Halloween Starts It! Are Your Plans Laid To Capture That 4th Quarter Bonanza?

October is here, and you already have your Halloween decorations up in your stores, or if not a physical building, you are probably setting the stage on your website to begin promoting your products that have that Ghoulish look and feel about them. But if Halloween is not upper-most on your mind, the holiday shopping season that is right around the corner should be!

Customers are beginning to ramp up what has become a holiday tradition of skimming their favorite online stores for incentives for capturing their holiday dollars, even before they become holiday dollars. For the eCommerce store owner, now is the time to put your holiday plans into effect, especially if you don’t want to get caught with your Halloween Pants Down!

You know what items you need to promote, in order to set the stage for increasing your holiday sales quota. You know the best price you can offer them at and how much of an incentive you can use to entice a customer to purchase just that little bit more. And you should have your plans all set in order to get your sales message out to your website customers.

Plan, Plan, and Planning are the keywords that should be on your office whiteboard.

Basics strategies that should be covered prior to the “Trick or Treat Day”
1. Halloween is one of the most profitable holidays of the year. It’s estimated that consumers will spend over $9.1 Billion dollars on this holiday alone. Most people feel as if this scary holiday kicks off the holiday shopping frenzy.
If your store deals with anything holiday related now is the time for your email marketing announcements to be blasting away. Planning is always the key to make sure you have an action plan on what to promote and when to do it. Your customer base list is important to make use of. But also your social media campaigns need to be thought out even more. Social media will be a “Key” factor in gaining your share of that holiday cash! So plan accordingly. And if you need help to manage and capitalize on this crucial marketing factor. Give the knowledgeable staff from Black Arrow Marketing a call and let them outline a game plan for you to follow and make sure you’re “Calling” all the right plays!

2. If you haven’t done so yet, October is your Warning Bell that you should have done some house-keeping to make sure your eCommerce store is ready for the upcoming holiday season.
a. Promotional Items should be placed in a highly visible area on your home page

b. If you have a banner area on that page, make good use of it to promote those items or a Free Shipping message. Sometimes that alone is the incentive people are looking for that will entice them to make a purchase from you if your prices are comparable to other vendors

c. Linkage: Do a thorough “dig” throughout your store to make sure everything links correctly. The last thing you want to have happened is to have someone on the verge of purchasing a product and when they click on it, it goes to a 404 error page!

d. Product inventory: Make sure you have an ample supply of products available to meet the demands of your holiday shoppers. You don’t want them to try and purchase an item and find out that it’s out of stock or on pre-order. Make sure you contact your supplier so you know in advance a number of products they have earmarked for you!

e. Make sure your shipping and returns policy are easy to locate on your site. People do not want to have to jump through hoops if they need to return an item. Or they are looking for ship dates so they can have their items arrive in plenty of time in order to land under the tree.

f. With preparing your eCommerce store you also want to make sure your page keywords make sense and are indicative to what people may be searching for. Again, this is something that can be done well in advance of this time of the year. AND SHOULD BE!!

3. Marketing: You want to make sure your marketing plans are ready to launch. Your budget should allocate an increase, based on the expected volume of sales that will be generated.
a. You will want to make sure all of your Ad word campaigns are set and ready to go.

b. Know in advance what “Keywords” you will want to bid on and what your price range allocation is

c. Email campaigns are also important, you have your lists and they should be up to date based on previous orders from satisfied customers. Now is the time to make sure you have a schedule of when and how often you will be sending out your alerts on special offerings, whether it be price drops or incentive off coupons. Be aware of “Free Shipping Day-This year it is December 15th. 2017, which is a Friday.

4. Have fun, this is important, you made your plans, and you checked your own lists, probably more than twice. Things will happen, just try to prepare for them and know in advance some things will come out of left field for you. But you’re in business to do business and you will.

5. Make sure your mobile presence is working correctly. If your online store is not easily searchable on a mobile device. You might as well forget about this upcoming holiday season. This year, even more than previous years, customers are using their portable devices to shop, search and compare prices more than ever. So you need that mobile presence and if you don’t have it at this point, well, the clock is ticking!

As always the experienced marketing staff from Black Arrow Marketing is here to help. Give us a call to meet and go over your up-coming holiday marketing plans and we will be happy to offer recommendations and insights on what the expected holiday trends will be for 2017. Call us at 888.225.4780 or email us at info@blackarrowmarketing.com