The shift to online sales has been enormous, particularly with the contribution of the pandemic and the continued reluctance of shoppers to visit brick-and-mortar stores.
According to Deloitteâ€™s 2021 annual holiday retail forecast, retail sales are likely to increase between 7% and 9%â€”reaching a staggering $1.28 to $1.3 trillion from November 2021 to January 2022! And in 2020, Adobe Insights Digital recorded $188.2 billion in online sales during the holiday season, with projections that those numbers will increase by 11% to 15% in 2021.
Clearly e-commerce is here to stay and as a small business owner, are you thoroughly prepared to maximize your sales during the holiday season? Read our tips to make sure youâ€™re ready!
1. Use your social media accounts to their full potential. Whether youâ€™re posting to TikTok or running ads on Facebook and Instagram, social media makes it easy for potential customers to find your business online and know what holiday deals you have to offer.
2. Diversify your promotional tactics to increase sales as well as to engage with and incentivize customers shopping online and in-person. Consider offering loyalty programs to engage repeat customers, give a gift with a purchase â€“ it can be something small but useful â€“ or offer a coupon code or percentage discount.
3. Increase your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and content marketing on your website during the season. Try regularly publishing content (e.g., gift-guide blogs related to products you carry) thatâ€™s relevant to your brand and captures your customersâ€™ attention.
4. If your brick-and-mortar store is open, make sure your customers are aware of your Covid-19 precautions such as masking, sanitation, and social distancing. You can include this information in your social media posts, post signage, and add information to your website and newsletters.
5. The supply chain is on everyoneâ€™s mind this year! So some of last yearâ€™s most popular items may be difficult to get or keep in stock. Nevertheless, make sure youâ€™ve been following buying trends and are full stocked for the holidays.
6. Some shoppers are still wary of shopping in person, so think about any accommodations you could offer such as giving customers the ability to order online and pick up their items curbside, providing outdoor shopping areas, and free shipping deals. Consider adjusting your hours to accommodate more customers.
7. Check your payment options including the increasingly popular buy now/pay later trend. Shoppers are savvy about how they spend their money so make sure your system can accommodate a variety of payments.
8. At the end of the season, take the time to analyze your results and figure out what worked and what didnâ€™t so you can prepare for 2022!
If you need help with e-commerce, or have questions about how your small business can be more profitable, call the advisors at West Center. We are here to help! www.westcenter.org | 707.964.7571.