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  • The small business guide to holiday marketing trends

    If you’re a small business owner doubting your ability to compete with larger retailers this holiday season, think again. Here are some holiday marketing trends that your small business can take advantage of to get a leg up.

    woman typing on her computer with a Christmas tree in the background

    If you think you're ahead, you're probably still behind.
    If you're one of those people that thinks the holiday season starts well before the month of November, you'd be right. In fact, 40 percent of consumers start their holiday shopping before November starts, with 13 percent starting before September [1]! Amazon even released their teaser to Black Friday sales almost an entire month early. If you want to compete with those large retailers, start thinking about and offering those holiday promotions well before Halloween is over.

    Digital is huge.
    There's no denying that social media is dominating the marketing industry, and this is especially true during the holidays. 64.8 percent of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift, while 67 percent of shoppers were influenced to purchase from a social media post [2]. With this in mind, advertise as many products as you can during the holiday season because people will be actively searching for gift ideas.

    Mobile in general is a huge marketing trend for the holiday season as well. Mobile in-store searches are up over 30 percent compared to previous years [3]. That means shoppers are looking at the physical product in-store and the product online simultaneously to get the most information they can. Product reviews are so important to shoppers, so make sure that area of your website is especially good.

    Don't skimp on Cyber Monday.
    The big seller for Cyber Monday shoppers is the convenience of being able to get the best deals from the comfort of their own homes. Don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this day. Cyber Monday alone topped $3 billion in sales in 2015 [4].

    Up your perk game.
    Everyone, and I mean everyone, loves perks. This seems like a basic marketing strategy, but perks can make or break your sales during the holiday season, especially when larger retailers seem to be able to afford a lot of them. If you're a little tighter on budget, there's one perk that's a necessity - free shipping. Shoppers look for free shipping more than any coupon or discount [3]. Having good perks during the holiday season can lead to more lasting effects, such as gaining new and loyal customers.

    “Generosity is the new marketing.”
    The rise in millennials has meant a rise in the importance of giving and remaining charitable. A lot of companies have put an emphasis on voicing their contributions to society recently. According to Fortune, young people are more inclined to buy products from giving companies than companies that weren't charitable [5]. This is even more relevant during the “season of giving,” so make sure you are contributing to charities you honestly believe in and for all of the right reasons.

    Have some holiday spirit.
    Except for the occasional grinch, everyone has a little holiday spirit inside of them. Decorate your brick-and-mortar with some cheer, or maybe tweak your website to feel more appropriate for the season. Either way, your holiday spirit may influence a purchase or two.

    [1] Winter Holidays trends and statistics, Fundivo
    [2] 65% of Shoppers Use Social Media to Find the Perfect Gift, AdWeek
    [3] This Holiday Season, Watch for These 3 Shopping Trends, Google Think
    [4] Cyber Monday hits $3 billion sales record, CNNMoney
    [5] New Poll Shows Millennials Prefer Companies That Give to Charity, Fortune



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