Friday, October 24, 2014

How SMB Can Beat Wal-Mart this Holiday - BJ Mannyst & Founders Under 40™ Group Sponsored

It’s almost that time of the year to celebrate the great blessings in our lives. All around the world some would be in a festive mood and while others would have other reasons to celebrate. Either way, every global Small Medium Business wants to know how they can compete with the giants of the world without getting killed this holiday season or anytime?

Nothing against Wal-Mart or giants of the business world, sometimes SMB don’t want to eat just the crumbs. So we, BJ Mannyst Team, have taking some time to present some invaluable ideas to plan, prepare, and succeed this holiday season.

This holiday time is filled with many distracting events, such as Ebola, around the World. A lot of people need organizations to help them relieve distress and experience something aspiring, encouraging, spiritual.

Somethings to consider:


More and more people ignore advertisement and are relying heavily on the influence of friends & trusted sources when making purchase decisions. SMB can try providing ways people can discuss their gift ideas, wish list or monitoring social media platforms for keywords. A perfect opportunity to discover whose influence has more clout. And start to explore win-win-win opportunity and build lasting relationships with key influences. And to do that is to also understand what influencers want to achieve or represent. influencers are not pawns, they can make or break your brand. Think Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Wal-Mart. Learn more


This is a great time to share special content, sales, exclusive experience, gift suggestions on your website or mobile app (if you have one). In-store and online experience are above par, meaning resources have being allocated to help provide flawless experience and transaction. When creating marketing content for the holidays, don’t forget the following elements.

  • Hopefully you can clearly define your brands personality so make it resonate this holiday
  • Having the right keywords, headings, titles, images, distribution for your content is just as critical.
  • Most people don’t do anything unless you guide them towards their destination.
  • Sharing is beautiful because everyone experiences and uses content for different things. Some people are content creators, some are sharers, some summarizers, some are medium-converters, some are heavy consumers, etc.
  • Always be monitoring your contents performance and ROI so you can make adjustments


This is the perfect time to visit past data, or start creating your data collections and analytic capability. You don’t need every single data about a person just the key relevant ones to your business. For a restaurant you are looking at; number of people who enter, who bought something, what they ordered, demographic, purchase history, and web behavior, etc. Also find ways to gather qualitative feedback (using surveys or observation) to find-out what numbers can’t tell you.


This is the perfect time to emphasis how inclusive your organization is. Highlighting diversity during this holiday season is a great alignment to the holiday message. Calming people or providing services that helps people relax can go a long way. Help people come together for the the holidays such as matching lonely people during the holidays with others (strongly consider legal and safety precautions).

This time of year, emotional marketing can really help you standout...however it’s better to think outside the box because the big retailers and service providers will be using some elements of the mentioned.


Almost every business rely on email marketing to get their messages out however mailboxes are and will be bombarded everyday with so many relevant and irrelevant messages. Some tips:
  • Go the extra mile to make sure you are not wasting peoples’ time so be clear and to the point. Ask yourself and team do I need to send this person this email?
  • Evaluate the nature of your relationship? Coming across too friendly in email when the other party doesn’t know you is a big no.
  • If you spam, for legit or illegal reasons, just stop it. People are wiser.
  • Add some excitement to your holiday emails
  • Don’t make it difficult for people to recognize and verify your “Name”, “From Email Address”
  • Overselling in your subject line and body is not highly recommended. What’s highly recommended is to be like an adviser, partner, or consultant to your targets, prospects, etc. Helping them fulfill their needs, dreams, or solve their problems.

Some example of subject line,

((The question: Looking for the perfect gift for [insert audience relevant to your business]?
The list: 5 gift ideas for your [insert audience relevant to your business].
The teaser: A special holiday offer from [insert your business name].
News: Announcing our annual [insert name of event/sale/promotion].)) --Compiled by different author

Remember to have a call-to-action at the end, middle or beginning or All the above of whatever form of medium you choose to use. TV, EMAIL, YOUTUBE, WEBINARS, PHONE


Marketing’s job is simply making sure you are front of mind when a need or desire needs to be fulfilled. And during this time it’s more critical to be out there. By out-screaming your competitors?, that’s really up to you. How? That's the art.


Everyday as a SMB operator, you wonder where do you allocate your marketing dollars? You have so many choices now than ever. Check out “52 types of marketing” post. Where are you going to get the best ROI or social marketing ROI? In an ever complicated and overwhelming world, K.I.S.S, Keep It Simple Stupid should come to mind. For specific answer on what to do, you contact us BJ Mannyst.


If you want a piece of the marketing dollars and money sloshing around from west-to-east, south-to-north,  this is the perfect time to bring your business “A” Game. Majority of people have a mobile phone and it’s likely one of the best ways to reach people. U.S. smartphone penetration is over 70% of the mobile phone market, meaning it helps to have a plan.

Educate your staff, team on your mobile app so they are just as educated or more educated than prospects or customers.

Stick to relevant messages relating to the holiday season( unless you’re trying to be controversial which needs to be thought through carefully.

Start telling or promoting your app before you get drowned out and people get distracted.

Do whatever you have to do, however don’t become an annoyance. You can’t call a potential date every single day and think he / she will like you still.

[BJ Mannyst + Founders Under 40™ Group are currently putting together limited exclusive sponsorship packages, interested parties should contact us]

Every marketing, communication, image, etc must be targeted & personalized effectively by truly understanding your target. For example, If you have a 5 - 12age app game, you are likely not going to blast ads in Wired Magazine. You might fine-tune that a little. Local school paper, educational or parent magazines, cartoon network, etc.


Everything happens so lightning fast that simply waiting to act is the road to death. People are everywhere and digesting from diverse medium. “So this holiday is a perfect time to put dedicated teams or an individual to monitor, manage, coordinate everything online to fit peoples’ Now Moments”, Manny. You have to be aware of hot events, popular shows, fashion, technology, cultural....basically whatever the average consumer cares about individually or a specific target cares about.
And sometime incorporate your purpose within the conversations not steal the conversations, not bombard the experience. The holidays are an ideal time to fine-tune your real-time marketing strategy as this time of year provides a real sence of performance, strategy, business operation,

Be sure to monitor, optimize, adjust, differentiate and show value. Just simply telling people to buy something because it’s the holidays is just waste of marketing initiative.

Exclusive Extra Knowledge

What Wal-Mart & B2C, B2B Giants Do Holiday Time:

  • Walmart is offering many holiday deals early as part of their plan to get greater numbers of shoppers into more stores.
  • Macy’s will open midnight on Black Friday, while Target and Kmart are opening their doors during the Thanksgiving holiday. 
  • Amazon Increases Free Shipping Minimum Order Amount Right Before Black Friday.
  • Walmart discounted almost 700 different items for its Black Friday sale last year.
  • Walmart upped its media presence by 50% significantly.  
  • Extending their deals to include online products as well
  • Walmart will also allow customers to have items shipped directly to their nearest brick-and-mortar store location, instead of their own homes, to pick up their purchases.  
  • Wal-Mart invited gift guide editors to a special event in June 2014 that showcased its top holiday offerings, according to published reports. 
  • Last few weeks, it presented its list of top toys for the 2014 holiday season. 
  • Kmart is wooing shoppers with no-down-payment layaway on contracts 
  • Inc. said it plans to hire 80,000 seasonal workers for its warehouse network in the U.S., representing a 14% increase from last year as the company brings its massive distribution facilities closer to urban centers. (not sure if 80, 000?? is correct)

IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark-Cyber Monday 2013 Compared to Cyber Monday 2012:

  • Online Sales Set New Record: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 20.6 percent over 2012.  Average order value was $128.77, down 1 percent year­ over­year.
  • Top Five Cities for Cyber Sales:  New York took the top spot for total online retail sales on Cyber Monday.  Rounding out the top five were Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. 
  • Mobile Shopping Soars: Mobile traffic grew to 31.7 percent of all online traffic, increasing by 45 percent over 2012.  Mobile sales were also strong, exceeding 17 percent of total online sales, an increase of 55.4 percent year­over­year. 
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy:  Smartphones drove 19.7 percent of all traffic compared to tablets at 11.5 percent, making it the browsing device of choice.  When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 11.7 percent of all online sales, more than double that of smartphones, which accounted for 5.5 percent.  On average, tablet users spent $126.30 per order compared to smartphone users who spent $106.49.
  • iOS vs. Android:  On average, iOS users spent $120.29 per order, compared to $106.70 per order for Android.  iOS traffic reached 22.4 percent of all online traffic, compared to 9.1 percent for Android.  iOS sales reached 14.5 percent of all online sales, compared to 2.6 percent for Android. 
  • Retailers “Push” Promotions to Mobile Shoppers*:  On average, retailers sent 77 percent more push notifications during the five day holiday shopping period – the alert messages and popup notifications from apps installed on your mobile device – when compared to daily averages over the past two months. Average daily retail app installations also grew by 29 percent using the same comparison.
  • The Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest:  On average, holiday shoppers referred from Facebook spent 6 percent more per order than shoppers referred from Pinterest.  Facebook average order value was $97.81 versus Pinterest average order value which was $92.40.  However, Facebook referrals converted sales at a rate 38 percent higher than Pinterest, perhaps indicating stronger confidence in network recommendations.

Hottest Retail Categories this Holiday Season (US): 

1.  Department Stores:  Cyber Monday total online sales grew by 70.3 percent over
2012, with mobile sales growing 52 percent year­over­year. Average order value
was $161.83, up 18.7 percent year­over­year.

2.  Health and Beauty:  Cyber Monday total online sales grew by 65.1 percent over
2012, with mobile sales growing 84 percent year­over­year.  Average order value
was $60.22, an increase of 6.8 percent year­over­year.

3.  Home Goods:  Cyber Monday total online sales grew by 26.5 percent over 2012,
with mobile sales growing 40.5 percent year­over­year.  Average order value was
$182.19 an increase of 9.2 percent year­over­year.

4.  Apparel:  Cyber Monday total online sales grew by 22.5 percent over 2012, with
mobile sales growing by 58.3 percent year­over­year.  Average order value was
$102.83, a decrease of 6.9 percent year­over­year.

[Smart Phone Security Tips]

Factors Driving Retailer Recommendations

  • Increase your business through customer advocacy and referral.
  • Availability of free shipping or discounted
  • Shipping was cited as the top factor,
  • Timely arrival of shipments and free or easy returns
  • When shipping costs are too high
  • Products arriving damaged (50%) and
  • Delivery taking longer than promised (50%)

Top 5 Reasons For Abandonment of Cart

  • Shipping and handling costs were listed too late during the check-out process
  • I was not ready to purchase, but wanted to save the cart for later
  • My order value wasn't large enough to qualify for free shipping
  • I was not ready to purchase, but wanted to get an idea of the total cost with shipping for comparison
  • Shipping costs made the total purchase cost more than expected

Top 5 Options Considered Important in Check-Out Process

  • Order history, so I can see everything I’ve bought
  • Estimated or guaranteed delivery date
  • Having a variety of payment options, like PayPal or Google
  • Checkout, in addition to a credit card
  • Provide estimated delivery date and shipping costs early in the process so I don't have to enter all my information before
  • Finding out the shipping cost and delivery date
  • Free shipping options

Most Important Tracking Services

  • An easy-to-find customer service number I can call to ask “where is my package”
  • E-mail message telling me my package was delivered
  • E-mail message alerting me my shipment will be delivered the
  • following day
  • The ability to track my shipment directly on the retailer’s website
  • E-mail notifications with a tracking number that I can click on to get the status of my shipment

Elements Included as Part of Best Returns Experience

  • A return label right in the box of my original purchase
  • Automatic refund once I ship my item(s) back to the retailer
  • Automatic refund once my item(s) are received by the retailer
  • A “no questions asked” returns policy
  • Free returns shipping

Issues Faced When Returning Online Purchases

  • I could not return to a store
  • I could not recover my original duties and customs fees
  • I had to pay a restocking fee
  • It took too long for me to receive credit/refund
  • I had to pay for return shipping


 ***This guide would not be possible without some invaluable insights from IBM, UPS, ComScore, Wal-Mart ***The endless effort by BJ MANNYST (marketing service provider and proud partner to founders) + FU40 Group Team

[BJ Mannyst can take you from idea to execution and work with you through the tough process it takes to get the right strategy.] for a free cosultation, contact BJ Mannyst [BJ Mannyst can take you from idea to execution and work with you through the tough process it takes to get the right branding.]

 ***For further assistant and to get a free consultation, contact BJ Mannyst

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