Once Halloween passes, it’s a mad dash to the year’s finish line, kicking off at Thanksgiving and moving through New Years. If you haven’t already started thinking about how you can utilize the holidays to your advantage, don’t wait any longer! Big box stores may have a stronghold on the holiday season but small businesses clean up this time of year, too, and it’s all about how they market and what they offer. Follow these tips on how to effectively boost your business over the holidays.
1. Set the Scenery
Make it festive in your store. Use decorations: Put Christmas trees in every corner, string lights on every pole, A well-thought out window display is inviting to shoppers. When a store appears to cater to the holidays that customers assume (or at least become curious enough to walk in and check) that there are holiday sales happening in that store.
2. Cater to Every Budget
Chances are that no matter what you sell, your various products fall at different price points. An effective marketing tool includes the promotion of items targeted towards the specific budgets of your shoppers. This method doesn’t even require an actual “sale,” per se, just the advertisement of your products as they are. For example, you can advertise “$25 Steals” or “Great Gifts for Under $50!” You can change the dollar amounts as you like, but the idea is to catch the eye of those on any kind of budget.
3. Use Social Media
While email promotions are a great way to reach your loyal customer base, you should also be sharing your holiday specials with your social media following. You may continue to share your overall promotional deals to your fan base but you can also offer them “special” perks for following you. Offering a percentage off of purchases to your Facebook fans is two-fold as it is not only a good way to draw in those who may not yet be your customers, but can also be promoted via email to prospects and customers who may not yet follow you. “Like us on Facebook for special holiday offers” can be a great way to raise your fan count and bring in sales.
4. Don’t Forget the Extras
There are many things you can offer customers to get them to buy from your store versus the behemoths big box retailers– and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Providing free gift-wrapping on every purchase can really sway shoppers who either hate the task or are too busy to do it. Free shipping is great for online sales and you can also promote quick site-to-store pickups or store-to-home delivery.
5. Make Connections
Use the influx of holiday shoppers to bolster your email list for future sales and non-holiday promotions. This can be as simple as asking for an email address at the time of checkout or leaving a clipboard out on the counter of your shop. This is also a good time to promote your Yelp!, Google+ and Facebook pages in order to gain positive reviews from satisfied customers.
Don’t forget: holiday shopping season isn’t just a stretch of days in November and December; it’s an opportunity for you to build long-lasting relationships with prospects and customers. Follow these tips and get see your business boom during – and long after – the holidays.