The festive season has arrived and with it comes the annual Christmas spending splurge. Last year, according to the Centre for Retail Research, British consumers spent a whopping £79.716bn during the Christmas period. And £25.107bn of this was spent online, a 10.1% increase on the previous year.

UK consumers are also turning increasingly to mobile, with mobile ordering during Christmas 2018 accounting for 54.2% of all online retail spending.

What about Christmas 2019? The Centre for Retail Research estimates that Brexit and the General Election will impact on consumer spending in the UK this Christmas, but spending is still expected to rise by 0.8% to £80.27bn.

Despite predictions of a slowdown in spend, it’s a huge potential buying market. So how do you tap into it and win yourself more customers during the holidays?


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!

Above all make sure that your website is fully optimised for mobile. In 2018 in the UK 66.7% of all online shopping was done via mobile, the second highest in Europe.

Caerphilly-based firm Bearhug optimized their website by integrating it with shopify, resulting in a 50% increase in their online sales.

Get social with Facebook Ads

Despite a plethora of competing social media platforms snapping at its heels, Facebook is still way ahead with 2.45 billion monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2019. 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 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.

The 2018 Digital Maturity Survey Report says that over 75% of Welsh SMEs use social media to engage customers. The report also showed that it is the accommodation and food services sectors which are leading the way when it comes to social media. North Wales glamping business Wonderfully Wild is a prime example of this. The company successfully uses Facebook Ads to drive interest in its safari lodges and ensure they are always fully booked.


Be clever with email marketing

With 281 billion emails sent and received daily during 2018, and global email users expected to reach 4.4 billion by 2023, according to Statista, 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. 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.

To find out more about social media and digital marketing, as well as other digital technologies which could help grow your business, register for Superfast Business Wales’ free support service today.

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