The holiday season is just around the corner, and things are looking bright for small retail businesses. Sales are expected to increase 4.1%, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. Moreover, it seems that small retailers are optimistic about this upcoming holiday season. A survey conducted among SMBs active in the online community Manta reveals that 43% of small retailers expect this to be a better season than last year’s.
Whether you are preparing for Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or some holiday you just made up, I though some tips would come in handy.
Get into the Holiday Spirit: People get in the shopping mood (some might call it fever) once they realize the holidays are approaching. You can help the season start earlier by decorating your business, throwing a holiday party, sending out holiday cards and gifts, and starting to engage your followers and friends on social networks with holiday promotions.
Personalize: You can use online tools to provide your customers with a personalized shopping experience. This is especially important and relevant for online retailers. You can use your site to ask consumers what products they want and need to buy during the holiday season by embedding surveys in your site. You can create WOM and learn about consumers’ preferences by calling on people to “like” and comment on products in your catalog. Creating a “share” option is also important because often people buy gifts together.
Keep in Touch: Use the high-volume traffic your store or site receives during the holiday season to create a long-lasting relationship with consumers. The holiday season can be a great opportunity for you to start managing a customer list in case you ever want to create a closer relationship with you customers or even start a loyalty club.
Plan Your Marketing Efforts: In order to create a marketing plan, you first need to understand your main customer base and choose the marketing channels accordingly. If you’re targeting young adults, choose social media marketing, location-based mobile advertising, email promotions, in-store QR codes, etc. If baby boomers are your top shoppers, try using the local newspapers or direct mail. You can also create a unique message for your business during the holiday season emphasizing why buying with you is better. Another great idea for retailers who have their shop in the local shopping center is to cooperate with other businesses around them and create joint discounts and offerings. That way all the stores in the shopping center enjoy more traffic.
I hope these tips gave you some good ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Whatever holiday you and your community are celebrating, I hope it will be a very happy and successful one.