Believe it or not, holiday shopping has already begun.
It may seem like the festivities are still far in the distance, but consumers are chomping at the bit to get started on their purchases. According to PayPal, the US commerce season started on September 30. Consumers around the world are likely to jump in soon enough.
Holiday sales are important to businesses in many sectors – retail being the obvious example. The National Retail Association explained that Australia is headed for a "much-improved Christmas shopping season" based on retail trade data the Australian Bureau of Statistics released on October 1.
Reaching out to consumers
Do you think the majority of gift-givers seek their goods online? Think again. Although e-commerce is certainly growing, many consumers still like to browse around in person.
Reaching out to your customers with creative pop-up stores or special events are excellent ways to showcase your goods and connect with consumers. The possibilities are quite endless, whether you choose to set up a temporary store, organise an exciting product launch, create a special event for important buyers or travel around the country.
By selecting an option that fits your company and offerings, you can harness your strengths – and the holiday season.
Using your physical presence to your advantage can even help you stand out against large online sellers. This is particularly true for companies that offer products people want to experience, see, test or play with before they make a decision. Just as you wouldn't purchase a shiny new car without first taking it for a spin, many consumers prefer to shop in-person for those unique items.
From technology to toys, there's plenty of room for companies to draw business by letting shoppers have the full experience with their offerings. Take, for example, a toy show hosted by TTPM.com. As The Record reported, this event enabled toy manufacturers and retailers to gauge consumer response ahead of its efforts to promote products during the holiday season – not to mention the fact that children's hearts can be captured by allowing them to play around with an exciting new toy for a few minutes.
The best of both worlds
If you do engage in e-commerce, having a strong event or pop-up store to promote your business can help inspire shoppers to purchase items from your online store in the future.
Because consumers are increasingly merging online and on-site shopping, a savvy organisation will develop both channels to integrate with each other. Customers are using their smartphones and other devices to research products, compare prices and make purchases – even while visiting a store or event in person.
The more you can engage customers both online and in person, the more you'll stand out and increase your chance of landing their business.