Billions of dollars are spent during the busy holiday season. So, as a small business owner, how can you get in on the action and take home a small cut of this huge pie of holiday shopping revenue?
Let’s explore 10 secrets you can use to boost holiday sales in your small business.
1. Hold a holiday event at your brick-and-mortar store.
If you operate a brick-and-mortar retailer, hold a festive holiday event to bring new and former customers into your store. Invite Santa to come, and hire a musician to play some classic holiday tunes. Offer cookies, candy, or other sweet treats. People love celebrating the holidays, and throwing an event like this can be a huge attraction for all customers. It’s a great opportunity to show off your products in a spirited environment.
2. Hold a holiday contest.
Who doesn’t love a cool giveaway to win a vacation package, jewelry, or a gift card to your store? For all customers who buy something from you, enter their names and contact info into a drawing. This is a great incentive to increase sales, and purchasing a nice prize for this is well worth the investment.
3. Decorate your store and use window displays.
Give your storefront a festive makeover. Put up a holiday tree with some lights. Put a bell on your front door. Add lights to the outside of your shop. Hang wreaths and other decorations, or put up posters and other displays in your window. In general, people are drawn to a place that looks inviting. Sprucing up your retail store is the perfect way to do this around the holidays.
4. Give your customers a present for their purchases.
When a customer buys a piece of furniture, a blouse, or a toy that you’re selling, throw in a special gift with this purchase. You may offer a free ornament for a holiday tree, some chocolate, a holiday keychain, or any other neat gift item. Doing so will increase the chances of each customer remembering your small business because of this small yet thoughtful addition to whatever they buy from you.
5. Send holiday cards and e-mails.
Reaching out to your current base of customers whose contact info you have on file already is imperative, especially around this time of year. Send out “season’s greetings” cards that include your company’s phone number, website, and other relevant information. Or, tap into your database of e-mail addresses by sending a few holiday-themed messages. Be creative, regardless of which platform you use. Simply sending a snail-mail card or an e-mail message is a great way to remind people of your small business without being too intrusive.
6. Offer holiday discounts on your most desirable items.
Identify the items that are the biggest sellers in your business. Then determine which ones you could offer discounts on in order to move more of them during this high-spending time of year. Consider offering 10%, 25%, or 50% discounts depending on pricing. While you won’t be making as much money on each of these individual purchases, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell more items, which in turn can help you turn a larger profit overall.
7. Spruce up your website and social media pages for the holidays.
Just like you should decorate your retail store, you should electronically decorate your company website, social media pages, and any other online platforms you maintain. This could simply mean adding a festive graphic to your homepage or holiday scene as the cover photo on your Facebook page. Not only is updating your online assets a necessity, but also it can help with SEO to make your pages rank higher in search results.
Of course, if your company is web-exclusive, there are lots of online marketing strategies you can take advantage of during the holidays and throughout the year.
8. Create item lists for all potential customers.
Think back to when you were a kid and you made up a list of gifts you wanted. Well, it can be fun to think like a kid again as a small business owner. Determine which items are either age-specific or gender-specific, and create these lists for your customers. That way, they may be more likely to do more shopping with you since you’re literally telling them how some items would be great gifts for certain individuals in their lives.
9. Hand out loyalty cards to encourage return customers.
Developing a loyalty program is an inexpensive and effective way to get return customers to your retail outlet. Such a program can work for both brick-and-mortars and e-commerce stores alike. Simply create cards on which you tally each customer’s purchase and then give them a free purchase once they’ve reached a specified number of items bought over time. For online stores, you can program a shopping cart portal to track purchases.
10. Track the results of all your holiday marketing campaigns.
In the end, the ultimate goal of any marketing or sales strategy is to ensure you are getting a decent return on investment (ROI) on it. In other words, you must track the results of any money you are spending on marketing. This can be done using a spreadsheet, online tools for social media advertising, and using other methods. Evaluating your results is one of the best ways to decide which strategies are most effective for your small business and which ones you can cross off in the future.