Have you been thinking ahead to the holiday season yet? Well, it’s definitely time to start planning. But before you get started, here is a bit of info on what happened with online shopping last year. Look at these numbers from Adobe Digital Insights.

In 2018, in 26 of the 61 days of the holiday shopping season, online sales revenue passed $2 billion per day. In Nov and Dec the domestic revenue total totaled $126 billion, nearly 17% over what US consumers spent online in 2017. And the most traffic driving that revenue came from smartphones in 2018. It is the first year that smartphone traffic averaged half of all visits and drove 30% of the total revenue. Desktop conversion still rules online sales, converting the highest at nearly 5% and driving roughly 60% of the online shopping revenue.

What does this all mean for entrepreneurs in 2019? It means to get the most bang for your marketing buck you need to start making your game plan for the holiday season now. Here’s a holiday planning cheat sheet to help you get started. But before you dive into any of the process below, make sure you have all the information you need to make an effective game plan. Review the analytics data from all your sources so you know where you were last year; this should give you a good sense of what the possibilities could be for this year.

Identify your goals.

It is really important to be really clear about your goals and set reasonable expectations for you and your team. This could be something like, improve overall online sales by 20% over last year, sell more of one particular item, or maybe it is more granular, like getting previous customers to buy a new product that complements something they already bought.

Get your digital house in order.

Take some time to make sure your website is optimized for SEO. If you’re considering a web refresh, now is probably not the time to do a large scale revamp of your site, for the time being simply consider doing some incremental improvements to improve search, security, and user experience. If your site is not optimized for mobile, definitely tackle that sooner than later. You simply can’t afford to ignore the impact smartphone traffic will have on your sales.

Plan the steps to achieve your goals.

Think about how you are going to communicate to your customers. What is your theme going to be for this season? Plan out the story you want to tell. Then think about the tools you’re going to use to get that story to the masses and blast the same theme out using all your channels. For social, using a Social Media Content Calendar will help you track what posts you want for the quarter, so they see right information at the right times; talk about a stress reliever during the busy holiday season. A solid social media marketing plan will help you capitalize on the high web traffic during the holidays and improve awareness of your brand, increase engagement with your audience, and can boost sales.

B2B companies, don’t rest on your marketing laurels during the holidays. Think about ways you can be opportunistic about the web traffic that naturally happens during this time of year. Your customers are people first and enterprise decision-makers second, they will be browsing for gifts too, so some strategically placed Google ads are worth considering to stay top of mind for when they return to work after the holidays. If you know your audience well enough, you’ll know for what they’ll be shopping.

Happy pre-holidays people!