned cart offers (22%).
● Working through increased shipping costs: A number of surveyed retailers (36%) were not aware that carriers will increase their pricesfor the holiday season, and 20% were unsure of how to handle the changes from companies such as FedEx, USPS and UPS. Of those that were aware of the changes, 21% plan to absorb the additional costs while 16% will accommodate the increase by modifying their shipping quotes to customers.