The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so it’s important to be prepared. Your company’s brand needs to look its best and be ready for impact when shoppers are in the mood to buy. In this article, we’ll outline some steps you can take now to prep your business (and yourself!) for the holiday season.
Your brand’s holiday identity
The holidays are a great time to reflect on the year and look forward to what’s next. You should also take some time to consider how you want your brand to be perceived during the holiday season. What is your holiday identity?
- Are you festive? If so, how can you find ways to showcase this identity in your marketing efforts?
- Do people associate your brand with kindness or generosity? How can you use this association to drive more sales, especially at this time of year when giving back is important for many consumers’ shopping habits (and wallets).
- Is there an aspect of your company that makes it unique from other brands during this time of year—maybe it’s a proprietary technology or service, perhaps even charitable initiatives that no other business offers during the holidays (e.g., donating some percentage of sales towards charity.)
Help customers navigate your website
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. If a customer can’t access your site on their phone, they can’t buy from you!
- Make sure you have a way for customers to contact you. A lot of people don’t want to give out their email address so it’s good to have some other way of getting in touch with them besides just emailing them back when they ask for help in the comments section of an Instagram post or something like that.
- Track orders closely so you know how many items are being sold each day and which products need more attention because they’re not selling as well as others (or vice versa).
Advertise promotions early and often
When it comes to promoting your promotions, simple is better. It’s important to advertise your promotions early and often, both on your website and in emails. This will help ensure that customers are aware of what they’re getting when they buy from you during the holiday season.
Use social media to stand out
Social media is a powerful tool for any business. It’s an engaging platform that can help you stand out from competitors and build a loyal following.
Here are some ways to use social media to boost your brand during the holidays:
- Promote your products. Use Facebook and Instagram ads to promote your holiday line or new additions to your product line, like seasonal flavors of coffee or sandwiches featuring meatballs.
- Engage with customers through live video chats on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories, then share these videos across platforms so they reach as many customers as possible. You can also ask questions about their favorite holiday memories, then share those responses with others or simply share details about how the holiday season impacts your business (if it does).
- Build community by hosting contests across various platforms—for example, if someone answers a question correctly on Twitter, they’ll be entered into a drawing for some free coffee beans! You could also host giveaways throughout the holidays so people feel compelled to follow along with each one and see if they win something cool (like free coffee beans). In addition, include fun graphics like gifs that show what kind of gifts you’re giving away in order to encourage engagement from followers who might not know already know what kind of gifts they want but would still like something cool anyway.”
Get your customer service ready
Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to get your customer service ready for the holidays. Whether you’ve been running your business for years or just started, there are several things you need to know about operating during this high-volume season.
In addition to increased sales, this time of year also means an increase in returns and exchanges as well as customer service calls. But don’t worry—we’re here to help! We’ve outlined some steps you can take now so that when the holiday rush hits, your brand will be ready.
Don’t forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday
It’s a good idea to begin planning for the holiday season as early as possible, and while Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still months away, that doesn’t mean you should put your plans on hold.
As you develop your social media promotions, discounts, and coupons for this time of year:
- Stick with what works. If there were any one thing that made the most money for your brand last year during the holidays, make sure it’s top of mind in those crucial Black Friday and Cyber Monday days.
- Don’t feel locked into only doing one thing every day this season. You can do several different things every day or even switch up how often you’re posting during certain days if it makes sense for your business. For example, maybe you normally post once per day but decide to bump it up to two times per day during Thanksgiving week (when more people will be searching online).
Holiday shipping deadlines
If you’re in the midst of shipping to holiday customers, get your act together now.
The best time to start thinking about holiday shipping is at the very beginning of the year, so that by the time November rolls around you have a plan in place and know what products need to be stocked up on.
If your brand has an online store, then you have plenty of time between now and when people will be placing orders again in December—which means that if something doesn’t go as planned (like if a customer wants their order shipped overnight), there shouldn’t be any problems.
Plan for returns
When you’re thinking about your holiday brand strategy, it’s important to consider the fact that some of your customers will be returning items. “Returning” can mean either exchanging an item or getting a refund on something they bought. We recommend preparing for returns by making sure you have easy-to-follow return policies in place.
This will reduce the chances of unhappy customers and make it easier on everyone involved: you, your employees and most importantly, the customer.
Just a few simple steps can ensure that your brand is ready for the holidays. We’ve covered all of the major ones here, but if you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to us.