Advertising: the ghost of the fourth quarter

Halloween. A night of spooky costumes and frights.

But for Shopify stores, the next two months could be even more frightful.

A(nother) holiday season with lots of uncertainty lurking in the shadows.

This years problems: inflation, worker shortages, and (still) shipping and supply chain issues.

These bigger issues aren't going to be solved by you, especially not in the short-term. You can try to limit their damage though.

Cutting costs and trying to be more scrappy usually work best during downturns or times of high uncertainty. One recurring problem I hear about time and time again is increased advertising costs and how much stores now depend on the advertising giants for customers. Finding low-cost alternatives to acquiring customers will continue to be the thing that separates success from failure.

Think back to your early days when you had to fight and scramble for each new customer. Back when you didn't have the cash to pay for ads. What did you do then that you can start doing now?

I'd bet you did a lot more things by-hand and worked hard to satisfy every customer to keep them. Instead of policies and customer service phone trees, you helped customers or solved problems for your customers.

Can you start that back up now? Could that help you win and keep more customers without having to pay the ad-tax? If you have to, make it a skunk works project.

If you can't do this for every customer, what if you could do it for your best customers? Have that group segment your customer base to find the top customers (either by hand or by using Repeat Customer Insights) and give them that better, personalized service.

It might be scary, but hey, everything is scary today.

Happy Halloween.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Advertising Customer loyalty Profit

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