It’s been a busy year for business owners. As 2018 draws to a close—yes, already—it may seem like there’s too little time left to develop a plan to capitalize on holiday sales. But all hope isn’t lost! There are about three weeks left until the absolute last-minute purchases will be made. That gives you enough time to pull a few tricks out of your sleeve and nab a few extra end-of-the-year sales.
Wondering how to do it? Read on!
Put Your Best Products in the Spotlight
Did you know that 20-40% of the yearly sales for small- and mid-sized retailers occur during the holiday season? That should get you pumped to take advantage of creating a special sale during the last few holiday shopping weeks.
Take some time to identify your top-selling products and create a special display for them. Alternatively, you may want to place seasonal items in the spotlight. You can feature these products prominently on your website and social media accounts, include them in a flyer or email promotion, or even create a physical display at your storefront. The creative part is up to you—but your signage, marketing materials, and social media should all reflect these great products and deals that are only available for a few more weeks!
Set Aside a Small Budget for Social Media Ads
There’s no reason to spend tons of money, especially if you’re not used to running ads on social media. However, it can be incredibly helpful to entice people with promoted Facebook or Instagram ads. You can reach your existing fans and followers this way, and you can also reach out to prospective customers who may have never heard of you before!
If it helps, here’s a little fact: Last-minute shoppers make up nearly 30% of online holiday sales. This is a great reason to promote yourself! Remember that those last-minute stragglers may still be looking for the perfect gift—and you just might be able to provide what they need!
Use the Holidays to Build an Email List
If you have the opportunity to collect email addresses from your customers, now is a great time to do it! You have to get their consent to add them to a list—you can’t just add people without telling them—but by gathering email addresses during the holiday season, you’ll already have a list of customers to reach out to next year! You can try capturing emails before a sale or having a big reminder on your website to sign up for a newsletter for special coupons or early knowledge of upcoming sales. There will definitely be people who are excited to be a part of your email list!
Make Your Store Mobile-Friendly
This may seem fairly obvious, as we’ve talked about the necessity of having a mobile-friendly website many times, but it’s true: every year, more and more people shop using their mobile devices. This year, mobile ecommerce sales are expected to account for about 44% of holiday ecommerce spending! That’s a lot of money to miss out on if you don’t have a mobile-optimized website or store. So make sure to make everything as easy as possible for all your customers, including those on mobile devices!
Once you've acquired new customers, be sure to retain them with a mobile app! We are recognized as a top California Mobile App Development Agency on DesignRush!
Be Brave—Compete with Giants!
One of the biggest barriers for local businesses is Amazon. Whether you use Amazon yourself or you hate it because you can’t really compete with a company that large, it’s important to remember what you have to offer as a local business owner. You have a personal touch to offer: You offer unique products that people can’t find on Amazon, and you can interact with customers in a way Amazon never will. You need to play this up to compete:
Consider offering shipping incentives—free shipping certain days of the week, for example. It might not be feasible to do this 24/7 over the holiday season, but you can certainly have a few days to offer competitive shipping rates.
Make yourself available—provide answers to frequently asked questions and make sure your contact information is easily locatable on your website and social accounts. When people message you, respond as quickly as possible.
When someone makes a purchase, thank them for it—a personalized “thank-you” can go a long way in pleasing customers.
Be outspoken—Let your customers know what you stand for. Whether you’re a local artist who loves to support social causes or you’re a restaurant owner who sources all ingredients locally, let your customers know. They love learning the story behind brands, and they want to know exactly what they’re handing over their hard-earned money for. Your company’s story is a part of your brand, and your brand is what customers connect with. So play it up!
There you have it! These tips should help get you through the next few weeks as well as prepare you for next year’s holiday season. It’s never too early to start thinking about it!