The influx of holiday decorations popping in stores in early Fall (if not sooner!) makes it known that both big and small businesses think about the holiday season much sooner than the actual holidays on the calendar. And for good reason, people want to feel prepared.
By the end of September 2016, 14% of Americans had already started their holiday shopping, and 1 million people were already completely finished with their shopping lists. Holidays retail sales also increased by 4 percent year-over-year in 2016 to reach $658.3 billion spent in November and December, the prime of the holiday season.
Is your business ready to handle the influx of traffic? Do you have strategy to attract new visitors to your store, while also catering to your loyal customers? Do you know how to grow your business activity during the holidays? Here are 5 small business marketing strategies to increase your growth during the busy holiday season.
Expand Your Product Line
What products will you have ready for sale specifically for the holidays? If you don’t have brand new items to introduce, think about repurposing your most popular items as part of a bundle that’s perfect for gift giving. Or, think about adding a homemade element to your available products. Brainstorm with your team about ways you can use the products you have and make them more relevant for the holiday shopper.
Promote a Stress-Free Zone
In-store holiday shopping can create quite the frenzy rather than feeling festive. Create a mini stress-free zone in your store complete with coloring books, colored pencils, stress relief balls, and fidget spinners. Set up a table with refreshments inviting guests to sit down and take a few minutes to relax or let them take a stress relief item with them to go. This will invite people to linger in your store longer and find an extra benefit of adding your store on the must-visit list.
Sell Through Different Channels
While brick-and-mortar stores should take full advantage of the additional foot traffic thanks to holiday sales, don’t forget about promotion on your social media channels and via email as well. Set up a small business marketing strategy to keep customer constantly engaged throughout (and beyond) the holiday season. Ideas might include a countdown to savings promotion where each day a new offer is revealed on your Facebook or Instagram page. Make sure your communication aligns both online and offline to avoid confusion, meaning if you’re selling an item for 25% off in an email campaign, confirm if it’s exclusive to online shoppers or if it will be honored in-store as well.
Host a Holiday Event
Small Business Saturday is the biggest day of the shopping year for small businesses, but don’t miss out on other opportunities to get your products in front of a larger crowd. Research fairs, festivals, and pop-up shops in your city and set up a booth or co-sponsor an event to draw more people to your business. Customize a business banner special for the event and set up a table that will entice people to stop by. Holiday-themed treats, swag bags, and an eye-catching setup are all good ideas to attract shoppers.
Even if people can’t make the event, it still puts your brand front and center when they’re thinking about their holiday shopping lists. The goal is to get more people to your store to buy your products, but it may not be from a singular communication. An invitation to a fun event is one way to draw attention to your business during the busy season.
Have a Sale
This business strategy continues to work because everyone loves a sale. This is especially effective if you are in direct competition with other small businesses around you. If you are selling similar products, what aspects will help you stand out? Most likely it’s going to be lower costs. Having a sale can also be a strategic way for you to make room for new inventory once the holidays are over.
Using Small Business Marketing for the Holidays
When it comes to business strategies for small businesses, the unique aspects of your business that will make the most difference. What do you have to offer that your competitors don’t? What will make you stand out this holiday season? Discuss these strategies with your team, and decide how to grow your business by applying them and making the them work for you. Stock up on customized merchandise today to help power you through the holiday season – and the days of holiday shopping leading up to it!