The Christmas season is a make-or-break time of year for local businesses, and reaching mobile customers during this season is more important than ever.

From watching ads to searching online, and from finding transportation to navigating the in-store experience, consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile devices for every stage of the customer journey.

When 75% percent of UK retailers rely on the Christmas period for over a fifth of annual sales, there’s every reason to plan ahead, and ensure you maximise on this festive opportunity.

Here are some tips to help guide your mobile-first marketing strategy this Christmas season.

Update your local listings (and check them twice!)

Optimise your local listings in response to customers’ mobile phone searches to ensure you amplify foot traffic to your location. At Yext, we found that high-intent mobile searches, i.e. those likely to lead to sales, occurred at a rate 70% higher than normal around major holidays, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Ensuring your online listings are accurate is crucial to taking advantage of this time.

Confirm your holiday hours

The chances are, your store hours will be altered in some way during the Christmas season. Whether you are extending your hours, cutting them back or not changing them at all, it’s imperative that you confirm your listed hours of operation for every upcoming holiday.

Updating your special hours is more important than ever because Google now alerts searchers to whether holiday hours are confirmed or not. And with one in four shoppers saying they’ll steer clear of a nearby store altogether if they feel uncertain about the accuracy of its listing, you risk losing business if you don’t give this detail its due diligence.

Make sure your information is consistent. Everywhere

This Christmas, 60% of smartphone owners plan to use their devices to find store locations. Location has become essential to the mobile experience and to many of the most popular mobile apps. With consumers’ increasing reliance on ride-sharing services like Uber to get where they need to go, it’s more important than ever to have your location data accurate online.

Each piece of the shopper’s journey – from using your store locator to checking-in – should be seamless. This becomes even more important in the week of Christmas. These last-minute customers are less likely to compare shops, and are even more reliant on their smartphones. These shoppers look to get the information they need quickly and don’t have time to spend searching around.

Shoppers will use their phones during every step of the customer journey. Staying on top of your digital channels this festive season will be key to having a productive and happy Christmas, for you and your business.