Never mind what you’re cooking for Thanksgiving … if you sell goods or services online, the big holiday question you need to be answering is: how are you preparing for Black Friday and beyond?
Black Friday, as the day after Thanksgiving is called, is traditionally the kickoff for the holiday shopping season, and a big day for sales, both online and off. So if you have a Website that’s looking to attract holiday shoppers, now’s the time to make sure it’s primed for peak sales performance. How? Consider these 10 simple suggestions:
Offer more value than your competition does. This isn’t necessarily the same as offering more products and services. For example, customers might find more value in something as simple as having a personal email address or a real person’s name to ask for when calling or emailing with questions, rather than a generic sales number or email address.
Make sure your Website builds a unique, appealing and consistent brand for your business. Use the same layout and color scheme for all of your pages, for instance, and choose a site style that reflects the tastes and sensibilities of your target market.
Look for inspiration everywhere, and carry a small notepad and pen with you to jot down sales-building ideas as they strike. Other businesses can offer lots of good marketing ideas with great potential … if you keep your eyes open and think creatively.
Show your personality. Set your business apart from the competition by adopting a more personal or humorous tone in all of your online, email and print content; a clear personality makes you more memorable. Be careful, of course, to not go overboard, offend or appear unprofessional.
Make it easy for new customers to order from you from the Home Page and on by featuring prominent “Buy now” or “One-Click Ordering” links for every featured product. Be sure to include a sales phone number and/or email information on every page, too.
Build a strong local or topical aspect to your site by tying your services and specials in with current events. For instance, if you’re based in Buffalo or Minneapolis: “Get 1 percent off your first order for every inch of snow that falls this weekend.”
Seek out opportunities to display your products or promote your services at local holiday fairs and markets. Be sure to prominently display your Website address in your booth, and include your URL on all sales material, including business cards, informational brochures and even receipts.
Sponsor a fund-raiser for a local worthy cause and promote it both online and off. Be sure to provide the organization you’re helping with copies of all your press releases, too.
Bring together a group of friends and colleagues to act as an advisory board for your business. In return for free muffins, bagels and coffee, they can brainstorm with you to come up with new ideas and suggestions for improving your holiday sales strategies.
Polish up your Website. Ask friends and associates to browse your Website and suggest ways to boost its appeal. It’s hard to catch all of a Website’s drawbacks on your own, and some of them could be driving away potential business.