It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
It’s that time of year again—temperatures drop, the decorations go up at the mall, and you’re figuring out how to maximize holiday revenue. Because the holidays represent a unique opportunity. It’s the season when customers want to spend money. Last year, consumers spent $103 million in online purchases during the holiday season. They’re expecting to see holiday campaigns aimed at helping them decide where that money should go.
And of course you want them to spend their money, preferably on your business. Especially when you depend on that end-of-year revenue to get you through the next year. In fact, some retailers rely on on holiday sales to generate up to 40 percent of their annual revenue.
The point is, if you fail to maximize your revenue during the holiday season, you’re missing out. Don’t let your competitors win the season.
So let’s talk turkey. Here are four simple tips to maximize your holiday revenue.
#1. Start early and start right.
This doesn’t mean break out your Christmas decorations in August. But August might be a good time to begin discussing how you’re going to tackle the holidays. Or perhaps as early as June or July. The point is, don’t wait till the day after Halloween to start planning your company’s plans for the holiday season. By that point, time becomes your enemy and you’re already losing opportunities to max revenue.
Your holiday plans can include several elements: seasonal hires, adjusted businesses hours, email campaigns, promotions, custom webpages, paid search, holiday-themed hold music and messages, fliers, ads, and more. Gauge how quickly your departments can respond to seasonal needs and give them plenty of lead time. Have everything ready to go by November 1st so all you have to do is hit the “go” button.
#2. Craft catchy, clickable holiday-specific emails.
Most companies know to use emails to advertise special offers, contests, and promotions to customers. To really maximize the impact emails have on your revenue, make sure the email contains links back to your website or social media sites. Customize those linked pages or sites so they tie in directly to the email’s offer. The holiday season is also a prime time to bulk up your mailing list by enticing customers to sign up for your emails.
#3. Optimize your website.
Your website may be the most revenue-maximizing tool at your disposal. Mobile devices make it possible for consumers to shop just about anywhere. At the Thanksgiving table, in bed, in the bathroom, and even while they’re fighting the crowds on Black Friday. When they visit your website, your customers will expect a simple online experience. To give them that, make sure your:
- Website is mobile-friendly
- Load-times are acceptable
- Products show up in online searches
- Shopping cart service is easy to use
- Analytics are tracking customer activity on your site
If Black Friday figures heavily into your holiday revenue strategy, you might consider setting up a year-round webpage to keep your customers up to date.
#4. Have fun. Kick up a fuss.
It’s the holidays! Now’s the time to do something unexpected to delight your customers. Something that helps your business stand out by doing the holidays your way. It’s the time to update your website, your signs, your ads, your phone greeting, etc. to reflect the season. Have a giveaway, announce a special limited-time freebie or discount, roll out a loyalty program (or plug the one you already have in place), release a video, or hold a special event for people who sign up in time. News is slow over the holidays, so it won’t take much to drum up PR if you do something exciting and unexpected.
May your days be merry, bright, and lucrative.
The holidays are an opportunity, one to seize or miss, depending on how prepared you are. So have a plan how to maximize holiday revenue for your business. This is the time of year show your customers some holiday fun and to give them a chance to be there for you.