Tis the Season: How Your Business Can Gain From Online Shopping

Black Friday. The day that signals the beginning of Christmas mayhem and the shopping frenzy.  And now we’re also blessed with Cyber Monday, which has gained in popularity since its creation.  What do these two days mean for your business?

According to an article provided by HubSpot, there are 47 statistics that will make it clear why businesses who are not already focused on online sales to consider diving into this additional sales avenue.

Key statistics that businesses should make note of for the 2012 holiday season include:

52% of consumers will do their holiday shopping online this year – Source: National Retail Federation

48% of shoppers plan to shop online and in-store equally this holiday season – Source: Steelhouse & Instant.ly

53% of smartphone owners and 64% of tablet owners will use their devices to research and make holiday purchases – Source: National Retail Federation

4 in 5 shoppers will use devices simultaneously to help with holiday shopping – Source: Ipsos Mediact / Google

Over 41% of mobile device owners have purchased in response to an email promo viewed on mobile… Yet, 1/3 of top ecommerce brand emails linked to a non-mobile optimized landing page  – Source: Yesmail Interactive

80% of online shoppers and 71% of in-store shoppers say email offers influence them to buy – Source: Yesmail Interactive

31% of shoppers will track emails from retailers to get latest holiday announcements – National Retail Federation

Over 2/3 of online shoppers tap customer ratings and reviews when looking for information about a retailer or products.

36% of marketers plan to incorporate social sharing into their customers’ holiday shopping experience – Source: Experian

81% of retailers plan to use Facebook to promote in-store offers – Source: Shop.org

Over 90% of marketers will increase their holiday marketing spent on Facebook, 75% for Twitter and 67% for Pinterest
– Source: Experian

27% of shoppers will follow retailers’ websites to get the latest holiday announcements – Source: National Retail Federation

58% plan to make a holiday purchase from a flash sale site like Groupon, if given the right product or offer – Source:
Steelhouse & Instant.ly

93% say they’ve purchased a product from a blogger recommendation – Source: Clever Girls Collective

More than 42% of retailers say percentage-off coupons for the entire stire were among the online tactics that pulled in the most customers during the 2011 holidays… Yet, less than 1/2 of retailers will use homepage messaging to get the word out about in-store offers – Source: Shop.org

Key takeaways from HubSpot’s article:

– Be prepared to have all your web content easily accessible for mobile devices and tablets. Shoppers aren’t relying solely on computers anymore.

– Are your emails and enewsletters smartphone friendly for viewing? Are your coupons only accepted if printed or can they be accessed via tablets and smartphones?  Is your website easy to navigate and laid out for shoppers to find your holiday specials?

– Shoppers today are turning to emails to get information on retail deals, coupons and holiday announcements – use email to send enjoyable holiday content and last minute special deals to your distribution list of loyal customers.

– People love to share their shopping experiences, deals and new purchases on social media. Are you sharing your best content on your social media accounts and is your content easy to share by others?

– Have you considered how you can use social channels to collect and promote reviews and ratings from your best customers, such as through Pinterest and StumbleUpon?

– Are you using your homepage to promote your in-store and online promotions and marketing materials, whether its coupons, deals or a piece of content? If you have a business blog, are you using it for holiday promotions for products and services? And is your blog and website mobile-friendly?

Here are a couple of simple things you can do to get your holiday messages out to your customers and benefit from online shopping:

  1. Make sure your website is smartphone friendly, as well as for tablets if the budget allows.
  2. Ensure that your emails and e-newsletters are easy to read on mobile devices and that links work correctly.
  3. Create a holiday calendar and plan which coupons or specials you will promote via email, social media and in-store.
  4. Share your best holiday content on all your social media accounts and have a plan to monitor social engagement while away on holidays.
  5. Promote your customer reviews and testimonials on your social media accounts, especially Facebook, and consider promoting your products and services on Pinterest for a more visual appeal and sharing.
  6. Use your website and make promote your holiday deals on your homepage to get the message out loud and clear.
  7. Connect your blog with your holiday specials by writing posts that relate to your products and services, or work with a guest blogger to do a review.
  8. Consider doing a holiday promotion that involves charitable donations, such as a percentage of sales goes to a local food bank or a discount to shoppers who bring in a toy for the local toy drive.

And remember to have fun with your holiday content and promotions, making sure to provide a positive shopping experience for your customers. Happy Holidays!

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