Ho, ho, h’oh boy. The holidays are here, and big-box retailers like Target and Walmart are pushing their commercial cheer.
We may joke about the holidays creeping up earlier and earlier, but the figures backing this sensation are serious business. This year’s Black Friday turnout statistics were staggering, just like the year before. Add the more recent Cyber Monday craze – which just enjoyed the biggest online shopping turnout in U.S. history – and our marketing ears should perk up.
Though it may look like it on the surface, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not just for the big retailers covering every ad space. There are choice insights that local businesses can glean, too. Here are…
We’ve said before that you definitely should ask for reviews on Facebook, though with a strategic grain of salt. Since that post was written, Facebook has stepped up its reviews game, making social media property even more valuable. On Cyber Monday, for example, Facebook referrals dominated conversion rates.
These are cyber stats in a very large marketplace, but there is a lesson to be learned. The number of prospective consumers (or local customers) browsing Facebook to drive their purchasing decisions is steadily increasing. A small business with an attractive Facebook page, Twitter feed, Google+ profile, etc. has the advantage of more positive exposure to more customers.
Note: One way to give social media profiles a business conversion boost is with rich customer review content that is consistently updated. Connect with us to learn about our automatic social media syndication.
As we’ve seen, the start of the holiday shopping season is sliding further away from December every year. In conjunction with that fact is the reality of consumer research stretching into more weeks than before. For many small businesses who sell services, there are clear lines in number of jobs between seasons (putting on a new roof is tough in stormy weather), so it may seem less important to push messaging out to searching prospects during certain times of the year.
However, prospects often have an idea they need a service done long before they pick up the phone to request it. Additionally, SEO needs TLC. It’s an ongoing and dynamic process that requires constant content updates to really take a small business anywhere in the competitive market. Letting social media pages, a homepage, or verified customer comments go cold and stale means not being first on prospects’ minds when the sky clears.
Note: See how one business is staying on top of Google search results with updated customer reviews.
These were some of the wildest Black Friday deals this year. Staples offered the laptop I’m using right now for $150 less than I paid for it. DVD players were going for $35 at Walmart. Promotions like these are sure to bring in droves of excited shoppers. However, we all know they’re not sustainable and tend to disappear quickly. Promos are great for capturing attention and business conversion initially, but this tactic isn’t built for healthy long-term customer retention.
Small businesses will benefit by mastering the transition between talking about price and talking about value of their services. For example, publish reviews from current happy customers, capture new customers who like what they read, provide great service again and convert the new customers into loyal, repeat visitors. At evolving stages of the customer relationship, focus shifts from what’s being charged to what is being provided, and how well it’s being provided.
Note: Fortunately, local businesses have the benefit of satisfied customers who want to give back for a great experience. The trick is making sure happy customers can easily write online reviews.