The festive season has arrived and with it comes the annual Christmas spending splurge. Last year British consumers spent a whopping £77.6bn during the Christmas period. Online sales, spurred on by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, accounted for 27%, a 12.9% rise compared to 2015, with £8.87bn spent online using mobile devices.
This growth in online and mobile e-commerce is set to continue. The Centre for Retail Research predicts that by the end of 2017 UK shoppers will have spent £67bn online, of which £27bn will be via mobile devices.
So, how do you tap into this huge potential buying market?
We have 3 easy ways to help you market your business online and win more customers during the Christmas holiday
Give your website a festive makeover
Your website is your online shop window. Now is the time to take stock, review your website and be objective. How attractive is it to potential customers? Does the content need updating? Is there a clear call to action? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes - can they easily find what they’re looking for? If your website is too difficult to navigate, you will put off potential customers, and they won’t bother returning.
Keeping your website updated does take time and effort but the results will be worth it. Content is king and search engines like Google pay much more attention to websites which are regularly refreshed with new content. Updating your site will boost your search engine rankings, increase your reach, and will help you stay current. If you don’t keep your website looking fresh, you can bet that your competitors won’t be making the same mistake! Find out more about how to develop your website at a Winning with SEO workshop.
Above all make sure that your website is fully optimised for mobile. In 2016 in the UK up to 80% of shopper visits to websites were made via mobile and tablet devices, with 42.3% of all purchases made using mobiles – that’s higher than anywhere else in Europe!
Flintshire business The Old Mill Cottages, a Superfast Business Wales client, has increased its bookings income by 50% by using effective online marketing combined with an improved customer experience – watch the video to find out how.
Get social with Facebook Ads
Despite a plethora of competing social media platforms snapping at its heels, Facebook is still way ahead with 2.01 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2017. This makes it the biggest social media site on the planet and a great place to market your business to potential customers.
Facebook Ads can help you target users by location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behavior, and connections. Facebook allows you to control how much you spend and when your ads are posted. It will also give you access to metrics so that you can measure how well your ads are performing in real-time. This means you can allocate your spend to the ads which bring in the best results, turning off any which under-perform.
Fit My Floor is a perfect example of how to use Facebook advertising to drive brand awareness and sales. Find out how it drives 34% of its sales through Facebook.
Be clever with email marketing
With 90% of brands still using it, email marketing is showing no signs of slowing down. Email marketing is still one of the cheapest and most effective online marketing tools out there. However, with so many emails flooding inboxes how do you make yours stand out?
Make the reader believe you’re speaking directly to them, so personalise your email wherever possible - personalised emails generate 58% of revenue for marketers. Write a strong subject line which compels the reader to open your email and find out more. Keep your sales pitch to a minimum and ensure your message is interesting and appealing with a clear call to action. Be brief, you want to tempt the reader into clicking through for further information – no one wants to scroll through an email equivalent of ‘War and Peace!’
Use analytics to measure your open and click through rates, and adjust your email campaigns accordingly. Experiment – if something isn’t working, try changing the subject line or the content until you get the results you want. Work out when your customers are most likely to be responsive and schedule your email campaigns for these times. There are plenty of automated email marketing platforms available, such as MailChimp and HubSpot, which enable you to do this. Find out more at a digital marketing workshop
Gwynedd online retailer, and Superfast Business Wales client, My Leather Manbag, now has international orders accounting for 20% of its sales following a series of successful email marketing campaigns.
These are just 3 easy ways you can capture the attention of the Christmas market and start growing your customer base and sales ready for the New Year.