Is it ever too early to start advertising your holiday sales online? I know that with the economy the way it is, I think that if I can spread out my spending instead of waiting till the last minute, it might be a smarter way of Holiday Shopping this year. Of course, I'm sure this will be ruined by my impulsive husband who still thinks he can wait until the very last minute deals and blow the budget out of the water 2 days before Christmas.
According the Wall Street Journal, other small retailers are thinking the same thing (not the last minute budget blow-out) http://tinyurl.com/yfmpg5g . Some retailers think if they get their merchandise out now while there's still money available it will help them show profit this holiday season.
I was at Target two weeks ago, and they had the same idea as there was a row of Christmas decorations in the back of the rows of Halloween. "Customers have 'shifted a lot of their spending away from the specialty retailers and moved toward mass value centers like Wal-Mart,' says Frank Badillo, senior economist at Retail Forward, a research and consulting firm specializing in the retail industry".
So how are small retailers combating the large retailers? Well having the capabilities of e-commerce on your site is a start. But, they are also using free online resources like Google's free product search or tapping into shopping comparison sites. Many are even featuring the comparisons of shopping online on their site to other big e-tailers to show the savings right on their site.
Even more, online retailers are hitting up free shipping for orders over a certain amount (or any amount) and social media outlets to lure bargain hungry visitors to their sites according to the Biz Report http://tinyurl.com/yf6zu6c .
So how does social media fit into the strategy? Social media is becoming a large part of our lives and where we are spending our time online. Retailers are taking this opportunity to ramp up their social media sites. According to Emarketer, http://tinyurl.com/ygg8zjm , retailers use "Twitter as a hotbed of experimentation for retailers that see it as a channel for customer service, promoting the deal of the day and more. Facebook and its third-party developers are creating e-commerce applications on the site. Meanwhile, retail Websites are bolstering their social commerce features." Soon, the article says, retailers will be able to incorporate e-commerce throughout the social media sites.
It's important for you to have a presence on Social Media sites as a retailer. For one, the shoppers on these sites are more inclined to buy online than the average user. And, they are more likely to share their experience (good or bad) online as well.