Who doesn't love to be acknowledged? Whether it is a compliment for your new pair of shoes or a congratulations on a milestone at your work place, we all crave for recognition and we certainly don't want to miss it when there is extra effort put into it. And the holiday season is no different. It is that time of the year when people's skills to remember what their loved ones like, are put into test. There is nothing wrong with the season. It is just that people are obsessed with buying the perfect gift for their loved ones because they want to "pass the exam" and get rewarded with "Oh this gift is just beautiful! Thank You So Much!"

On the other hand, as an online business owner, you are sitting and waiting patiently for the holiday season to arrive because you know that this is your biggest chance to grow your revenue. According to a recent report, people tend to spend 30 times higher for shopping in holiday season than any other time of the year. With lot of opportunities at one side and the tough competition on the other side, you need to make the most of every chance you get. To figure it all out, here are a few tips to help you refine your efforts and increase our conversions & sales.

The Plan

A majority of brands do not plan their holiday strategy well in advance due to which they end up starting everything from the scratch during their busiest time. As the normal season subsides and the busiest season of the year rolls in, you do not want to be far behind from your competitors. You should work months ahead of the actual event. Know well in advance about your last shipping days, your offers and holiday deals, techniques to manage your inventory if your products go out of stock, early marketing strategies and pre-written content drafts and emails so that all you have to do is edit them later rather than having to do everything from scratch.

Creativity is the Key to Win

Only dead fish go with flow. You decide what you want to be.Holidays are the time when you see discounts and offers everywhere. It is the time when customers are ready to spend generously and the online stores are ready to take advantage of that. But with a plethora of choices, what makes the customers choose you instead of others? Creativity & out of the box thinking. Everybody knows that online stores offer huge discounts and offers during holiday season. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to spend some time in building strategies and campaigns which will help you stand out in the crowd.

For example, you can give your customers a little heads up about the products they are looking for. People shopping for gifts may not have a clear idea about the product except that they are buying it because their loved ones like it. By creating gift profiles like "gift for dads", "gifts for Christmas", "gifts for sisters" etc, you are making things a lot easier for your customers. In addition to this, you can throw in a few goodies of your own like a free holiday gift wrapping or a free coupon to boost your conversion rates.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is not the same anymore. Since the evolution of marketing automation, email marketing has completely changed itself to become one of the most important and powerful tools for digital stores. Holiday season is the best time to take advantage of your customer database and turn them into conversions with the help of email campaigns.

To begin with, you can group your customers based on their buying patterns and interests to send specific targeted offers & suggest relevant items to buy. This approach helps in sending the right content to the right customer.

Prep Your Tech

The busiest days of the year, the holiday season, will surely put your technical back-end to test and push it to the limit. You need to be prepared to handle the huge surge in traffic without experiencing any form of downtime on your site. For example, responsive web design (mobile friendly) is an important factor as it ensures that your site adapts to different screens of each user. Thus you need to handle your website design in a way that it does not lose its responsiveness. You can also consider other factors such as increasing your bandwidth by using a Content Delivery Network which speeds up page load time while reducing bandwidth and adding redundancy in case of failure. As a result, you will have a fast, scalable and a reliable website.

Get Social

Social Media will be your trump card during the busy season. Ramp up your social media activities during the holiday season to reach a wide audience. A few years back, it was just Facebook and Twitter where you could mark your presence. But it is not the same anymore. With services like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat on the stage, you are never short of options.

You need to keep in mind that your social activity should engage your customers in order to humanize your brand & create active followers who are more likely to notice what you have to offer and are most likely make a purchase. Holiday-themed contests like giving away gift items to users who share the most interesting content based on your brand, charity giveaways and partnering with some of the niche influencers on social media, are some great ways to begin with.

Time to Get Personal

According to a report by Adobe, returning customers account for close to 40% of a company's revenue. And it is always cost effective to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. But it is not going to be an easy job because great customer service is not just about solving their problems. You need to go beyond and remind them why they chose you and why they love your business. For example, by paying attention to their buying patterns, you can send out personalized holiday card, thank you cards or gift coupons to build a positive brand association.

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