If you are like most people, you are already getting ready for holiday shopping--and dreading it. Anything you can do to make the process easier is going to make your experience a lot better.
Same goes for your customers.
Between decorating for the holidays, cooking (including buying food), buying clothes, and, of course, purchasing gifts, customers need a plan that maximizes their time. Modern shoppers are even more sophisticated. They plan ahead before going out, searching websites for products and places that have them. Our 2017 Holiday Guide blog told you that American consumers are estimated to spend $682 billion dollars this holiday season. Research on digital marketing done by Kibo Software, Inc says 36 cents of every dollar spent in brick and mortar retail stores are influenced by digital interactions. If you aren’t online, you simply aren’t going to earn your share of the $245 billion dollars that will be spent in brick and mortar retail locations that have a web presence during the holidays.
If you don’t have a website for your store, this is the easiest place to get started. Retail store websites give you the following advantages:
Any one of these helps customers save time spent holiday shopping, earning you brownie points before they even step into your store. Once you have a website, or if you have one that hasn’t been updated in awhile (don’t be embarrassed, most of them haven’t), it is very important that you keep your information up to date. Simply updating your name, address, and phone number helps ensure you will be found during online searches. Take a minute to see how your business appears in local searches.
Websites are not set-it-and-forget-it, especially during the holiday season.Time Trade’s 2017 State of Retail report says customers still want an in-person, tactile retail shopping experience and customers are now “reverse showrooming”, looking online for products before going to purchase them at a local store. 44% of those surveyed said they did 75% or more of their shopping in-store, excluding groceries, and another 38% said they did 50% of their shopping in-store. That 82% of customers are looking for you! Do not disappoint them with products shown online that haven’t been in your store for months. That wastes their time and lowers your favor with them. Ouch.
Getting online is easy (it really is, see for yourself) and helps get those reverse showroomers into your store. You’re excited about the products you carry and the features you’re promoting, giving you the content you need to keep your website updates and your customers delighted. If you provide them a great customer experience by saving them time and money during the holidays, they are more likely to return to you once the decorations are down.