Thursday, December 20, 2012

Newest Trends in Holiday Marketing

The Internet has become primary for shoppers and not less so in the holiday season. This infographicreveals the way in which consumers are more frequently employing the Internet either through shopping, price comparison, or product research.

There are several major trends that determine how sales are made that have to be accounted for by Internet marketers in order to maximize the important holiday shopping season.

First is the increase in online shopping reflected by today’s “cyber-Monday” marketing campaign. Online shopping may account for up to half of this holiday’s purchases.

Then there’s the increase in the role of the Internet for shopping in physical stores. Someone shopping in a department store might utilize their mobile device to compare prices before making a purchasing decision. Or, they may have researched various products and prices online before heading to the store.

What does that mean for current Internet marketing over the holidays? First of all, it means your site needs to be accessible for mobile devices, but it also needs to be easy utilized for shopping. How do the search functions on your site work? Are they forgiving on spelling errors or imprecise search queries? How specific and advanced a search do you make available to customers shopping at your site?

The easier a site is to navigate and shop on, the more likely it is to draw in customers. In fact, smaller businesses can still draw advantages over larger competitors who haven’t learned how to design their sites to draw traffic and be user friendly.

Another major development is in the fact that for a customer looking to shop online, a small business with an expansive and helpful site can appear as resourceful and helpful as a much larger company.

Where larger companies are finding advantages with new opportunities in online marketing is through emails and social media. With the latter, companies will create contests and promotions or use ads to reach online shoppers in their own homes on their own terms.

More results are still coming through emails though as people follow emails for deals, coupons, and ultimately sales. The trend amongst big companies for the holidays is to utilize their larger resources on social media, big expansive sites, and emails.

However many of the trends in holiday marketing can also favor the smaller business. Besides the large gap they can fill with a strong website over the larger chains, specialized shops benefit tremendously from search engine shopping.

Someone shopping for a specific item and looking to learn or compare prices will use search terms for that item. So, websites with a specific product can rank higher on searches and draw customers who make specific searches. The larger stores can’t get rank as high on a specific item due to unspecialized search engine optimization.

Much like in a physical store, a website can be further catered to meet the demands of someone looking for a particular product. For instance, a website selling Science Fiction books can draw in readers that search for specific books or the genre, and then cater the website towards that same audience with Science Fiction art, quotes, etc.

The ability for online shopping, shipping, and search engine optimization provides small businesses unique advantages in today’s world to market themselves via the Internet for the Holidays.

By taking note of these trends, both large and small companies can take advantage of the supremacy of the Internet for holiday marketing.

Author Bio: IanB writes for US Business week where national business news is always up for discussion.