This holiday season many more people are actively exploring the net to buy and to research to make buying decisions. Many websites, especially large brands, are making a lot more effort to increase the likelihood of sales.

NOW is the time for you to be paying extra close attention to sales techniques, good and bad content strategies, tricky sales pitches, lack of information and areas of failure. You should be watching online and offline businesses. You should continue to pay close attention through New Years’ sales and even up until the Super Bowl.

Keep a list of things you feel are successful and a list of those things you see as failures. Take these ideas and adapt them for your 2014 marketing strategies.

What Technologies Have Sites and Businesses Utilized?

Whether it is tracking software, apps, or mobile marketing there are new technology options available every week. Keep notes on what you would like to use in the future, what you liked about these new features/options and the potential drawbacks.

What Successful Strategies Must You Compete With? Example:

The other day I walked into Bed Bath and Beyond to look at a product I saw on Amazon. I figured I had a 20% of coupon and could save money if I bought the item there. Unfortunately, they did not have the product in stock. I said, “No worries, I can order it from Amazon.” The man helping me said, “NO, we can order it and have it delivered for free before Christmas and you can get you can get your 20%!”

He explained to me that BB&B knows they have to compete with Amazon and they are offering free and fast shipping. Obviously they have paid attention to what Amazon offers that people love, fast and free shipping, and they have adapted.

How can you adapt? Pay attention this holiday season to your competitors, large and small!

What Has Turned You Off as A Consumer?

Every year during the holiday season things happen that offend consumers and sometimes the consumer is so upset they will never shop with a particular brand again. The recent news about 40 million people’s credit and debit card information being breached at Target is one example. Other examples include unexpected charges, flat out deception, lack of stock, undelivered packages and product defects.

I suggest you pay attention to issues that offend consumers while your shop and also while reading the news. There is always something to learn from the failures of others. You can take this information and educate your staff, create new policies and even create strategies to avoid negative feelings.

Business and Marketers Benefit from Keeping Their Eyes Open

Every day you can learn from business successes and failures, but this time of year it is easier to see more because we are seeing so many different kinds of advertisements that are pushing people to buy immediately, not just anytime. There is an urgency that is a part of all marketing right now. How that urgency is created and encouraged on sites, in content and in advertising is what is interesting. There is so much to learn from everything we see this holiday season.