Monday, November 3, 2008

StoresOnline Merchants: Marketing for the Holidays

At StoresOnline, we follow Small Business Forums and Search Engine Marketing blogs in order to provide StoresOnline Merchants with up to date information and entrepreneurial information. As the holiday season picks up, StoresOnline wanted to share some helpful online marketing information with you from SmallBusinessNewz.com:

How Are Small Businesses Marketing For the Holidays?

"To me, it seems that marketing has never been more important for the survival of a business. For one, if you are not marketing, people might forget about you, or even assume that your business in trouble because they have not heard from you lately," I said. "Marketing shows potential customers that you are still there for them even in these rocky times. Secondly, you have to drive people to your business. How else do you intend to attract customers?"

Well, a new study from Constant Contact would suggest that most U.S. small businesses would agree with this mentality, particularly as we approach the holiday season. 76% of their respondents are planning holiday promotions and last minute shopping offers. This number has actually grown from the same survey last year, which saw 62% doing so. 63% of this year's respondents have even begun their holiday campaigns already.

"There's no question the economy is a cause for concern, especially for U.S. small businesses that rely heavily on holiday sales," says Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman. "However, in true entrepreneurial fashion, small businesses are fighting back. Small businesses recognize the value of focusing their marketing efforts to enhance communication with their loyal customers, as well as to attract new business."

So what ways are businesses marketing themselves these days?"

According to the study, 60% of respondents will be using Email Marketing. For the breakdown of other marketing outlets that small business merchants will be using, click here and read the article in its entirety.

What types of marketing work for you as a StoresOnline Small Business Owner? If you have other studies or research that would be helpful for StoresOnline Merchants, please feel free to leave a comment.

7 comments:

Avonly said...

One way that I have found to market my online beauty supply business is to make the customers feel special. I always try to through in a free sample or two with a simple thank you card with each order.

Camri said...

A powerful way to virtually market my small business is to develop an electronic mailing list and send old-fashioned letters. Sending out e-newsletters is a powerful and very cost effective to reach your customers.

Kimmy Clark said...

Avonly makes a great point about making sure to include a "tag back" with your StoresOnline business information attached to the product or included with the product.

I really like how you encourage repeat purchases by simply showing appreciation and communicating your interest in a customer service relationship with the thank you card. These types of things can make the difference between a loyal customer base and one time shoppers. Way to go Avonly!

Kimmy Clark said...

Camri is utilizing a great feature of the StoresOnlinePro software by creating and maintaining an e-newsletter to her online business customers, as well as anyone else who might sign up for the information. An e-newsletter is a cost effective and efficient way to let your customers and past site visitors know about sales, specials, and updates/news about your StoresOnline site.

If you haven't taken advantage of this feature and would like to learn how, contact StoresOnline Customer Support by chat at
http://support.myquickresponse.com/ or you can also visit the StoresOnline Merchant Forum at http://www.storesonlinesolutionsforum.com/.

Thank you for your comment!

Tanya said...

One way that I have prepared for the holidays is to identify seasonal keywords that are appicable to my site. So I searched my site and determined what I normally sell a lot of during the holidays, then i used google trends to help me maximize those keywords.

Kimmy Clark said...

Hey Tanya - thank you for the mention of Google Trends. StoresOnline Merchants, if you haven't taken a look at Google Trends, you'll want to do that today http://www.google.com/trends. Compare keyword searches

Google Trends is a tool from Google Labs that shows the most popularly searched terms from the beginning of 2004 to now. Google Trends charts how often a particular search term is entered relative the total search volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.

Christopher said...

You might want to send out a bulk email this month, to kind of plant the seed with your customers so that they will have your site fresh in their mind when the go to shop for the holidays.