Today is Thanksgiving Eve in the USA. Our readers in other countries might not understand the significance of this so let's briefly talk about it.
Thanksgiving could be explained as the only national holiday that transcends all races, religions, creeds, politics and national origins. It is the day when all Americans celebrate being American, and immigrants can celebrate the freedoms found here. There's more to it than that, but this needs to be "brief."
In the USA, there are two holidays that act as buffers between the summer and when it's "officially" the holiday season. Those holidays are Halloween on October 31 (which is not a national holiday, but rather a retail/fun holiday) and Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday of November. As Thanksgiving approaches there is a subtle change in the mindset of the American consumer. The gift-giving spirit sets in and that means it's okay to spend money.
Almost every business is closed on Thanksgiving so friends and family can get together and celebrate and usually eat a lot of food.
Most non-retail businesses will remain closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Many people will do their holiday gift shopping on that Friday since it's the only available weekday until December 25th. This shopping frenzy day is called "Black Friday."
On the other hand, the Americans reading this don't actually know that in other countries the holiday decorations were already being hung in retails stores in October! Without the Halloween/Thanksgiving buffers there's nothing stopping retail stores from starting early.
As a last minute checklist, let's review what you should have changed on your website as of today, or at least by Friday this week:
#1 Most Important: Your Holiday Store Hours.
Your store hours may be completely erratic for the next 30 days. The best option is to have your current day's hours posted prominently on your home page. Yes, have them changed every day if you have a CMS. Or ask your webmaster to write a little script to make that work without any effort. Also change the store hours on your contact page. Remember that during the weekends, there are more visitors to your website from a cell phone than a PC. They may not be able to navigate your site, but if your hours are large, it should be easy for them to see regardless of the technology.
#2 Change your home page to match any ad you are running locally.
In previous years, we've measured a large number of clicks on home page ads that correspond to local ads. People click through for more details.
#3 Include the current special offer on your home page, and throughout the site. You might not be running a local ad, but you probably have some kind of seasonal special. Have your webmaster include some kind of graphic or photo in the header or margin of every page of your site. Link that graphic to another page with more details.
For additional holiday marketing ideas please refer back to the series of Daily Gold Nuggets we have posted on our website from this past October.