Holiday shopping may seem like a distant season that you can attend to after the promotions for a patriotic July 4th or the Back-to-School weeks have run their course. But your competition may already be building up a competitive advantage. Michael Della Penna, writing for eMarketingandCommerce, points out that there is plenty you can do now to ready your e-commerce business for this year’s holiday shopping season.gift_boxes

Many of his suggestions emphasize the importance of building a relationship with consumers early, in the hopes that they will return to your site when they begin their holiday shopping. For example:

  • Include a prompt on each page to induce site visitors to give you their e-mail address.
  • Encourage your visitors to participate in developing product-specific promotions.
  • Reward your best customers with loyalty programs.

Other suggestions encourage you to operate more efficiently and profitably when it comes to marketing:

  • Review the results of last year’s marketing efforts, for real, and make adjustments as you schedule this year’s effort.
  • Seek out co-op money with manufacturers to make your marketing less expensive.

Read the rest of Penna’s suggestions as inspiration to begin planning your Holiday 2009 marketing campaign. Whether you agree or disagree with his points, they make a perfect starting place.

[Source: Della Penna, Michael. “16 Ways to Prepare Your Web Site for the Holiday Season“, eMarketingandCommerce, May 2009]