It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year — the holiday shopping season. No? Well, it certainly has been for retailers, who have seen record-breaking holiday shopping sales over the past few years.
And it looks like 2018 could be the best season yet, thanks to high consumer confidence and a strong economy.
A recent study by eMarketer, an online business research organization, predicted this season’s holiday shopping — defined as the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 — would surpass the $1 trillion mark for the first time in history ($1.002 trillion). EMarketer is calling the 5.8 percent growth from 2017 the largest growth year-over-year since 2011.
And, as predicted, online sales are expected to increase more than in-store revenues from last year. E-commerce sales will grow by 16.6 percent, compared with 4.4 percent growth for in-store sales.
Online sales are continuing to take more of the market, accounting for 12.3 percent of the total holiday shopping revenue, or $123.73 billion. In 2011, e-commerce barely accounted for 8 percent of all holiday shopping sales.
As we enter the meat of the holiday shopping season, your business may have most of its marketing goals set. But don’t forget about a sound social media strategy, which can be implemented fairly quickly and helps funnel customers toward your products.
Social media produces results. A study by Curalate found that 76 percent of U.S. consumers have purchased a product they’ve seen in a brand’s social media post.
To increase online revenues, businesses have implemented social selling, sometimes referred to as the modern-day cold calling. We promise this isn’t just another sales and marketing buzzword. It’s a powerful tool that can lead to more sales for your business.
Social selling is leveraging social media to increase sales and revenues. On your branded accounts, you should be sharing relevant content, interacting directly with prospective customers and improving your personal branding.
These actions can increase your business’s relevancy and help develop relationships with potential buyers. Social selling isn’t sending a load of personal messages or comments to individuals — that’s spam — but rather it’s creating meaningful connections with users through social media.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of social selling, too. A study by Forrester Consulting found 49 percent of business-to-business enterprises have developed a formal social selling program. LinkedIn found that 78 percent of social sellers are outselling their peers who don’t use social media.
If you have social media accounts, you’re already on the right track. Make sure to stay active on your accounts, share important and industry-relevant content, interact with people, and — this is our favorite — don’t be afraid to have some fun!
The holiday season is the perfect time to give social selling a try. Consumers everywhere are looking for products to purchase, so give them a reason to buy yours. Maybe they’ll become a customer for long beyond the next two months.