There’s nothing small about the revenue potential of year-end (or holiday) season when it comes to small businesses.
It’s the time of year when your ideal clients are spending big, and — if you’ve got the right plan in place — primed and ready to spend with you.
As the season approaches, it’s important to identify factors that could influence your audience’s purchase decisions. Keep these trends in mind as you start this year’s planning and promotional strategy.
1. Your audience has gone mobile
Here’s a snapshot of what happened in the world of mobile this past year:
- Smartphone usage in the U.S. increased by 50% (Kleiner Perkins)
- The number of emails being opened on mobile increased by 330% (Litmus)
- Tablet usage doubled in the U.S. (Pew Research Center)
Bottom Line: More people than ever are using mobile devices to make their purchase decisions. If a potential client can’t easily find and consume the information they’re looking for from their mobile device or if you send an email that doesn’t look good on a smartphone or tablet, it could cost you business.
2. Your next clients and customers are looking for consumer feedback
Over 90 percent of consumers now read reviews before making a purchase. They trust them too! In one survey, 78 percent of participants said they trusted peer recommendations over ads.
Bottom Line: In addition to review sites like Yelp, consumers are also relying on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to help with shopping research.
You’ll want to be active on the sites where people are looking for your offerings and pay close attention to what’s being said about your business.
Look for opportunities to engage with your fans on Facebook, respond to a customer’s question on Twitter, or thank someone for a positive online review at every opportunity.
3. Email still sells more than social media
According to new data from Monetate, email continues to be one of the biggest drivers of conversions for businesses with an eCommerce presence.
The study, which analyzed more than 500 million shopping experiences in the first quarter of 2013, found that the conversion rate for email was 3.19 percent, compared to 1.95 percent for search, and just .71 percent for social media.
Bottom Line: While social media and other online marketing tools will also play an important part in this year’s promotion, your permission based email contact list will continue to be one of your most valuable assets. Keep that in mind as you start your planning.
No matter what type of product or service you sell, one thing remains the same: people are shopping online, by phone, or in-person during the year-end season.
Make sure you’re the business they choose to spend with when making purchases for their friends, family, and colleagues.
If you’re not quite sure where to start with planning your year-end campaign, I have just the guide to help make it a little easier: