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Is your business gearing up for this year’s holidays?

If not, then now is the time to start, especially now that a newly released Nielsen study commissioned by Yelp has revealed how American consumers will shop and spend their money this holiday season, the time for delicious meals, pumpkin spice, creamy cheesecakes, merry-making, and gift-giving.

(Check out: “YELP HELP: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Yelp Business Page”)

According to the study, which took into account the responses of over 500 general population adults in the US, 8 out of 10 Americans will be shopping at a local business in the upcoming holidays. Moreover, 44 percent plan to start shopping before Thanksgiving, and that nearly half (47 percent) plan to spend more than $100 at a local business.

The money will be spent on unique, experience-based gifts. For example:

  • 50 percent plan to purchase gift certificates from a local restaurant.
  • 25 percent plan to buy tickets to the theaters, movies, or opera.
  • 20 percent plan to purchase gift certificates from a local spa or salon. (Which makes sense, because who wouldn’t want to get a free massage as a holiday gift?)

Are you a local business owner? Prepare for the holiday shopping season by building up your online brand reputation. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Monitor and manage your online reviews: According to a recent study, 88 percent of consumers now read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. That’s why it’s so important to track the review sites where your business is listed and respond to what your customers are saying online.
  1. Update your local business information. An increasing number of consumers research online to find out more information about local businesses. So make sure that the data on your listings, profiles, and website are all accurate and up-to-date.
  1. Create special deals and promos. One of the best ways to drive holiday shoppers to your business is to create special deals on websites and platforms where they might find you. Sites like Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Google+ are all great places to start running those promos.
  1. Add photos and videos. Multimedia content like photos and videos have proven to be effective at boosting consumer engagement levels. Consumers spend 2.5 times longer on Yelp Business Pages with photos, while on TripAdvisor, hotels and properties with at least one photo receive a staggering 225 percent more booking inquiries than those with zero photos.
manage online reviews (2)

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

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