How I Plan to Maximize Holiday Sales

One of my favorite things about being in business for a few years is that you have a sales history that you can refer to when you are doing your planning. It sounds horribly geeky but having to guess about when, where and how you’re going to get sales is the absolute worst. Case in point: how much money can I hope to make this holiday season?

Like most consumer good companies, I hope Po Campo will cash in on all the holiday shopping activity. Below are our sales trends over the last two years. After a spring/early summer spike, you can see that the holidays are our second highest sales season. Our retail (i.e. B2C) sales have roughly doubled this year over last, and I’m banking on that trend continuing through December. Rather than just hoping for the best, I checked our data from last year to see what worked the best so that we can focus our efforts on activities with a high ROI.

Po Campo's sales history over the last two years

Po Campo’s sales history over the last two years

First I look at our Quickbooks file to see where last year’s holiday sales came from and discovered that 78% came from retail sales, with the remainder being wholesale drop ship accounts.

Step One: How to Maximize Retail Sales

Focusing on the retail sales, about 30% of those came from doing holiday shopping events. We are doing several more shopping events this year, so I feel pretty confident that we’ll be able to roughly double that amount.

The rest of our sales came from our online store. To learn more about those sales, I looked at our Google Analytics acquisitions report for last year’s holiday shopping season to see where the highest converting traffic came from.

Po Campo's converting traffic from last holiday season (Nov 15 - Dec 31)

Po Campo’s converting traffic from last holiday season (Nov 15 – Dec 31)

70% of our conversions came from people looking specifically for Po Campo, either typing pocampo.com into the URL bar or searching for Po Campo, or a variation of our name, in Google. My first thought is that these are people come to us already knowing what they want, so can I expect this number of visitors to double this holiday season?

To make an educated guess, I run a report comparing this year to last year. Our traffic is up by 56%, but our conversion rate is down by 19%. Therefore, if those trends continue through the holidays, I expect our organic and direct traffic to increase somewhat, but probably not double.

Next, 19% of our conversions came from referral traffic, mostly blogs that had included a Po Campo bag in some sort of gift guide. I know we are going to be included in some of the same gift guides this year, and it’s a little too late to make any more pitches. However, we have started some strategic partnerships with various groups, affiliate networks and analogous brands that should increase the amount of referral traffic we get.

Lastly, 7% of our sales came from social, almost entirely from facebook and Pinterest. Both of these platforms have greatly improved their targeting and reporting tools over the last year, so while I’m not able to glean much information about was successful last year, I think there is an opportunity to run some promoted posts to increase conversions this year.

Most of these tactics for pocampo.com are underway, with the exception of the facebook and Pinterest optimization. Researching that is now on my to-do list for next week.

Step Two: Drop Ship Accounts

Secondly, I ponder the drop ship accounts. Generally we just let them run on auto-pilot and focus most of our attention on our own online store. However, these drop ships have grown into a decent size business for us this year and I’d like to support them as they push for holiday sales as well. I brainstormed some promotion ideas with my team, including:

  • Developing content that they can just plug into their networks. Our expertise is in inventive and inspired products for modern city living, in particular integrating the bicycle into your life, and this is something we’d be happy to share with them.
  • Using our reflector pins as a gift with purchase (commonly called GWP) during certain periods.
  • Offering longer return periods
  • Offering special promotions

Knowing that time was of the essence, we sent these ideas to our contacts to get their input. As I feared, we were too late to be able to do much, especially with the larger sites. Not to let this lesson go to waste, I added a reminder to our 2015 calendar to look into this with our drop ship accounts in late September/early October instead.

Maximizing Holiday Sales Strategy

Here is what we still have time to do this year:

  • Promote the heck out of the holiday events we have planned this year
  • Activate our Google Adwords that target the common misspellings of our name (like Pro Campo or pocampo) and turn on our remarketing ads to make sure we stay top of mind to people who visit our site.
  • Increase traffic from facebook and Pinterest
  • Promote the gift guide exposure
  • Identify partner marketing opportunities with our simpatico brands
  • Continue to talk with drop ships about highlighting Po Campo

I look forward to sharing how successful we were in January! What are you planning for your last minute marketing push?


Running “Quickbooks Reports”
Po Campo uses the Wholesale and Manufacturing version of Quickbooks Premier. We set up our different revenue sources as Customer Types and these include: Retail, Drop Ship, Wholesale, Distributor and Discount. Running the “Sales by Customer Type” report (Reports > Wholesale & Manufacturing Reports > Sales by Customer Type) displays how your different revenues streams perform against each other over a period of time.

I didn’t discover this report until this year and now it is one of the ones I look at most often!

 

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5 thoughts on “How I Plan to Maximize Holiday Sales

  1. malak9496 says:

    Thanks for this share! I really hope Po Campo makes a killing this year, especially in Online Sales. I would be interested to see how the AdWords remarketing works out for you, especially if you’re running that in-house.

  2. malak9496 says:

    Reblogged this on Small Business Marketing Strategy and commented:
    Others are beefing up their holiday marketing, what are you doing to prepare for the rush?

  3. […] put together a solid holiday marketing strategy to hit our sales goals, but that has apparently done little to assuage my anxiety. When I’m […]

  4. […] post “How I Plan to Maximize Holiday Sales” from 11/18/14 outlined my strategy for cashing in on the holiday shopping season. Are you […]

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