There’s a lot of buzz about what kind of sales figures we can expect to see this year, and every wholesale and retail specialist knows that the year-end is the biggest and most important of all for either wrapping 2009 up in style, or being left out in the cold when 2010 comes rolling through. Toptenwholesale.com and its network of sites (manufacturer.com, wholesaleu.com, offpricenetwork.com) help buyers to connect directly with the wholesaler or manufacturer of choice, and this would be a wise starting point… but let’s not forget about the tactics you can employ yourself,as you gear up to Increase your holiday sales in 2009.
Without a good strategy, it’s going to be tough this time. That’s the awful truth, and reports from trusted research sites like the NRF only add to the stress levels, as they forecast sales figures that are just 15 below the reported sales from last year. Not entirely encouraging, but not completely disappointing either… and if you follow these TopTen Tips to Increase Your Online Holiday Sales, you might have an added level of security to give you something to smile about.
- This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you aren’t ramping up your site with attractive features, discounted items, and special offers to holiday shoppers… then you might want to do it now. Well… right after you read this article, that is!
- While we’re on the topic of procrastination, let’s not forget the shoppers who will not be too excited about fighting their way through crowds, parking spaces, and all the general mayhem of the holiday season… especially if they’re just going to wait and see what kinds of deals present themselves at the last minute. Be ready for this, and position some sales items specifically for this demographic. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to start advertising this feature now.
- Get specific about who you’re targeting… don’t rely too much on generalities when there’s specific buyer habits to pay attention to. Review the habits of your customers from last year, and look for the patterns that reveal the valuable stuff.
- Group your marketing efforts dynamically… utilize all possible means of getting your message out there, and then tying it all together by leading them back to your site. I’m still amazed when I see advertising that tells people to “Call us today!” and place an order. Nobody calls for orders any more. People like to see the information in front of them, and they like to order from an online order form, unless they take the time to step inside your brick and mortar location.
- Once you’ve got their attention, don’t scare them away… with a badly-designed site. Do you have an easy and intuitive interface? Are you using simple terms and attractive pictures on your site, or just some stuff that looks like a slapped-together job? Definitely get rid of the annoying pop-ups and intrusive banner ads… they definitely have their place, but the order form is not one of them.
- Recommend products to each one of your shoppers… because a personalized recommendation is a lot better than a ton of ads screaming at site visitors from all directions! Invest the time and money in automated systems for making product recommendations, and you’ll see your sales increase.
- Be willing to go the extra mile… by offering special deals that your competition won’t. Break large orders down into smaller ones, and offer them as sets on their own. Example: Have you ever wanted to try a nice glass of expensive French wine? Instead of forcing diners to commit to a bottle, many restaurants offer wine by the glass. Yes, it’s less convenient for you… but in the end, it could be the way to score sales that would otherwise pass you by…
- Watch your budget… and don’t blow the whole thing on holiday sales campaigns. While the holiday shopping season is important, it’s not the end of the line. Be ready to keep a little extra money on the side for follow-up marketing that caters to those who didn’t buy from you during the holidays, or better still, the ones who did.
- Keep up with the vernacular… because as we all know, things change at the click of a mouse these days. If you are selling bags, bags, and more bags… but the hot word du jour is ‘handbag’… guess which one will be getting more hits on the search engines?
- While you’re at it, watch out for the latest click-stream behavior, as shoppers will be using certain strings of text and phrases in their quest for deal this year. If you use these terms, you will be on their list of favorites in no time.
Ready for some serious work on the site? Don’t put it off… it’s already the end of the month, and it won’t be long before it’s the end of the year! Remember to check our own collection of sites for ideas and inspiration as you continue to Find it. Source it. Profit!