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Blog How to Reach out to Online Shoppers During the Holiday Season

Reach out to Online Shoppers During the Holiday Season

It's down to the final hours for you to take advantage of the holiday rush. Maybe you've already done some advertising, but you want to get the final push to make revenue goals before the end of the year. It's not too late to attract holiday shoppers. Here are some tips to gain some attention from new and current customers.

Email Outreach

Email is still one of the most effective ways to attract customers to your online store. It's generally used for new businesses, but some online store owners acquire leads from affiliates and lead generation sites to help build customer awareness and gain a following.

Since it's the holidays, you want to create a campaign that targets holiday shoppers. A good theme is important, and since you only have a few more days, perhaps target popular items that aren't yet out of stock. Online stores such as Amazon do campaigns such as the "11 days of Christmas" where each day they send out an email highlighting popular items.

Create Your Own Buyer's Guide

Content is still king for search engines and user engagement. If you haven't already created a content plan, it's never too late to start. There are several ways you can set up content. Blogging is probably the most common, and it's a great way to attract users from search engines.

You can also create user guides and even videos of DIY tutorials for certain products you sell. There are numerous ways you can beef up your content. It takes time to build up and even more time if you decide to create videos, but the user engagement and possibilities of attracting new users are endless. Just make sure you take your time and build quality content. Don't disregard quality in an effort to have content that is "just good enough."

What Are Users Search For?

Users enter queries into search engines. Search engines attempt to show the best sites in an effort to answer the user's queries. What are users searching for and can you create content around those search terms to add yourself to the search results? For most online store owners, the answer is "Yes."

Google Adwords, for instance, has a tool that lets you identify common search terms. There are several other tools on the market to help you identify popular search terms. You can then cater your content to answer those queries. You might not always show up on the first page of search, but chances are that some of your content will rank for a search term that's similar or even a different query. As long as your content is relevant to the search query and makes an effort to properly answer the query, you have a good chance of attracting visitors from search engines.

Don't Forget Paid Ads

Competition is fierce for online stores. You probably have hundreds of other stores as well as affiliates vying for search traffic. The only way to ensure that you show up on the first page of search results is to budget marketing dollars into online ads.

Adwords is an example of Google's advertising program. Bing also has a paid search option. You can also buy ads on advertising networks, or find affiliate or content sites that sell ads directly on their web properties. Search engine ads charge you a price per click. For personal blogs or content sites, you usually pay per month to show an ad.

Post-Holiday Promotions

Christmas isn't the only time to make sales. Plenty of big retailers focus on consumers who are just fine waiting a few days for better discounts and deals. You can take advantage of these shoppers in much of the same ways you take advantage of Christmas and seasonal shoppers. Content, email campaigns and the right advertising will garner customers that are looking for deals after the holidays.

The best time for these deals is the week between Christmas and New Years. if you have product to unload and you didn't sell as many as expected during Christmas, you can use after-Christmas promotional rates to help sell the rest of your inventory.

Showcase What You Want to Sell

You might want to sell product that's overstocked or your best sellers. Whatever works for your site should be showcased on your landing pages and home page. Many sellers offer promotional competition such as meeting another store's lowest price. Others offer discounts and coupons to help sell these products.

Your CMS should help you promote certain items, or you might need a developer to help you redesign your site. Your landing pages for email campaigns should host these products and you can add specific links to them in your email campaigns. Many buyers will go for product that they are specifically looking for in search engines without shopping around, so it's imperative that you add this product in sections of your site that make the product easy to find.

Beef Up Your Customer Service and Contact Availability

If customers can't find answers on your site, the first thing they do is look for a way to contact you. Some prefer to make a phone call, while others are content with a simple email.

There are numerous ways you can offer contact details on your site. You can even host a live chat service where customers can get answers by opening an inline website chat session with you. If you don't have enough people to cover customer service and contact inquiries, get some part-time people or even hire freelancers for a small amount of time to help with the holiday rush. If customers are unable to find help, they will most likely go to your competitor, so it's an important addition to a successful online store.

  • The current CTO of Serverpoint.com and an accomplished web developer. Peter is one of the leading voices at Serverpoint and one of the founding members.

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