The holidays are quickly approaching, and with it comes big profits for businesses that plan ahead and use inventive ways to entice shoppers to buy. According to the National Retail Federation, “20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year,” meaning what happens during the holidays has the ability to make or break your small business. Luckily, it isn’t too late to make your holiday sales strategy a successful one. Increase foot traffic and boost sales with our creative marketing tips for the holiday season.
1. Participate in Small Business Saturday
This year marks the fifth anniversary of Small Business Saturday—and while this “shopping holiday” is new in its conception, its influence continues to grow as more consumers seek to “shop local.” Last year, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that “88 million consumers ‘shopped small’ on the day, up 14.9 percent” from 2013. So how can your business get in on the action? Use the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday to make your store part of the conversation, and encourage customers to tout your business using this hashtag as well. Program your outdoor LED sign with language that makes passerby aware of your participation, and reap the benefits as holiday shoppers flood your store.
2. Offer Holiday Promotions and Giveaways
During the holidays, consumers look for ways to save on gifts for friends and family. If your business doesn’t join the holiday sales train, it risks going unnoticed. Let shoppers know about promotions and giveaways via email, direct mail, social media, and outdoor signage to ensure your message gets out. When “on the hunt” for the perfect holiday gift, consumers are more likely to shop in stores they’ve never previously entered than during any other time of the year—especially if a deal is offered. So this is your chance to reach a new audience and build a larger customer base.
3. Host an In-Store Holiday Event
Set your small business apart from big box retailers by hosting a special event/open house in your store. While guests browse your gift selections, offer them hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies, and other seasonal treats to put shoppers in the holiday spirit. Before the event, create buzz on social media and with outdoor signs to guarantee it’s the “can’t-miss” party in your community. In addition, use this opportunity to capture email and/or mailing addresses, so you can continue your relationship with customers throughout the year.
4. Be Active in Your Community
The success of your small business depends on community buy-in, and during the holidays, there’s hundreds of opportunities to garner their support. Start a canned food drive or register to be a Toys for Tots drop-off location. Your philanthropic efforts will not only establish your business as an integral part of the community, but will also bring consumers into your store. With your LED sign, promote community-wide holiday events, including high school band/choir performances, tree lightings, and more. The support you show for the local community will be reciprocated tenfold.