This coming year, the volume of online shopping will be very high. This is an incredible opportunity for businesses to gain new customers and build their reach during such an important economic period. Core to this is ensuring that you are putting out the correct messaging and marketing in the right spaces to take full advantage of Black Friday and the holiday period. 

1. All eyes online

In-store remains a top destination, but these days, research happens online and more and more the South African consumer is completing the purchase process online. This research period is also beginning months ahead and so it is useful to consider extending the sale period to before the season itself. This also gives you more of a chance to catch the customer in the research period and seal the deal ahead of the rush. 

2. Create holiday season gift pages

Start this process by figuring out what category or landing page works for the upcoming sale period. You might title this ‘Best gifts for parents/partners/teens’ or ‘latest deals for kids under 5’. Ensure that you have categorised the items with page titles and accurate meta and page descriptions. Also ensure that where needed, your product images are improved. 

3. Promote your sales on social media and in your newsletter

Social media plays an important role in any sales marketing strategy. Core to this is your imagery which needs to be strong and ensuring that you have a powerful visual message will pull people into your orbit and close the deal quicker. Also, consider setting up holiday gift guides and sharing these with your customers. This shows an eclectic overview of your products so people can browse your top picks. Follow this up with a strong email marketing campaign. This provides a steady flow of income for your business and will ensure that you stay top of mind with customers during a very cluttered period. 

4. Bring in new products

This may take the form of introducing new products or profiling older stock in new ways. You may already anticipate what will be a best seller for the holiday season and these products can form a central part of your campaign. The more you write about your products the better your ranking. So get these pages ready in advance and ensure that the moment the product is released that it is available for purchase. 

5. Reuse content where possible

There is no problem with recycling old content in a new way. So if you have a Black Friday 2021 guide which still has relevant products, put a new spin on it and re-present it for now. You may even want to be obvious about it and highlight last year's best sellers as ideas for this year. 

6. Optimise your site

The user experience needs to be central to your thinking so make sure your website is optimised and can handle mobile usability and speed.  Ensure that your holiday season prep includes getting your website upgraded with a better website speed, ensuring it can handle a high volume of visitors and action these improvements as a priority.

7. Measure your activity

It’s important to ensure you have a way to measure the success of the season. So now is the time to write up your action plans, to think about your marketing strategy in great detail and what you plan to achieve. Once the season is wrapped up, be sure to revisit this plan and see how things have measured up, so you are in an even better position next year. 

The bottom line

The holiday season is actually very short. But now is the time to prepare your ideas, get your content ready and plan your activities. If your business depends on the holiday seasons to bring in big portions of revenue then it is well worth investing in the prep in order to ensure a successful season. To find out how we can help you fund your ambitious holiday season strategy, contact Merchant Capital today. 

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