Monday, October 12, 2009

YouTube & I Profit: Social Media for Retailers

Co-sponsored by retail marketing and social media experts Lynn Switanowski-Barrett & David Perry “YouTube & I Profit: Social Media for Retailers” is designed to help retailers of all size chart a profitable course through the seas of social networking.
This webinar is at teaching retailers how to use social media for their businesses to connect with customers more effectively than ever (and so much cheaper too!) It’s a MUST attend event for any retailer that wants to stay ahead of the competition and connect more effectively with their customers - starting TODAY.

At “YouTube & I Profit: Social Media for Retailers”you will hear real-world case studies with practical lessons on how you can use social media to grow your brand, business and bottom line. You’ll learn why social media is growing so quickly and how your retail business can and should start participating immediately.

You’ll walk away with the knowledge and the know how to set up a social media strategy for your business and you’ll get plenty of time saving tips to help you execute your strategy more effectively. You won’t want to miss this opportunity.

Takeaways from “YouTube & I Profit: Social Media for Retailers”

  1. Learn why your customers are continuing to move away from traditional media and why your retail business must embrace social media – or risk becoming obsolete!

  2. Learn the key components to a social media strategy that will increase your sales and save you time doing marketing for your business.

  3. Learn a 4 step strategy that will ease your fears- and improve your performance as you begin to engage in social media for your business.

  4. Learn how to approach new media to get you press coverage.Learn how to use Twitter for brand identify, growing your “fan” base and even make money or fund raise.
  5. Find out how to set-up, maintain and establish a blog and a strategy for driving traffic to it.

  6. Get lessons in basic Web 2.0 tactics such as instant messaging, blogs, wikis, and texting.

  7. Develop your own online polls and video page through YouTube, Vimeo and other online sites.

  8. Get a handle on “SPAM” and learn how to put together targeted and personalized email, Facebook, Flickr strategies.

Register at Early bird special ends October 19th

Avoid These Common Holiday Marketing Errors

Most retailers get ready for the holidays early in the fall. They ramp up inventory, consider more staff, and plan special deals and marketing for the biggest selling season of the year. By November and through December, when sales turn critical, successful retailers have a good idea what promotions will work....and which ones won't!

To help you learn from their lessons, here are four missteps that marketers often make during the holiday season. Avoid these errors and you’re more likely to celebrate the coming year.
  1. Banking on deep discounts to boost sales - Don’t assume that low prices are the route to buyers’ hearts and wallets. Cheap products are not nearly as attractive to consumers as getting value for the dollar. In addition, if you cut prices too deeply, especially early in the season, you’re teaching year-round customers to wait for bargains. Instead, put appropriate prices on your wares and make sure you’re not merely increasing volume, but actually turning a profit on each sale

  2. Being too casual about e-mail marketing - Provide real solutions for customers' gift-buying dilemmas at the time your customer is thinking about buying. Offer tangible recommendations and promotions tailored to your customers' interests and buying histories. With those goals in mind, you probably need a series of timed e-mails (or, at least more than one). Don’t begin your e-mail campaign with a discount offer (see Mistake 1, above), but do billboard the fact that you will be sending special prices and discounted promotions in a week or two. That gives you a better chance of getting recipients to open later e-mails. Make the subject lines and messaging more urgent as the season heats up.
    Each message should have some call to action to attract the buyer to click onto your site. You might offer special content, gift-buying advice, a loyalty club to join with a late-December payoff, a contest, or a special greeting card.

  3. Overlooking customer follow-up - By monitoring customer online e-mail and queries,and in-store requests, you can quickly take the temperature of your holiday sales. You can, for example, identify which of your products or promotions are hot, and then instantly adjust inventory or marketing accordingly. Set up a system to track all queries, assign follow-up and discuss insights. This systematic connectivity with customers may provide you and your store with the primary consumer research to enable high performance sales this season and it will definitely resonate with your customers in the long term.

  4. Ignoring the last-minute shopper - Every year, it seems, more and more gift-buyers wait until it’s practically too late to purchase their presents. This feet-dragging crowd is probably a mixed bag of bargain hunters, procrastinators, distracted relatives, and overworked executives. In other words, just about everybody out there. Technology, of course, has helped fuel this trend. Just-in-time shopping and delivery is now possible almost everywhere. As a result, shoppers are buying gifts later and later in the season.
    Capitalize on this trend by sending out a late-breaking e-mail that lets tardy buyers off the hook. Send it as late in the season as you can while still being able to fulfill orders. Make your subject line forgiving, saying something like: "It’s Not Too Late to Find Great Gifts." Offer targeted gift suggestions that will make it seem as if they put a great deal of time and thought into their choices. You’ll get credit (and repeat buyers) for making them look good.

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Marketing - Time Tested Ways To Attract Shoppers

Although the economy is slowly recovering, there’s still a long way to go before things are back to normal. For many small-business retailers, the holiday season is a make-or-break mission, representing a significant percentage of their annual sales. Smart marketing during this period is critical.

Typically, the online buying season kicks in on Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving and after Black Friday, when the brick-and-mortar holiday sales season begins. Still, in recent years, shoppers have also learned to wait further into the season in order to find online bargains and even lower prices. So the biggest online holiday shopping day is typically around December 12, when many online retailers stop offering free shipping.

As with most marketing campaigns, preparation is a key element. Prepare in advance and have your seasonal online site designs and promotions ready to roll in November. In addition, make sure to reserve some appealing offers and discounts for the late-buying crowd.

With that in mind, here are some practical, time-tested ways to attract buyers, boost sales and increase profits during the online holiday selling season.

  1. Price strategically - As the season starts, set prices that offer some wiggle room, so you can lower prices later and still come out ahead. Promote a final-sale event.

  2. Reward early buyers - Send out offers through emails and/or postcards in October and offer percent discounts (or more, if you can afford it) to anyone who purchases before November 15

  3. Partner with other retailers - Forge an alliance with other online marketers or neighborhood retailers to offer two-for-one values or specials that bolster sales and encourage buyers. You can, for example, partner with several local complimentary retailers to send out seasonal e-mail offers across each others' email lists. You might also set up agreements with retailers for mutual promotions or website links. For example, if you sell holiday desserts, you might partner with a holiday ornament company

  4. Share some of your profits - Promotions that give to a charity, support the community or a cause, such as the environment, will resonate with consumers during the holidays. Many marketers donate profits from select, high-margin items to charities. If you decide on utilizing this type of cause marketing, send press releases to news media and customers to let them know about your special promotion

  5. Make your website holiday-friendly - Redesign the home page to focus on holiday gifts and promotions. Rework the page’s look, feel, and messages to reflect the season. Market and monitor your site. Throughout the season, fine-tune your response to Web traffic and visitor navigation patterns

  6. Offer perks or discounts - After retooling your website and store for the season, don’t become complacent. Instead, keep adding or swapping featured products, discounts and promotions throughout December. You might also add holiday content, such as gift-buying advice. The idea is to offer more attractive deals or different kinds of incentives than you provide at other times of the year. In addition, you can motivate repeat visits by creating a timed sequence of promotions, discounts, or frequent buyer points that continues through the season. That way you incent customers into returning over and over again

  7. Go the extra mile - Customer service and the personal touch are competitive advantages for smaller retailers. Make the most of that by anticipating your customers’ needs or by tailoring special offers for repeat buyers and your best customers. For example, you might send an e-mail notice that lets loyal customers know you’re available for special requests. At the end of the day, pick up the phone and call customers to thank them for their business. Likewise, you can arrange for a special expert or gift consultant to answer online or in-store questions during the final shopping days. Then, remember to promote that service in the first few weeks

All in all, you should prepare strategically and plan a series of marketing activities and tactics from Thanksgiving through New Year’s to maximize sales this holiday season.