Last-Minute Shoppers Need Last-Minute Sellers

December 15, 2016 Sara Velordi

7 Ways to Get Holiday Shoppers into Your Local Business

We’re heading into the home stretch of the holiday shopping season. Up to 40% of holiday sales occur in the 10 days before Christmas — a critical time that provides businesses like yours a huge opportunity to boost sales.

Last year, 75% of consumers weren't done Christmas shopping as of December 8 — and half of those planned to wait until Christmas Eve to finish. (No wonder Starbucks projected record sales of Starbucks cards on Christmas Eve last year.)

When time is of the essence, shoppers (even those who tend to purchase primarily online) start to worry about their gifts arriving on time and turn to local businesses to save the day. These seven tips can help you capture your share of last-second shoppers.

  1. Get attention with Cable TV advertising. Families gathered around the TV set to watch holiday classics are also seeking gift ideas. It’s not too late to check out local cable advertising opportunities. At prices that won’t bust your budget, you’ll be able to specifically target local consumers.
  2. Drive sales with online advertising. Some 69% of smartphone owners and 53% of tablet owners use their devices as “second screens” while watching television. Include your website URL in your cable ads, or use special offers to drive viewers to your website for details.
  3. Make it mobile. Whether consumers are sitting on the sofa or heading to the mall, mobile devices propel sales. Some 64% of consumers use mobile search to get ideas for products to buy, and 76% of mobile shoppers have changed their mind about where to buy after conducting a search. Show searchers what you offer with a mobile-friendly website that promotes hot products, sales and special offers on the home page. Google says "cool gifts," "unique gifts" and "best gifts" are popular search terms; use these keywords on your site and in your ads.
  4. Promote your location. Eighty-two percent of smartphone owners use search to find local businesses; searches using the term "near me" spike 55% at Christmas time. Those searches lead directly to sales: 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. Make sure your local search listings are accurate and complete so shoppers can easily find you.
  5. Grab them on the go. Once shoppers are out looking for that last-second gift, use mobile marketing's geofencing capability to reach out within a specific area with gift ideas or sales alerts when people get near your business. You can even use geoconquesting to contact customers when they’re near a competitor with a special offer to tempt them away.
  6. Get social. One out of three consumers say social media influences their holiday purchases. Along with “holiday cheer,” social media users like businesses to share promotions. Post gift ideas (such as "great gifts for Mom”), specific products and special offers. Boost results with social media advertising that targets prospects based on location, demographics and interests.
  7. Make it easy. Last-second shoppers are stressed-out and rushed, so you need to offer speedy solutions to their holiday problems. For example, a retailer can pre-wrap products targeted to types of recipients, such as gifts for teachers, gifts for Grandma or gifts for neighbors. A restaurant can promote catering or grab-and-go desserts, appetizer platters or full meals for last-minute holiday entertaining. And any type of business can think like Starbucks and offer gift cards. More than half of holiday shoppers plan to buy gift cards this season, and will purchase an average of three.

Put these steps into action, and the last-second holiday rush can spur a surge in last-second sales. Ask your media specialist about the best ways to use television, mobile and online advertising to drive shoppers into your business.   




About the Author

Sara Velordi

As a marketing specialist, Sara helps to execute social media and overarching content strategies. Sara has a background in public relations and has previously shared her B2C insights on the Southern Weddings Magazine blog.

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