It’s that time of year again, when retailers go all out to attract holiday shoppers. What can your small business do to prepare for holiday sales?
On average, shoppers are expected to spend 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent more this holiday season, according to two reports (by Wells Fargo and the National Retail Federation) recently mentioned in the Charlotte Business Journal.
How can your business get a cut of this?
Here’s what many small business owners are planning to do to boost their holiday sales, as revealed in a new survey by Inc. from Chase:
1. Begin promotions before Thanksgiving. Many small business owners plan to promote their sales way before Americans sit down for Thanksgiving dinner. This is a good way to get a head start, of course. But before you do, be careful with your ads and make sure that they are not deceptive or misleading.
2. Go mobile. Going mobile is becoming more common than ever these days for small businesses. It’s a great way to capitalize on the popularity of smartphones; most customers appreciate having a nifty app to use when shopping. Millennials are smartphone junkies. Get them into the store and making purchases with a deals and updates delivered via mobile and on social media.
4. Use social media to your advantage. Social media promotions are a great way to boost sales. Take advantage of the fact that social media usage is more common than ever, and help your customers save a little at the same time. Promotions can give customers an incentive to purchase something from you, which can go a long way for sales and customer loyalty. For example, with every Foursquare check-in during the holiday season, consider offering a small discount.
5. Focus on your local community. One advantage small-businesses have over any big-box competitors is that they know their consumers and the community of those consumers better than any major retailer can. Use local knowledge to speak directly to your local consumers.
6. Use timely language. Remind consumers that it’s the holidays! Make sure your marketing verbiage is reflective of the time of year. Also, as time number of shopping days begin to dwindle, impress upon your customers an increasing sense of urgency.
7. Offer unique holiday packages. Put groups of products together that are otherwise sold separately to create gift packages.
8. Win customers over with service. Smaller retailers often can’t compete with larger chains on price, but where small-businesses shine is delivering individualized customer service. Cater to your most loyal customers with the utmost respect and attention and use the increased traffic during the holiday times to gain new ones.
Best Wishes for a Great Holiday Season.