Tapping Into Your Mobile Customers

Cyber Monday this year was the biggest shopping day in history. According to IBM’s Holiday Benchmark Reports, Cyber Monday shot up over 20% in sales since last year. Online sales also smashed Black Friday deals by over 31%. But for businesses, the Thanksgiving weekend is already in the rear-view mirror. Now, everyone needs to focus their attention on the next three weeks.

If you are a little worried about your initial holiday sales, the good news is that online shopping is on your side. With the rise of cybershopping, consumers are stretching out their holiday spending more than ever. Simply put, more customers view internet purchasing as faster, easier and more convenient. People will be waiting until the last minute to purchase their holiday gifts hoping for the best deal. If you want to make the most of that market, keep these statistics in mind:

Mobile shopping is king. According to IBM, mobile sales accounted for 17% of all online sales this year, an increase of over 55% since 2012. And while smartphones were the weapon of choice when it came to browsing for deals, tablet devices accounted for over 11% of online sales. That’s double what smartphone-based sales were. Tablet-based sales also increased from 2012. With more of the features of a desk-top and the mobility of a smartphone, tablets may become the purchasing vehicle of choice for the tech-inclined.

But brick-and-click might be the winner. According to Adobe, hybrid online and traditional retailers out-competed their online-only counterparts by over 60%. Businesses like Macy’s didn’t even offer their best discounts on Cyber Monday. There’s also the fact that brick-and-click stores can offer special discounts and extras. Of course, these hybrid retailers could lose some of their initial advantage as the holiday season continues. Overall, apparel and toy stores saw a rise in sales, but electronics retailers took a hit this year.

Money—and technology—change everything. Just as the internet has dramatically changed how we shop, it appears that mobile devices are changing how we purchase online. As tablets and smartphones rise in popularity, we can only expect out-of-touch brands to fall by the wayside in the face of progress. The key here is for retailers to keep striving for new ways to connect with their customers without losing sight of why that connection is important. Here are a few ways you can connect with your customers via mobile and tablet:

  • Create a mobile app. According to one study, 51% of online shoppers said they would download an app for their favorite online shopping site. Giving those customers a mobile app that is easy to use can only increase your sales.
  • Give deals and offers via text. If you have customers that download your mobile app, have them sign up by giving their mobile number. During the holiday season, send out text messages with special deals and offers for these customers. This will make people feel valued, turning them into loyal and lifetime customers.
  • Referrals. Once people have used your mobile app and been rewarded with a discount, they’re going to want to spread the word among their friends. Make it worth their time to share your information by creating a loyalty or referral program.
  • Check out Red Stamp. This service lets small businesses send customized notes, cards, invitations and announcements for both mobile and desktop. As a customer buys a product from you online, get his/her email during check out and send a custom thank you note as soon as the purchase is made.

How are you connecting with your mobile customers? 

Conquer Content Marketing For The Holidays

It might be hard to believe, but the holiday season is right around the corner. In the next two months, we’ll cycle through Halloween, Hannukah, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day! According to a Google consumer survey, 50% of consumers plan to shop online and the National Retail Federation is predicting a 13-15% growth in online holiday sales is expected this year.

Last year, 60% of online retailers started their marketing efforts before Halloween. Is your content marketing strategy prepared? We’ve put together a list of holiday content marketing ideas to help lead your brand to success.

Gift Guide: Maybe you’re in a new relationship and don’t know what to get your significant other for the holiday season. Maybe you’ve been through so many holidays together that you’ve run out of creative ideas. From one end of the spectrum to the other, and everything in between, gift guides are a great piece of holiday content. “The Top 10 Gifts for the Tech-Savvy Woman in Your Life” or “50 Gifts Under $50” are examples of gift guides you could use. Some themes to keep in mind include price, gender, niche, age and color.

Create Urgency: Early bird and last minute shoppers are looking for the best deal in a short amount of time. Create a sense of urgency with these consumers by offering one day sales, or even a flash sale for an hour. Offer a steep discount that would draw in not only loyal customers but new fans. Another tactic is to plan to raise prices after the first of the year, so let your customers know that they need to shop now in order to save.

Make an Emotional Connection: The holidays tend to bring out that warm and fuzzy feeling inside everyone. Your customers are spending time with their friends and family, so make a personal and emotional connection with them at this time. If you’re a local business, offer 10% of sales on a certain item to a local charity or soup kitchen for a week.

Show Holiday Spirit: No matter what your industry is, theme your content around the holidays. For example, if you are a bar, make an infographic titled Kris Kringle’s Christmas Drinks From Around the Globe. You can feature drink specials on the infographic that are all themed around Christmas, such as Santa’s Stiff Hot Chocolate or Rudolph’s Red Nose.

Change Up Your Timing: During the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, weekends and evenings become more popular times for consumers to be on social media or their smartphones. Shift your content marketing strategy to include a push in the evenings and on the weekends, when people are out of work and rushing to the mall. Due to the increase in mobile usage, make sure your content is optmized for mobile devices and tablets.

Holiday Hashtags: Run a contest during the holiday season using specially-crafted holiday hashtags for a fun and interactive way to celebrate. Also, you can interact with others and join topical conversations using holiday hashtags. Some popular hashtags from 2012 include #blackfriday, #smallbizsat, #winterwonderland and #holidsayssavings. Do your research to find out what’s being used both locally and nationally to help get the word out about your brand.

Thank Your Loyal Customers: Show your customers you care! This is the time to reward those loyal customers and brand ambassadors. Brand loyalty is easily forgotten around the holidays with the bombarding of promotions and discounts to consumers, so make sure your customers know you appreciate their business. Send a thank you email with an exclusive coupon code, or offer a limited edition of one of your popular products to your brand ambassadors.

What strategies do you use for content marketing during the holidays?