As the holiday season fast approaches people start planning purchases and preparations for celebrations with family and friends. This time of year presents a great opportunity for businesses to increase sales, attract new customers and increase market brand awareness. Facebook reports that 1 in 5 people start planning their holiday season purchases as early as October 31. So as a business owner you should be planning now in order to maximise sales opportunities during this time. 

Here are some things to consider:

Content calendar:

There are a number of significant dates during November & December that may present sales opportunities for your business. Days like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday can all form part of your marketing strategy. Having a calendar set out with these days can help you to plan and take advantage of the relevant dates. Buffer offers a great snapshot of the days to keep in mind. A Facebook survey shows that 62% of people do their shopping in December with a peak time being between December 11th & 20th

Marketing strategy:

The next step is to develop the actions you will take to drive sales in the holiday season. Define what your targets are and how you will track the results. Decide how and when you will market to existing and new clients. Consider both your online and in person marketing options. Identify your target market groups. Use online analytics to track progress of advertising and website interactions. This is the time to place your brand in front of existing and new customers looking to purchase in the holiday season. 

Stock or service control:

Use historical and projected data to plan for having the right amount of stock to meet a higher level of sales or having the right amount of time and people to provide your service when bookings increase. You do not want bad planning to adversely affect your opportunity to maximise sales during  the holiday season.

Purchase options:

Using cards as a payment option is becoming more popular than cash. The Reserve Bank of Australia reported in 2017 that over the past decade cash payments had fallen by half, while card payments had almost doubled. Ensure you have the ability to take card payments during this holiday season. Don’t miss a sale due to only accepting cash. One great option for mobile card payments is PayNow which allows you to accept credit card payments on your phone using Stripe.

Follow up after in the New Year:

Sales opportunities can continue into the New Year as people use their downtime to make late purchases, take advantage of discounts for future gifts or prepare for the year ahead.  Use this period to connect further with clients and promote your ongoing goods or services. 

The holiday season is an incredible opportunity to maximise sales with new and existing customers as you place your brand at the top of their wish lists. Great planning and strategy will reap rewarding results. Remember that shoppers are increasingly using their mobile phones to make holiday season purchases and this can provide an amazing opportunity to engage and provide inspiration, assist them with their research and make it easy to complete their purchases with you online or in person. 

Remember the great quote  by author Alan Lakein: – failing to plan is planning to fail. Enjoy the holidays!

Jo Coveney