The National Retail Federation predicts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales over 2011, and overall small businesses anticipate a strong holiday season this year. Hopefully you are seeing these sales translate to your small business! Though it’s mid-December, there are still plenty of shopping days left this holiday season, so we are here to help your small business make the most of your marketing efforts over the next week or so.
Here are our top 6 tips for easy, effective marketing techniques that you execute in your small business over the next few weeks:
1. Make your website easy to navigate. Consider making a few easy changes to your website, by highlighting great gift ideas by category. On your home page, feature “Gifts under $50”, or “Gifts for Him/Her” or possibly “Popular Gifts”. Additionally, you can also send these ideas out by email, or highlight on your social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
2. Offer gift suggestions. To continue with the idea of making it easy for people to find and choose the perfect gift, you might want to offer specific gift suggestions. One way to do this is to create and highlight specials for the month of December – the key here is that you are determining which of your products you are trying to drive sales for. People are always looking for the perfect gift, especially for those hard-to-buy-for people in their lives, so this is your opportunity to get in from of them with some great gift ideas.
3. Use Your Creativity. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but the holidays are a great time to implement a campaign such as “The 12 Days of Christmas”, “Reindeer Games” or “Santa’s Elves Suggest” where you highlight a ‘deal of the day’ via email or social media. You can easily do this in conjunction with tip #2 above (Offer gift suggestions) or make it a stand-alone campaign. Do what works best for your small business!
4. Highlight shipping deadlines. Make sure your shipping deadlines are very clear on your website and on your social media sites and emails. Nothing is worse than an angry customer who ordered a gift and it didn’t make it in time for Christmas day. Another thing you can do is offer special expedited shipping, or highlight upgraded shipping services. The intent behind this tactic is to instill urgency, and motivate people to buy now, instead of waiting.
5. Drive customers offline and into your store. If you don’t offer shipping services, or online purchases, you can still use many of the above ideas, and simply drive them into the store to make their purchase. Consider offering your customers the ability to call and purchase over the phone, as well the option for gift wrap, and they can simply drop by to pick up their beautifully wrapped gift purchase! Use email, as well as Facebook and Twitter to remind people how many shopping days are left, and continue offering gift suggestions and specials right through Christmas Eve day.
6. Plan for Super Saturday. Super Saturday, as it is called, is the last Saturday before Christmas, and it accounts for a significant portion of holiday sales for retail stores – to the tune of $15 billion dollars! Surprisingly, some businesses do as much as 60% of their sales on this one day, so make sure you plan ahead for Super Saturday! This year, Super Saturday lands on December 22nd, which is great timing for retailers. Plan to offer your best targeted promotions, incentives and specials on this day, and consider offering some freebies to entice shoppers. Some ideas here include fueling customers with free Christmas cookies and snacks, free hand or shoulder massages, coffee and hot cider, or even an appearance by Santa. By all means, spread the word via email and social media and make sure you are staffed to support the additional traffic on this crazy shopping day!
It might take a bit of extra effort and planning, but this holiday season can be your best ever, in terms of revenue, if you implement a few of the above strategies. They are low-cost and relatively simple to implement, which make them perfect for busy small business owners like you! Happy Holidays!