Six ways to get prepared for the busy Christmas sales season
September is really flying by here at KH Web Design, but I still have those ‘back to school’ vibes which have never really left even as I’ve gotten older and become a mum myself! There’s something about the cooler mornings, darker evenings and leaves starting to change in the trees which makes me focus clearly after the fun of summer, and I’m relishing being busy, nailing the rest of the year and making big plans for 2023.
Autumn is also a really important time of year for any business for whom Christmas is a key selling period. So, if your business sells anything festive and holiday season themed - clothing, gifts, decorations, cards, cakes, hampers, cheese, holiday rentals, maybe even turkeys - or if you provide support for businesses who work in those areas, now is such an important time. For example, you help them with packing supplies, marketing or even business coaching. If November and December sales tend to be your strongest of the year, now is the time to take action with your marketing and website updates so that you’re visible when you need to be to drive sales. Here are my six ways to prepare for the Christmas holiday season ahead:
1. Review your data
If you’re selling the same or similar products to previous years, make sure you review last year’s sales data to see what sold well and what didn’t. Even your day-to-day sales and marketing data will provide insights into what has worked and what hasn’t in terms of driving revenue. Are your bestsellers front and center of your website? Is there anything that didn’t sell well that you need to move on - and could it be perfect for a sale? This information will help you structure your homepage and product pages to make sure people can effortlessly find what they’re after.
2. Audit your website
I’ve written before about how important it is to view your website through the eyes of your potential customers. If they are new to you and what you sell, is everything crystal clear when they land on your website? How easy is it to navigate between different products or search for something? If you’ve advertised an offer on social media, is it clear that the offer is valid when they start to check out online?
3. Plan your strategy all the way through to Christmas Day
Using what you’ve found out from reviewing your data and your website, write out a strategy and list of action which includes:
● The products you want to promote and when you’ll focus on them - including deadlines is essential!
● How will you promote products, so list all the channels you have- social media, email, paid advertising, PR and print advertising.
● List the content you need to create or amend for your promotional plan and when you need it by.
● List the changes you need to make to your website, such as adding new products and building landing pages and include the dates your changes need to be completed by.
4. Align all your marketing channels
If you make any changes to your homepage then make sure you’ve checked your landing pages, social media bios or pinned posts and any other marketing touch points so that they are all consistent. For example, if you grow Christmas trees and used to offer people the chance to find and cut down their own, but you now sell them ready cut, make sure that’s clear! For sales and discounts, if you say you are offering your email subscribers an ‘exclusive offer’ then make sure it really is exclusive, at least for a set time period.
5. Take action!
This is such a key element and it’s one that sometimes people get nervous about - sending your content and promotions out into the big wide world! Making plans and setting deadlines is exciting and it feels like positive action (which it is), however the key to success is deploying your content at the right time to drive people to your website.
That’s why it’s so important to get started and stick religiously to your timing plans. There’s so much uncertainty around cost of living this year and no one knows just yet what impact that will have on consumer behaviour. Will people shop early, or leave it late? Being prepared and then getting the content out means your social media messages, emails, offers and more are out there whenever people start festive planning.
6. Measure and review everything
After all that hard work in the run up to Christmas it’s natural to want to give yourself a break when the big day arrives. And, do have a holiday! But when you’ve recharged your batteries then make sure you review your Christmas campaigns while it’s all still fresh in your mind. A big part of that should be tracking website metrics so that you can see where your traffic came from. If you invested in PPC or social media advertising, did that translate into website traffic and sales? What about clicks from your email marketing or organic social media posts?
That data will be invaluable for planning next year’s campaign and could even help you optimise your marketing and website strategy in general, not just for seasonal sales activity.
September is all about your marketing and building up those sales ready for the Christmas period. September is all about planting the seed and getting them to think about what they need to be updating and changing in their business to prepare for the upcoming season.
If you would like my help with anything to do with website tweaks, landing pages, email integration or website audits, why not drop me a line? Together we can get your website in tip top shape ready for your best Christmas yet!