It’s almost the end of the year and the holiday season is approaching fast! The last couple of months are usually the busiest time: many businesses will expect to see a spike in customer spending and a rush to complete projects while they begin preparations for the coming year. If your business is in this situation, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Make sure your team is properly set up before you unplug and unwind for the holidays. One place to start is with your time off policy. Every business needs to have an established holiday or vacation policy for its employees. Not every business can afford the luxury of sending everyone off for Christmas or Thanksgiving. This will provide fair guidelines when it comes to time off. Having this policy established as soon as possible will also help employees plan ahead and avoid headaches.
Once your team has settled on a policy, you may want to prepare your out-of-office message. This is an automatic reply to emails you’ll receive during your time off, so it is important to set this up as you’ll still be receiving important emails from your connections. Out-of-office messages will help with setting expectations from your clients.
Finally, consider hosting an office party for your team. Taking the time and effort to prepare a party for your team lets you give back and shows your appreciation for them. It’s a good time for everyone in the company to get to know each other as well. It’s also a celebration for all the hard work and success of your business. In the current climate, you may have to be creative with how you hold parties, such as doing a virtual meet-up for example.
Similar to putting up house decorations, it’s good to give your website a holiday makeover. You can opt to commission banners and put them up on your site to give it the holiday feel. Businesses can also use these banners to promote holiday discounts and sales.
Unless you’re completely shutting down over the holidays, you might still get customer inquiries. Consider implementing customer support tools before going on break, such as a chatbot. This way, you can avoid the surge of customer inquiries in January. Some tools could even be automated to provide answers to frequently asked customer questions.
Also, despite people taking the time off work, consumers are still on their phones connected online. Investing in a strong SEO strategy over the holiday season could be beneficial for your business. Make sure to update keywords to cover trending topics as well as preparing relevant holiday content.
Holiday Marketing Strategy Preparations
Marketing over the holidays is crucial to businesses, especially those relying on consumer sales. With much of the office being out for the holidays, it is important to prepare a marketing strategy ahead of time.
Host a high-level meeting to discuss the year-to-date progress, as well as any aspirations for the company in the new year. You are bound to come up with great ideas that your team members have been considering throughout the past year.
Plan out your content calendars for the last couple of months. As you’ll no doubt be busy with family, a well-crafted content calendar will help make things easier for the team.
Prepare to remain active on social media as well. Consumers will be heading online to look for discount deals and holiday promos. Staying active on social media will help boost engagement and help your brand stay top of mind during a competitive season.
Tips for eCommerce and Retail
For eCommerce and Retail businesses, the holidays are an important time that significantly boosts sales. Here are some tips to stay on top:
1. Update Google My Business
Google My Business is a free to use tool that helps businesses owners manage their information online. This is where you can update the information found on Google Maps or Search. Your business profile is accessible to customers when they are searching for relevant products or services.
You can update your profile to help customers easily find the information they need over the holidays. One example is whether or not your business provides curbside pick up, as customers are looking for last-minute buys. Another example is providing a list of available inventory, to save your customers the hassle of figuring out what is in stock. Adding your holiday schedule is also a good idea.
2. Partner with Last-Mile Delivery
In order to keep the sales going during the holidays, eCommerce and Retail businesses should consider partnering with a company to fulfill last-mile deliveries. Companies such as FedEx, Amazon, and USPS provide fulfillment services to get your product to customers.
Consider looking into local delivery businesses as well. Small last-mile companies have less reach but are able to quickly fulfill local orders. It might be a better option depending on the scale of your business.
3. Adhere to Covid Regulations
Finally, make sure to prepare strategies to handle any Covid-related concerns. Some employees may still need to head into the office to work. As such, it is important to make sure to have systems in place to quickly respond to any emergencies.
For those still going into the office, ensure everyone follows social distancing protocols. Keep a reasonable stock of face masks and hand sanitizer. You’ll still be needing these heading into next year as well.
On the customer side, make sure the delivery personnel follows local protocols when it comes to face masks and shields. Develop regular check-ins with your team to gauge their efforts and overall experience.
Tips for B2B
Don’t miss this great opportunity to show some appreciation to your B2B connections as well. No matter your product or service, giving a thoughtful experience to your connections will go a long way.
Research states that more than half of US customers find positive experiences to be more influential than advertising. This helps in retaining and improving customer engagement. For the holidays, consider giving meaningful and relevant content to your customers. Plan early and carefully to help ensure great results. Depending on your business, some content ideas include eBooks, Video Tutorials, and Infographic reports.
The holidays may be a time to relax but businesses still have things to do. Make sure to prepare ahead of time to allow your employees an enjoyable holiday season. Plan as early as possible to maximize marketing strategies and lessen headaches for when you get back.