The 2012 holiday shopping season is off to a record start, and there’s still a lot of shopping yet to be done in the month of December. With the big box stores’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales out of the way, this may be the perfect time for small businesses to fill in where those major retailers disappointed consumers.

The infographic below from LivePerson shows some key holiday shopping trends and attitudes that can still be useful through the rest of this year and in your planning for the 2013 holiday shopping season.


While it’s important for anyone with a successful web presence to also have a good mobile-optimized version of their site, this holds especially true for businesses that sell their products directly over the web.

Currently, US consumers spend almost 1 in every 10 ecommerce dollars using a mobile device (Hubspot).

With that in mind, if you are not offering customers who prefer to browse the web on their mobile phones a way to buy from you, you’re essentially leaving money on the table.


For anyone scratching their head and wondering why we’re bringing this up just days after the Fall equinox, read these words of wisdom from Michael Klein, Adobe’s Director of Industry Strategy:

“At this point in time everybody is locked and loaded in many shapes and forms. If you haven’t already had a launch date of September or October, you’re probably late for this holiday season.” (

Now, if you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a small business marketer with a good deal more agility than a company like Adobe. So don’t panic if you’re not “locked and loaded” just yet – but this is definitely the time to get moving.


It’s WEDNESDAY and that means…. (HMMMMM…) YES you guessed it!  Example Site Wednesday! Today we present to you , where you can always find the perfect accessory for every occasion.

 “More than seven out of 10 internet users are online buyers” —

What makes The Bead Place such a wonderful website is the simplicity and usability of their online store. The homepage header includes the logo (placed in the left hand side) as well as a large and clear title. The main image shows a picture of the inside of their store, showing some of the most popular products they have to offer. The background contrasts smoothly with the main content of the site and creates a creative and serene mood for users. If you take a look at the navigational links you can see that “shop” is the first link under the homepage, inviting users to go there first. They use the video section of their website to upload videos of tutorials for customers to learn new innovative techniques. The calendar section shows all of the upcoming classes, which are available for users to comment and view. There is also a Guestbook section that allows customers to leave testimonials and reviews of the store and the products.

Tips on how to give your e-commerce website a little boost:

Getting Your Site in Shape for the Holidays There is no doubt that the holidays have started — there is the familiar scent of pine and cold in the air, office parties are gearing up, Black Friday has come and passed — but have you thought about the shape your site is in?

With everyone in the gift giving mood, customers and potential customers will be searching online for products and are likely to discover your site this holiday season. Here are some things you can do today to make sure your site (and you) is prepared for the holidays:

  • Holiday Messaging: Remember your manners. Your site is  the virtual storefront/representation of you and your business that can be seen worldwide. Thus when posting your holiday messages, keep in mind that all of your visitors don’t celebrate the same holidays. Using secular messaging like “Happy Holidays” and seasonal graphics go a lot further than “Merry Christmas” when speaking to all your visitors.
  • Timing: Don’t be the website that keeps the Christmas lights up all year long.  Because major retailers push the holiday season earlier and earlier every year, there seems to be no concrete holiday messaging start-date. But not removing the messaging in a timely manner can make it look like you don’t maintain your site and that it’s out of date. We all like the holidays, but if your logo is still covered in snow in June you’re probably really late or extremely early for the next holiday season.
  • Low Inventory: Yes we have no bananas. Nothing is more frustrating for shoppers who need that last gift to come to your website, place the order, pay for it, and then a week later get an email saying the item is sold out/back-ordered/no longer available. Take the time when setting up the offer to add “only 10 remain in stock” or “sold out” and “will be back in stock on…” messages. Using messaging like this works in your favor: first you communicate the uniqueness of the offer better; second you show a sense of urgency and finally if it’s out of stock but coming back you’ve almost guaranteed a return visit to purchase the item then.

Website Building Tips
You might have heard the term Cyber Monday before, but haven’t thought about how this once a year online shopping extravaganza might impact your website. Today, let’s cover the basics.

What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day celebration in the United States. It is the biggest online shopping day of the year. In 2010 online consumers spent about 1 billion on Cyber Monday.

This year Cyber Monday falls on November 28th, 2011.

With so much revenue potential, if you run an e-commerce website it is imperative that your

Holiday season is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to start thinking about your website’s holiday promotion strategy. Why, you ask? Because the holiday season brings with it an increase in the number of online searches, website browsers and buyers.

“Ecommerce sales growth will be strong this holiday season as price-conscious consumers move more of their spending online to save money. Successful retailers will be those that can adjust their marketing efforts on the fly in response to changing market forces.”

~ eMarketer

To help you gain the most out of this holiday season, here are 5 tips to get your retail website ready for the coming holiday season:

  1. Put your best foot forward — Make sure the information posted on your website is up to date and clearly presents the most popular items you wish to promote. Don’t assume that potential browsers can find something on your website just because it is listed. For example, if you sell jewelry and you have a set that sells best and is popular this season, post a picture of it on your homepage with a link to the web store. Another way to highlight best sellers is by marking them as new or on sale in your web store:


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