A friend of mine owns a local business here in Charlotte. My firstborn finally arrived just before my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving – so I was in a great mood! He wasn’t. The cause? The tremendous pressure of making 4th quarter sales got him down. Instead of embracing the opportunity he felt overwhelmed by the competition and asked me what he should be doing. We talked with his website in mind and charted a plan to go forward. Here it is.
Cyber Monday Stats
First off, let’s set the table with some statistics. Cyber Monday is a great indicator for stores that are not on the Black Friday trend. What does the market look like for post Black Friday sales?
- Wall Street Journal cited IBM research stating Cyber Monday sales grew 33% in 2011 and an additional 30% in 2012.
- ComScore predicts Cyber Monday will be the heaviest online spending day in history and approach $2 billion in spending with a 20%+ year-over-year growth rate.
If you get a chance, check out this beautiful infographic from Digital Marketing Suite had the following great stats. Here’s the numbers that caught my eye – and what you need to do about it!
- 41% of total Thanksgiving weekend shopping was online in 2012 – up from 38% in 2011. Clearly the move to on-line is increasing. Great news for small businesses trying to compete against stores with people camping out for days for blockbuster products!
- Paid search was also up 29% year over year. Lots of competition in the paid arena – best focus on organic, local search options and let the big chains make the search advertisers rich.
- But Brick & Mortar store sales were only up 3% last year while on-line sales grew 15% clip. Online is the place to be.
- 18% of shoppers in 2012 were on mobile devices comprising 13% of all sales. Better make sure your website can be used on phones, tablets, etc!
- In 2011 25% of shoppers avoided crowds and were purely online. 2012 jumped to 30%. People would rather be indoors shopping at home.
Do What the Big Boys Do
Get Your Website Going
You Need More than Just Social Media
You Need a Newsletter
But Don’t Ignore Social Media
You know your clients and prospects are online. Get your social media campaign up and going. Post images on your walls with links back to your website. Don’t have a ton of followers or likes? Put targeted ads on those platforms leading to a landing page on your website with your Holiday deals.
Remember, be on the look out for negative reviews – not only about your company, but about others. See negative review strategies here.
Think Outside the Box
Here’s where you can start to really kick the big store’s collective rears! You’re an intrepid entrepreneur, not a keep-it-safe, bored out of your mind cubicle lackey. You LOVE what you do. You know it better than anyone. With your passion and your front line knowledge of the industry and your clients, there is no way someone who has never had the buck stop with them can be more creative than you. They have to follow rules – you don’t. Time to shine. Here are some ideas:
The Sharing is Caring Raffle
The 12 Days of Christmas
Kick off a ‘12 Days of Christmas sale’ or similar with a new deal everyday – of course emailed out to those on your email list first. Find a way to make an irresistible offer that is good for you AND great for your clients.
Diversify Your Income
But what if this is your slow season? For example, what are landscapers supposed to do when there is snow on the ground? Sell gift cards?
No. Not exactly.
This is something no corporate board would allow. Review Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as a post on your website with items in your niche. Make related gift guides. The landscaper in my example could review ‘toys’ that would make Tim “the tool man” Taylor green with envy. You see this all the time in magazines. Put affiliate links with those reviews and earn a good secondary income.
Always Good, but Essential During the Christmas Shopping Season
Get on Maps
Mobile Web- All of the Devices
Use YOUR own Images
Don’t Forget to Check this List Twice!