Special thanks to Melanie for contributing this informative holiday post, filled with awesome ideas for any local business!
In 2021, 43% of US shoppers reported that they started their holiday shopping before the end of October. It’s June as I sit down to write this, and—I kid you not—I hear a group of women near me at the coffee shop discussing having already started their Christmas shopping.
So while it may be hard to believe, late Summer and early Fall are the perfect time to start preparing your business for the year-end holiday shopping season.
And since more than 80% of American shoppers do at least some of their shopping online, you want to make sure that your business is easily discovered when they begin their gift-search online. Here are three simple things you can do to help ensure your business’s online presence is prepped and ready to make the most of the upcoming shopping blitz!
Update & announce holiday hours
The busy holiday season often means adjustments to open days and operating hours need to be made. Whether you’re opening earlier, closing later, extending weekend hours, or closing the doors to make time for celebrations, be sure to update your posted business hours so that shoppers know when they can—and can’t—connect with you.
Update the hours listed on your website, of course, but don’t forget to update any business profiles you may have—such as Google My Business or Yelp—too. It’s also a good idea to periodically share your adjusted hours on social media, especially around the days and times when those specific changes are most relevant.
And before you move on to our next tip, make a note for yourself to come back and update hours again when you shift back to your non-holiday schedule, too.
Capture & share new images
Having eye-catching images on your business pages, social profiles, website, and local listings can help you stand out from the crowd of similar businesses that neighbors might find when searching for solutions like yours.
Here are a few ideas of images to add or update on your local listings:
- Exterior images, to help shoppers find your location more easily
- Menus or service lists, to help shoppers see what you offer
- Product or transformation images, to show shoppers what they might receive
- Team or behind-the-scenes images, to help shoppers feel more connected
If you don’t have images like these handy, set aside some time to take new photos ahead of the holiday rush, or find a local photographer or photography student who you can work with to capture some. Having your own high-quality branded imagery will also prove helpful when it comes time to design and run any holiday ad campaigns too.
Request & monitor reviews
Increasingly, consumers look to online reviews and ratings to determine where they should do their shopping and who they can trust to provide quality services. If you can improve your star rating and increase the total number of reviews for your business, you can help boost your at-a-glance reputation for shoppers who find you online ahead of the busy holiday season.
Now is a great time to start encouraging satisfied customers to leave a rating and review wherever you need them most. You can also encourage customers to take photos or videos of their products and experiences to include with their reviews.
And as new reviews come in, take time to engage with and respond to those reviews! Thanks customers for their business, express appreciation for their review, and share any relevant information that someone reading the review might need. Being actively engaged with your reviews will help signal to those holiday shoppers that you listen to your customers and can be relied upon to help create a great experience for them too.
At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our Local Listing Management services and Franchise SEO can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.