Tis the week that starts the rush in holiday shopping here in the US. And according to the National Retail Federation, up to 152 million shoppers are expected to head to the stores and shop online for bargains sometime over the coming long weekend.

And while shopping on Thanksgiving weekend is nothing new, how shoppers will track the bargains is – and its changing rapidly with technology.

  • 50.5% will keep up with advertising circulars received in the newspaper and mail
  • 31.7% will watch holiday commercials

All of which is to be expected. But what is new is how we’re now using technology to get the exact information we are looking for.

  • 23.1% will seek out coupon websites – think RetailMeNot.com, FatWallet.com
  • 11.3% will check out group buying sites like Groupon and LivingSocial

And for those people that use tablet devices, over 31 percent will check out retailers’ Facebook pages and 21.3 percent will use the group buying sites.

So for many retailers – BestBuy, Macy’s, Kmart, Sears, etc – they won’t be focusing solely on the customers coming into their stores; they will spend equal time discovering ways to reach out to the people searching online from the comfort of their homes. Many will be participating in “deal of the hour” and other programs that they can release in a variety of ways, including email, Facebook and Twitter.

What Can Photographers Do?

While a photography studio may not be on the top of consumers holiday lists as they hit the stores on Friday morning, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from what the big retailers are doing, and put it into your own business.

Last year I showcased how one studio was creating a 25 Days of Christmas promotion where she released one deal each day of  December. To participate and get the deal of the day, you had to pay immediately through her site – And you had to be one of the first to buy it, as quantities were limited on each deal.

Dig Deeper: One Great Idea – Meet Mandie Haberman

And while the 25 Days of Christmas is a great way for selling your portrait work to your customers, what if you want to take a different approach?

Last year I also showcased another great idea in which an artist created “100 paintings in 100 days for $100 each” promotion. Every day he created a piece of art and put it up for sale. He ended up selling 79 of them – not bad for a quick promotion that he emailed out every day.

Dig Deeper: One Great Idea – Meet Brian Kliewer

Are any of these ideas doable for you? Definitely. With over a week left in November, you can easily get something together for the first of December – or even sooner depending on your ideas. You can send an email to your list in minutes, have an ad up on Facebook in no time, and even create a page on your website with just a little time and thought.

So why not come up with something new this holiday season?

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