How to Prepare for Q4 Holiday Shopping

With the year’s end just three months away, small businesses are getting ready for the holiday season. Sales, deals, and so much more are just over the horizon and small businesses like yours are already preparing.

If you want to make the most out of this Q4 holiday shopping season, it’s in your best interest to do the same.

Throughout this article, we’re going to explore a number of holidays that benefit small businesses and e-commerce stores. We’ll also review the best way you can prepare for garnering the most profit this season.

Halloween

Halloween is undoubtedly one of the most popular holidays in the U.S. and Americans tend to spend the whole month of October in its celebration. With that, this is the perfect time to revamp your marketing and product collection to give it more of a spooky twist.

One way small businesses and e-commerce stores make the most out of this holiday is by developing themed apparel and accessories. This is usually done during late September and early October when everyone is in a Halloween purchasing spirit.

If you have a prominent enough online presence, you can also use this holiday as an opportunity to host a Halloween-themed contest. Think “Best Costume Contest” or “Best Halloween DIY Craft Contest.”

A contest is a great way to engage with your followers and promote sales. Prizes can include your products and gift cards to your store.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is easily becoming more popular than Black Friday. Just last year, consumers spent about $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday - that’s more than Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day combined. If your small business hosts an e-commerce store, this is the perfect time to rake in on the action.

Here are a few tips to ensure you make the most out of Cyber Monday this year:

  1. Make An Offer the Customer Can’t Refuse - Admittedly, the big secret to Cyber Monday is the offers. Whether it’s the price discount, free shipping, or gifts you give with each purchase, 95% of customers are more interested in your offer than anything else.

  2. Make Effective Advertisements - There are four main components of online advertising: search engine optimization (SEO), Facebook, Instagram, and emails. Do a bit of research into each of these components and develop an advertisement campaign that stands out against the competition.

  3. Offer an Engaging Experience - With customers coming to your website, you’ll want to make sure the experience they’re having is engaging. Take a few notes on up-to-date website designs, including mobile-friendly templates and placing deals front-and-center on your site.

  4. Make Sure Your Customers Want to Come Back - Cyber Monday is a great opportunity to bring in customers for the long-haul. Some ways to keep them engaged with your business long after the holiday season are to provide great customer service and to collect contact information for future campaigns.

These are just a few tips in concerns with Cyber Monday. There’s truly so much to dive into and, if you want to make the most out of the holiday, we definitely suggest doing lengthier research.

Small Business Saturday

In 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday as a means for small businesses to have a fairer competition against large corporations. Taking place the day after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday hosts sales and deals on your products and services.

Be sure to have a campaign that’s filled with your company’s personality. According to Groupon, 67% of those who took the survey claimed they prefer shopping at small businesses in comparison to large corporations.

A great way to promote your Small Business Saturday involvement is through social media. Hashtags like #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat are bound to bring in new eyes.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that there will be just as much competition on Small Business Saturday as there is on Black Friday. In fact, last year, consumers spent an estimated $19.6 billion on Small Business Saturday.

Christmas

Christmas (and the holiday season in general) is almost like a culmination of all the above-mentioned holidays. Truly, you can make the most out of sales and deals similar to Cyber Monday. However, you can also develop theme-specific products and host holiday-related contests similar to Halloween.

Once Thanksgiving is over, customers are focused on Christmas for the entire following month. Shopping for presents is one of their top priorities and you want to make sure your business is somewhere on their list this year.

Here are a few tips for the holiday season to keep in mind:

  • Add a Christmas flair to your brand and advertising

  • Keep social media updated on holiday-themed updates

  • Reward customers with coupons and deals

  • Launch a Christmas-specific email campaign

  • Be sure to have holiday-specific advertising

Just like Cyber Monday, the holiday season is truly a period that requires a lot of time and investment. In order to get the full scope as to how your business can make the most of this upcoming Christmas, we definitely suggest you do some more research.

Final Word

For small business owners like you and me, Q4 holidays are an opportunity that comes along once a year. However, the payoffs can last in the months and years that follow. That’s why it’s so important for us to make the most of this opportunity.

Still, it’s worth remembering that this time of year can also be extremely stressful for small business owners. With more orders coming in and more efforts needed for advertising, the workload can become a handful.

With that, be sure to remember to take a break when needed. Furthermore, keep in mind the importance of spending as much of the holiday season as you can with those you care about most.

Written by: Paul James