As Canadian businesses continue to navigate through the pandemic and the changes in consumer needs, one thing is for certain, the holidays will continue to be the busiest time of the year.
With COVID-19 potentially impacting foot traffic, it’s a good idea for businesses to approach the holiday season with a digital-first mindset. To help businesses plan and respond to this holiday season, we have included tips, resources, and upcoming webinars below.
Tip #1: Update Your Website Content & Google My Business Listing
To appeal to new and loyal consumers, you need to ensure that the information people are looking for can be found online.
It’s critical to keep your Google My Business profile visible with the latest information about hours and offers such as contactless pickup and delivery. Offering curbside pick up and click-and-collect options can help you capture same-day or last-minute demand from consumers without having to invest in additional infrastructure. Think about how you can reach those last-minute shoppers this holiday season.
According to Google Data, more than half of Canadian shoppers say the pandemic has changed the way they shop and more than one-quarter say shopping is now completely different. Also, consumers are looking for new ways to send gifts to their loved ones on sentimental holidays while supporting local businesses.
Not only do consumers want the convenience of ordering holiday gifts online, they want to be able to do it quickly and efficiently. According to this survey from Ipsos, 73% of consumers will be browsing for gift ideas online and not instore. Canadian consumers that do shop in-store will be entering with their decisions already made through online researching. Bottom line: avoid losing consumers by updating your website now with faster loading times and easy to navigate content.
Bonus Tip: One of our favourite platforms for sourcing images is Unsplash – a platform with over 1 million free high-resolution images. If you need holiday-specific imagery for your website, emails, or social media that doesn’t include your products (such as: gifts under the tree) we highly recommend Unsplash.
Tip #2: Get Set Up With Instagram Shopping
We know that Social Media is a necessity for businesses year-round, but it’s especially great for the holiday season. Not only can you use your platforms to connect with consumers, you can use your platforms to promote new products, holiday sales, and gift ideas!
When it comes to Instagram, you can use the platform for the ideas above and actually make sales from your page! According to Instagram internal data, every month, 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post to learn more about the products. This is a clear opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and drive more sales. With features like tagging products and shopping stories (more on that below), you have more ways to convert your followers into customers!
Tip #3 Use Instagram Stories With Tagged Products
Using shopping stickers on Instagram Stories is a feature for business should be using. With shopping stickers, small businesses with under 10,000 followers can drive traffic to their products! Tagging your products in Instagram Stories is a more organic way for your followers to learn more about the product and ultimately, make a purchase.
Create an Instagram strategy that drives more sales. We like this blog post from Later
Tip #4 Prepare Your Social Media Ads
If you’re looking to reach a new audience to learn about your brand, social media advertising can be the quickest way to achieve this. Not only can you build a following and get website clicks, but you can drive sales for your brand.
To help you get started, read this step by step guide to driving more sales: How to Use Facebook Ads Manager
Tip #5: Reach Out To Your Ideal Influencers
Influencer Marketing has quickly become one of the best strategies for businesses to reach new audiences and drive more sales. When there’s an authentic alignment between yourself and your Influencer partner, you can reach an engaged audience who would be interested in your products.
If you want to run a successful Influencer Marketing campaign over the holidays, try sticking to Influencers who are relevant to your audience and brand. Some questions to ask yourself include: do they match your target audience and brand? Do their audience seem like people who would be interested in your products if they knew about your business?
Want to know more about working with Influencers? Check out this complete guide to get you started.
Tip #6: Get Set Up With E-Commerce
Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to be set up with e-commerce on their website. During the early days of the pandemic, e-commerce tripled! It’s expected that this holiday season will bring another increase for e-commerce businesses.
Learn everything you need and more to start an e-commerce website from scratch with Shopify – an all-in-one e-commerce solution for website creation and shopping cart software. Our Masterclass will be starting November 24th, sign up for FREE training that includes Q&A sessions with a live Shopify rep.
Bonus Tip: If you want to get started now, this self-paced program from Shopify called ‘Compass’ will help you gain the insights needed to bring your business online.
Tip #7: Measure Your Results
In order to run a successful campaign (think: Social Media ads, Influencer Marketing campaigns) you have to first have a clear idea of what a successful campaign means to you in order to measure it.
You can then use Google UTM parameters to track your success. A UTM parameter is a tag that you add to your URL. When this link is clicked, the tags are tracked by your Google Analytics. UTM parameters will help you answer some questions about your website traffic and which social media post attributed to sales.
Need help tracking your social media campaign using UTM parameters? Check out this guide on tracking e-commerce sales with Google Analytics
Now that you have all of the tips and resources, we have no doubt that you’ll be prepared for this holiday season. Leading up to the season with a small investment now can mean a bigger reward later on! Ka-ching!