Last-Minute Shoppers: How to Get Their Attention

Creative Commons image by Phil Campbell.

Creative Commons image by Phil Campbell.

With only a few days left before Christmas, last-minute shoppers are scurrying to fill their virtual shopping carts in the hopes that the final few gifts will arrive in time for the big day. While there are no stats on how many people are procrastinating this year when it comes to finishing up their shopping, Google reports that a whopping 54% of online shoppers will be making purchases through their smartphones, and that 30% of all shopping will be happening on said phones. That is a lot of shopping taking place on small handheld devices!

This shopping is taking place all throughout the World Wide Web, but it tends to be concentrated in just a handful of digital spaces. First, people will search on Google, which is no surprise. Many will order through Amazon (or will at least use Amazon as a reference for reviews and shopping ideas) and eBay. Social media will have an impact, too; Facebook is the most popular social media site, followed by Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. As a small business owner, what does this mean for you?

With the countdown ticking by, you need to act right now. The first and most important task at hand is to make sure that your local Google search listing is accurate. Go look right now, while ita��s on your mind. Is your address and phone number correct? Are your current (read: open-late-for-the-holidays) business hours listed, if applicable? If people cana��t find you in their mad dashes through the streets to accomplish a Santa Claus-inspired mission or they dona��t realize that you’re open a few hours later, they are not going to be able to purchase your goods or services.

You can place ads on Google to run for the next couple of days. Product Listing Ads have better quality and more details than the regular paid search text listings, so consider spending the extra money temporarily.

Check your website to make sure ita��s mobile-optimized. On many platforms, this is a matter of clicking a few buttons, but on others, youa��ll need some technical know-how. Having a less-than-friendly mobile site will frustrate shoppers and will cause Google to knock your listing down a few pegs (or a few pages). If you are not sure where to begin, check out this article by the Google Developers.

Next, make a quick review of your social media presence. Yes, you can go ahead and pay for your ad to be shown or your posts to be boosted on Facebook. In these final moments before Christmas, last-minute shoppers want you to make it easy on them. In addition, consider whipping up a quick gift guide or a piece on the benefits of *insert your widget here* and posting that on your business Facebook timeline. Tweet them on your Twitter account, too.

Take some photos, if you dona��t already have them, and get them uploaded onto Pinterest and/or Instagram. Dona��t forget to add a link to your website! On Instagram, you will need to add it to your account description; placed in the comments, it will not be an active link. Be sure to use Instagram hashtags like #lastminutegiftideas, #Christmasshopping, and words that buyers would use to describe your product or service. Use descriptive words in your Pinterest description fields, too.

The heat is definitely on as we head into the last few days of 2015, but these tips will serve you well into 2016, as well. Happy Holidays from Most Optimal!