I have to admit: for me, getting things ready for the holidays is generally a last minute affair.
I’m one of those people you’ll see running from store to store in the third week of December trying to scratch names off my shopping list.
But while this last minute approach may work for me, it’s unlikely that the same approach will work for your holiday marketing. This is especially true if you run a small business that depends on holiday sales to end your year on the right note.
As a small business, you need to have the right plan to help bring people into your store and keep them coming back throughout the end of the year and beyond.
To help you do that, we compiled a list of facts and figures that should help guide your holiday marketing decisions.
- 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year. (National Retail Federation)
- 55 percent of consumers plan to visit stores on shopping days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. (Accenture)
- 40 percent of consumers begin shopping before Halloween. (National Retail Foundation)
- 49 percent of marketers will launch a holiday marketing campaign before Halloween. (Experian)
Tip: With the biggest holiday shopping days occurring later this year (Small Business Saturday is on November 30th, almost a week later than 2012), and major holidays like Hanukkah starting earlier, brands aren’t wasting any time this holiday season. Don’t wait for December to start promoting your holiday offers!
- Consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at locally-owned stores and restaurants on Small Business Saturday 2012. (American Express)
- Cyber Monday online sales jumped 30 percent in 2012, over 2011. (IBM)
- 38 percent of consumers are likely to shop on Thanksgiving Day. (Accenture)
- 1 in 5 holiday shoppers plan to spend more this year. (Accenture)
- 65 percent of consumers plan to browse online and then go into a store to buy. (Accenture)
Tip: More and more consumers are taking the time to do research before heading out to do their holiday shopping. Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for by sending targeted promotions to their inbox and promoting your products and services on social media.
- 90 percent of U.S. retail sales are projected to occur in brick and mortar stores. (ShopperTrak)
- Holiday spending is expected to increase by 11 percent in 2013. (Experian)
- Online sales will increase by 15.1 percent in 2013. (eMarketer)
- Nearly half of consumers plan to buy holiday gifts online this year. (Google)
Tip: If online sales are part of your business, you need to make sure everything is working and running smoothly before the holiday rush. You can also take steps to optimize your website for the holiday season. Check out this example from La Provence, a boutique retail store that created a special “gift” page for holidays and special occasions.
- Email is the top holiday marketing channel for 55 percent of brands. (Experian)
- Mobile is expected to have an impact on 87 percent of all holiday purchases. (Mobile Marketing Association)
- Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and the day after Christmas were the busiest days for “shopping-related” search queries on mobile last holiday season. (Google)
Tip: More people are using mobile devices to inform their purchase decisions. If a potential customer can’t easily find and consume the information they’re looking for from their mobile device, or your email doesn’t look good on a smartphone or tablet, it could cost you business.
- 66 percent of 2012 Black Friday purchases were the result of a social media interaction. (Mr Youth)
- In a recent survey of Twitter users, 45 percent of respondents said they would rather take Twitter shopping with them than their husband or wife! (Twitter)
- 64 percent of respondents said they have bought a product because of something they saw on Twitter. (Twitter)
- 57 percent of respondents use Twitter to determine which stores to visit. (Twitter)
- 30 percent of Twitter users begin thinking — and tweeting — about holiday shopping before October. (Twitter)
- 55 percent of Twitter users discuss gift ideas on Twitter. (Twitter)
- 62 percent of shoppers Tweet about purchases they’ve made. (Twitter)
Tip: The holidays are a great time to step up your Twitter activity and to make new connections on the social network. Make sure to monitor your “@ mentions” very carefully. If someone sends you a question, make sure to answer it. If someone shows some holiday love, make sure to share it and say thanks for the mention.
- 39.3 percent of consumers say Facebook has influenced them to buy gift. (Crowdtap)
- 64.8 percent of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift. (Crowdtap)
- 44.3 percent of shoppers discover gift ideas through peer recommendations. (Crowdtap)
- In 2012, one-fourth of consumers purchased gifts from a retailer they had never even shopped with before. (Google)
Tip: While most businesses will be focused on reaching new customers throughout the holiday season, it’s important to also pay attention to the people who know you best — your existing customers. These are the people who will visit your store throughout the holiday months are also the people who will recommend you to their own friends and family.
- 47.7 percent of shoppers say that Pinterest content has inspired holiday gift purchases. (Crowdtap)
Tip: If you want to get your products in front of shoppers this holiday season on social media, you should be using Pinterest. Here are 3 ways you can use Pinterest to drive holiday sales.
- 67 percent of consumers have purchased a gift they saw on social media. (Crowdtap)
- When asked, “What type of holiday content are you most likely to share?” 67.2 percent said digital coupons and 63.4 percent said a link to a holiday contest or giveaway.
Tip: If you’re a small business owner who’s looking to make the most of this holiday season, you need to make sure you have a great offer to help get people into your store. That offer could be an exclusive discount, a special giveaway, or just a complimentary service to help ease the stress of the holiday season.
Ready to get started?
This fall we are offering a free live webinar, “Holiday Promotions Planning and Design.” Our team of experts will teach you how to plan a successful holiday promotion, and will answer all of your holiday marketing questions.