What Holiday Specials are Best for Your Customers?

online promotions

Can you believe it’s December already? If you haven’t already, it’s time to think about some seasonal specials that can help bring more customers to your business during this Christmas season. Depending on the different retail forecasts you look at, online sales are expected to rise up to 15%. What are you doing to prepare your online store for the surge of shoppers? Here are a few online promotions to think about:

Free shipping: Free shipping is enticing for customers who don’t want to actually go out to get their shopping done. Online stores also offer more variety in products than those that can be found in stores. You can encourage shoppers with free shipping after a minimum purchase of a set dollar amount.

Reward loyalty: From frozen yogurt to car washes, many businesses are taking advantage of punch cards that reward multiple visits. This doesn’t just apply to chain stores or big businesses. I visited my local jewelry for a battery replacement and was happy to find that he was giving out cards that offered 1 free replacement after 10 replacements.

BOGO: Also known as ‘buy one, get one free’ or ‘buy one, get one half off’. Customers love to see the word “free” and this will encourage them to look at other options to qualify for this special.

You can get more ideas from Stamps.com’s analysis of last year’s shopping season.

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Cyber Monday and Your Ecommerce Site

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is over but some retailers, like Walmart, have extended the event into something even bigger…Cyber Week! Sales for Cyber Monday have continuously grown over the years, so expect online retailers and shoppers to take advantage of all the online buzz.
Online sales for Cyber Monday 2011 are expected to break records yet again, the total for 2010 was $1.03 billion in sales.

Here are some more interesting statistics via Get Elastic:

– 64% of adults shop online for holiday gifts because they believe they will get the best prices and deals
– 52% of online shoppers will spend more than one hour researching the best price for each holiday purchase
– 49% of online shoppers use social sources to find gift ideas
– 92% of online retailers are offering deals over Thanksgiving weekend (80% linked to Cyber Monday)

Are you a part of this growing holiday shopping phenomenon? If not, it’s time to take a look at why your online store isn’t using this word of mouth advertising to your advantage. Do you need help with e commerce design or social media? These are all great ways to start building a foundation for the busy season, long before it starts. Remember, there is still time to prepare for Christmas, and even the beginning of the year in 2012. Check out our free site analysis to see how we can help your ecommerce store live up to it’s great potential.

Are Your Marketing Campaigns Ready for the Holidays?

holiday spending 2011

Halloween is over but Thanksgiving is up next. Before you know it, Christmas will be just around the corner! As a small business, what can you do to make the most of online marketing services during the holidays?

Research is number one and it’s crucial to be aware of consumer trends.  As you can see from the snippet of the infographic above, 61% of consumers plan to research the “perfect” gift on social networks. The recent article on Mashable also shows that 38% of people have already started shopping. If your site isn’t optimized or prepared for curious buyers, you could be missing out on more than you think! Research counts in all areas including: trends, keywords and even phrases that consumers like (free shipping, sale, reward).

Be SEO-Prepared
Think smart so that you don’t have to work harder and exert your resources during the busy holiday season. SEO changes can be made easily and gradually over a period of time. These updates will also look more natural to search engines as they crawl and index your pages. Finding the right words that appeal to customers is effective when you incorporate them into your Title, title tags, meta descriptions, h1 tags and more.

Stay Relevant
Creating holiday specific content is a great way to generate link bait that is interesting and relevant. Very much like this infographic we posted! Creating content specifically for each holiday will help create awareness towards your desired demographic. Posting about different holidays can also inspire you to post more frequently and get all the relevant clicks that you’ve been looking for!

Need a Helping Hand?
Whether you hire an experienced marketing firm or handle your own online marketing, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. If you need extra help, it doesn’t hurt to ask for it or look for resources early on. You can always just keep an eye out for competitors. Also, starting early will give you more analytics and data on what is working and driving customers to your site and what isn’t.

Internet and Tech Inspired Gifts for the Holidays

Are you looking for the perfect gift? Shopping for your favorite SEO or web designer in your life doesn’t have to be difficult. And remember, it’s never too early to start shopping, especially with normal mailing deadlines approaching in one week.

You might be sick of ridiculous gift guides with items in the hundred-thousand dollar price range. Don’t worry, these are some fun gifts that you can actually afford this holiday season:

Social media related:

Throw pillows of your favorite icons

A Dislike hoodie for your favorite Facebook grump

The watch that says it all

Tech toys:

A recession proof case for your iPhone

Never look for a USB  flash drive again with this sleek key!

Colorful, comfortable earphones that look good enough to eat

Just for fun:

Floppy disk post it notes

A brand new  dirty coffee mug

A dancing pet speaker

What’s on your holiday wish list?

Results are in for Cyber Monday 2009

What’s the Big Deal?

With the post-Thanksgiving excitement of Black Friday, do you ever wonder how Cyber Monday sales compare to its popular counterpart? First of all, some consumers may not even be familiar with the term, as it was recently coined in 2005. For online shopping enthusiasts, Cyber Monday refers to the first Monday after Black Friday. During this time, retailers scramble to entice shoppers with a hungry appetite for deals. Although critics have slammed this virtual holiday as an overrated marketing gimmick, retailers can’t complain about the increase in sales that they’ve been experiencing.

Shopping Insights

– At first glance, the fervor created by Cyber Monday may seem too good to be true. Upon closer inspection, hardcore shoppers may be totally disappointed. Really, how good of a deal is free shipping or 10% off your overall purchase? Some criticize retailers for luring buyers in, but offering no real deals.
– Have you ever wondered what your productive workers are really doing? Research shows that about 57% of online purchases were made from the workplace!
– With so much internet traffic, online criminals are preying on easy targets. Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of these increased cyber crimes.

A Takeoff That’s Soon to Level Off?

According to analysis of 2009’s Cyber Monday, research shows that sales were up almost 14% from last year. Consumer demand seems to be thriving and retailers are just as willing to take advantage of the situation. Although these numbers are awesome in the short-term, opponents question the effectiveness of this so-called holiday in the long-run. Some retailers may even be diluting the anticipation of their Cyber Monday sales by offering deals during November and even extending promotions until December. It’s only a matter of time before we can accurately assess the staying power of Cyber Monday. For now, feel free to browse but think twice before you make that purchase!