In June, I kicked off a series for how retail companies need to prep for Q4 (click here for the first edition, here for July‘s installment, and here for my August tips). Q4 is just weeks away, so make sure you’re diving into the initiatives below to get yourself in good shape to capitalize. (If you’re interested in a comprehensive look at Q4 prep, check out our recent 35min. webinar.)
Get smart with budgeting
We all want to spend advertising dollars as effectively as possible – which means you need to walk a bit of a tightrope in September. There is value in acquiring new customers right now to grow your customer base leading into the holidays, but you have to leave room to increase spend in the last three months (November and December in particular) of the year. You know customers will absolutely be in the buying mood, and for ecommerce, there is no better time to spend advertising dollars to capitalize on that seasonality. Make sure a healthy portion of your yearly budget is allocated to November and December (note that in December it’s also wise to push that spend in the first 20 or so days of the month).
Rack up the reviews
Reviews are important at any time of the year, but especially in the holiday months. It’s beneficial to have reviews on your site and in other places (Yelp, Angie’s List, AdWords extensions, Amazon, etc.). And make sure you’re not limiting reviews to products; get business reviews out there as well.
Make sure you’re doing all that you can to leverage your reviews. Have reviews or demonstrations of your products on YouTube, for example, and try to track down some top bloggers or reviewers and have them write a review of your products or business. Almost everyone looks for reviews before buying so the more you can have out there the better.
Capitalize on your competitors
Conquesting is also a tactic you’ll certainly want to implement in Q4 (ideally, of course, you’re doing this throughout the year). Conquesting gets you in front of customers whom you know are interested in your products but may need a reason to consider your business over one they’re already familiar with. Keeping tabs on your competitors’ offers and one-upping them with better offers is one way to catch a customer’s eye. This may hurt margins in the short term, but new customer acquisition can evolve into LTV that can pay off handsomely, especially in the holiday months.
Go front and center with mobile
While mobile may never quite have the CVRs that desktop has, it plays a bigger and bigger role in the overall research and discovery of a product or business. More than ever, customers live in the “now” moment, and when they hear about a business or a product from a friend, coworker, etc., they will almost certainly check it out right then and there. Make sure you don’t skimp on mobile in your advertising mix (including retargeting!), as customers will be very actively searching and browsing in Q4.
The next time we check in with retail tips, we’ll be in Q4! I recommend you go back and retail my retail prep posts from June, July, and August to make sure you’re in line for a huge holiday season.