4th Quarter Promotions Cheat Sheet and Tips
You’ve likely been hearing businesses talk about how they have been preparing for holiday sales for months (maybe even all year). Don’t worry that it’s too late for you! There are still plenty of chances to take advantage of 4th quarter marketing opportunities, especially if you know the key dates.
The PMA Coupons and Deals Council has pulled together not only the most important dates for the rest of the year, as well as some great tips on how to take advantage of those opportunities. Whether you are a merchant or a publisher, there’s a lot of money left to be made in 2015 and understanding the remaining holidays, sale days, and shipping dates will be crucial.
Things to Consider
- Do you know when the last date a customer can order and receive their item in time for the holidays? Do you have a plan to communicate that to your customer?
- HalloweenMart said the last day for shipping to receive an order is Thursday, October 29th, and then customers would need to select overnight shipping since they have a 24-48 hour processing time.
- Prominently post shipping deadlines (sitewide) before holidays. Create lists of fast-shipping options. Day of? Promote gift cards that can be emailed or printed out.
- Get a head start on Black Friday! Thanksgiving Day online shopping is huge. According to Google, 48% of shoppers in 2014 did the majority of their shopping on or before Cyber Monday.
- Is your site ready to handle increased traffic? (Not so funny story: When eAccountable first started developing shopping cart tools like their email capture, they caused a customer’s site to crash because their server for our tool couldn’t handle the load on BF.)
- Consider displaying a dollar value “countdown” on how close the shopping cart value is to getting free shipping.
- Is your mobile site ready to go and have you reviewed it recently? A good place to start is with a mobile evaluation using the Google Mobile Friendly Tool. This will give you tips on how you can improve your site for mobile users by checking for speed and responsiveness. According to a Signal survey, 60% of shoppers intend to shop more through mobile devices in 2015.
- People often spend so much time planning for the holidays. Don’t forget to have a post-holiday strategy.
Fun Facts and Tips from the Council
- “Customers LOVE free shipping. If there is any type of free shipping offer (whether it’s totally free shipping, free shipping with a minimum purchase, or a code for free shipping), it can provide a good boost for sales.” – Larissa Feuerstein, Merchant & OPM Liaison, FMTC.
- “Reduce your stress. If you need to travel light, have your holiday gifts and select travel items delivered to your destination.” – Mike Allen, ShoppingBargains.com
- “Even if you offer a discount on your site many shoppers will leave to try and find a better one. Make sure the shopping experience in seamless and cohesive across channels and affiliates. And just in case a customer forgets to come back a cart abandonment email is a great thing to have. Many shopping carts now come with this feature so setting up something basic before the holidays shouldn’t be a big challenge.” – Scott Wanamaker, eAccountable
- “Green Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year and falls later this year than usual. That means you can expect to still see some big promotions (and revenue) well past Cyber Monday.” – Tricia Meyer, Owner, Sunshine Rewards
Dates to Remember
- 1-31 Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- 12 Columbus Day
- 12 Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
- 13 U.S. Navy Birthday
- 16 Boss’s Day
- 17 Sweetest Day
- 28 National Chocolate Day
- 31 Halloween
- 1 Daylight Saving Time Ends
- 1 All Saints’ Day
- 3 Election Day
- 10 U.S. Marine Corps Birthday
- 11 Veterans’ Day
- 11 Diwali / Deepavali (India)
- 26 Thanksgiving
- 27 Black Friday
- 29 First Sunday of Advent
- 30 Cyber Monday
- 6 Hanukkah Begins (through Dec. 14)
- 7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
- 14 Green Monday
- 17 Wright Brothers Day
- 18 Free Shipping Day
- 22 December Solstice
- 23 Festivus
- 25 Christmas
- 26 Kwanzaa (until Jan. 1)
- 31 New Year’s Eve