The Summer Olympics are In Full Swing! Know What Else? Yep, The Fall and Holiday Shopping Season Prep.!

Ok, we spoke prior about the Summer Olympics happening this year in August, in fact the opening cerimonies just took place this past Friday, the 5th, in Rio and the USA Team is making us proud! We ended with a question asking just what plans you should be looking at making in order to hit the ground running for the Back To School season and the Up-Coming Holiday E commerce Shopping Season.

Even if you don’t carry the pens, pencils, laptops, and the must have clothes your kid are looking to get to keep them on-par with their school cohorts, you can still capitalize on the momentum that will be building around this stress-full time of year for the parents that are shelling out the cash for these must have products!

Take the auto industry, you don’t see them pushing a new car to a 13-year-old, but we are all starting to see the tv ads promoting the end of summer clearance sales, and guess what, some of the new 2017 new auto types are also making an appearance. And they may not be revving their engines to your kids, but they are certainly marketing to YOU!

You can do the same with paving the way for what you hope are the newest and greatest products that your brand has to offer. Or if you work closely with your brand manufacturer (AND YOU SHOULD BE). Then you know well in advance what kind of promotional deals will be coming down the pike and you need to plan accordingly.

You can always start by placing some promotional banners on the main page of your website, just a teaser. The main focus of building the momentum as we have spoken before is to make the best use of your social media following. Now, in late July, early August is the time to start sending out initial (Sneak –Peak) announcements about upcoming deals or info on a new product offering. Making use of your social, if you are doing it correctly, your fans will be looking for new offerings from your company. After all, besides the great content and advice you should be supplying them with, they also look forward to the occasional deal or coupon offering that you from time to time should be passing along to them for their loyal following of your posts. Treat them the way they like to be treated, by treating them “Special”.

Just so you have it handy, below are a few of the remaining holidays that you should be gearing up for well in advance to them actually taking place. This may seem redundant to you as with any good marketing campaigns we all follow a history of what has taken place not only last year but 5,7,10 yrs. And more to plot trending sales days. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you’re gearing up for the upcoming holidays and we will cover that in a future post.
For now, just make sure the following dates are on your calendar!

SEPTEMBER 5 – LABOR DAY
For many, Labor Day signals the end of summer and the start of studying. This is a last-call for your Back to School marketing and summer clearance sales. This was our lead off statement and you should be taking advantage of the seasonal change and leverage promotions and sales to advertise new fall merchandise.
OCTOBER 31 – HALLOWEEN
October means cooler weather, falling leaves, and … Halloween! Consider offering incentives or Halloween-themed products to help get your customers ready for this spirited holiday. Use your imagination to incorporate your social media into various “Spooktacular” offerings from you to your followers
NOVEMBER 11 – VETERAN’S DAY
Veteran’s Day is a day where we honor military veterans who have served in the US Armed Forces. Show your appreciation of vets by offering them special promotions and discounts. With this year also being a presidential election year, the focus on the whole country is on picking the right candidate and incorporating a big Thank You to our Veteran’s is a great way to show your companies support for the sacrifices they are making and have made in protecting our country.
NOVEMBER 24 – THANKSGIVING DAY
Being grateful, spending time with family and overindulging on food is what Thanksgiving is all about. But let’s not forget shopping! Thanksgiving marks the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season. Provide value by promoting and sharing exclusive online offers and shopping events. Remember the two biggest days that shoppers are looking forward to are “Black Friday” and Cyber Monday” And as you know from tracking your sales, Thanksgiving Day itself has become a very lucrative on-line shopping day. Mom can shop online while the turkey is roasting in the oven and get the deals she’s been researching for. These three days are usually a “Make or Break” sales picture on how well you have done for the whole year. This is why we broke out these two days all by themselves, below!
NOVEMBER 25 – BLACK FRIDAY
Shoppers eagerly anticipate huge discounts both online and in-store on Black Friday as they focus on their holiday gift-giving. Highlight limited-time sales, promotions, complimentary products, or special events to help boost sales. You have to be very aggressive with your social media and email marketing campaigns to be able to compete with the Amazon’s and Walmarts and other big box stores in order to get your share of the pie…(pumpkin pie?)
NOVEMBER 28 – CYBER MONDAY
By far one of the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday is a perfect time to offer flash sales, daily deals, discounts, promotions, contest, and special offers. And DON’T forget about mobile! Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and that you’re taking full advantage of social media in your marketing strategies. Lastly, give your audience all the information well ahead of time and remember that Cyber Monday shoppers are still very much relying on email marketing to learn about your great deals. Since we all get swamped by emails during this time of year, timing is key. For the next few days, you also want to make sure you have your returns and shipping policies up to date and hopefully as simple to understand as possible.
DECEMBER 25 – CHRISTMAS
It’s all about the warm, cheerful holiday spirit. Combine holiday-themed ads with a strong call-to-action because people are primed for shopping.
DECEMBER 31 – NEW YEAR’S EVE
Close out the year with resolutions, new opportunities, and end-of-year sales! It is also a fantastic time roll out new promotions, products, and offers for the New Year ahead. Nothing can make or break a holiday gift giving experience than not having the anticipated gifts be delayed. So keep up to date on your shippers delivery dates and know when the cut-offs will be and pass that information along to your shoppers. Staying on top of your inventory and shipping schedules will help you to have a less stressful holiday “Fulfillment” season.

So the above are the basics for staying on top of what dates you need to focus on and prepair for, remember, if your not implementing your plans at least 4-6 weeks in advance, your going to be left out in the cold this holiday season. So now is the time. Just like rooting for Team USA gather your own team and prepair, implement, and reap the rewards of your toil this Fall and Winter shopping season.

Stay tuned for more tips for making a successful Fall and 4th. Quarter season.

Portions of this information were provided by BY KATIE WOODWARD