Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year—the holidays! Whether you are a small business, or a holiday shopper running around from shop to shop, there is something heart-warming about giving and receiving thoughtful gifts from your loved ones. This time of year has a touch of magic for everyone. For some, that magic may also be known as stress and mayhem, but for others, it may mean seeing the smile on people’s faces when handing out thoughtful gifts.
If you are a business owner, you may be scratching your head wondering how you will survive this season’s of influx sales, running around trying to fill orders before the clock runs out. Or you may be wondering how you will market yourself to assure every customer gets exactly what they are searching for. Either way, for business owners, the holidays can get a little hectic, and turning holiday shoppers into yearly-round loyal customers may just be at the top of your wishlist this year.
With products and services easily accessible on all channels—online, in-store, or even affiliate sites like Amazon, everyone is ready to hit the ground running with holiday shopping. The National Retail Federation predicts that this holiday season will be especially busy, with shoppers spending about 4% more than last season. That adds up to an average of about $1,048 per person. That’s a lot of sweaters, books, and specialty coffee.
As this time of year may be the busiest for your small business, it is crucial to optimize this time as sales can plateau after the season has settled. Take advantage of this season whether you own an online ecommerce store, storefront, or both—promote as many sales as possible and turn your seasonal shoppers into loyal ones.
Maybe you’ve considered free shipping as a way to reel customers in, or provide flash sales, but have you thought about investing in POS systems that accept gift cards? Gift cards may not be the most unique gift, but over 59% of shoppers say they’d love to see one in their stocking this year.
As this holiday season can get a little tricky with the various other shops out there promoting their best deals, Fundera brainstormed unique ways to reel in customers during this busy time of the year.
Ways to Boost Online Sales
Online stores have the advantage of getting out of the fast-paced face-to-face customer experience. You are able to automate which stock is available, where it is going, and have an easier way to upsell a customer, yet time may not be on your side. Consider boosting sales with free one-day shipping or push all your holiday sales early to ensure less stress around the last couple of days leading up to Christmas or New Year.
1. Provide free express shipping
There is nothing worse than having to spend over ten of fifteen extra dollars to have your purchase shipped your way. Give your customers free shipping if they spend up to a certain amount. Not only does this incentivize them to spend a little more than they would have initially, but it’s also a great way to avoid cart abandonment and bring in sales that easily pay for the sales you are promoting.
Go the extra mile and share this amazing gift on your social media accounts, or even pay for some extra advertising on Instagram and Facebook to target customers you haven’t already served. Personally, I spend most of my time on Instagram, and I don’t buy anything online without free shipping. Give new customers the special treatment you would love to receive during the holidays.
2. Go festive on social media
Whether you have a storefront or an online store, show your holiday spirit over social media. Give your customers a glimpse into your favorite holiday decorations, holiday company culture “behind the scenes,” and your doorbuster deals for anyone and every one your followers may be shopping for. This is the perfect time to show your loyal customers why your team is so great!
If you have the extra time, host a holiday party at your office and feast on all your favorite foods. Make cute hot chocolates and create a fun photobooth to stoke up on all your holiday product photo and video content to share throughout the days leading up to Christmas.
3. Create product videos
Most customers are focusing on blogger’s go-to “Holiday Favorites” posts or watching “Gift Guide” videos on YouTube to get an idea of what to get for their loved ones this season. Weigh in on the 66% of customers that say product videos shape their purchasing decision. Make an effort to partner with blog or YouTuber influencers to feature your product or put on your creativity hat and make your own!
Not a photographer or videographer? Hire one! Nowadays there are various different freelancing sites like Upwork that allow anyone and everyone to hire experts by the hour for specific projects. Find a freelancer in your area that would be willing to do a fun holiday video shoot for your business and get to promoting on all of your social media platforms for everyone to see!
4. Bundle certain products
As a business owner, you have the ability to see which products are the most popular. Throw all of your best sellers into a discounted bundle or give away a free product with purchases over a certain amount. Oddly enough, over 70% of customers say they end up buying themselves something during the holidays, as the deals are the best during this season. Even have a buy one, get one discount so your customers can get themselves something they have been wanting too.
How to Boost Sales Strategies
For small and local businesses, this is the perfect time to meet loyal customers or bring in new customers by collaborating with other businesses around you. Whether you are wanting to add a special touch to your holiday season by contributing a certain amount of your earnings to a charity of your choice or compile a basket of your favorite products to hand out to a lucky visitor, show your holiday spirit by showing your customers how much you care.
1. Partner with other businesses
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, collaborate with complementary businesses to spread the word about both of your holiday sales. Say you sell beauty products, create a holiday bundle with another self-care focused brand like a local coffee shop or workout wear business. If baskets aren’t your thing, offer group discounts or raffle off some of your best selling items. The holidays are the perfect time to bring in new loyal customers!
Not only does it look great to see communities and companies work together during the busy times, it also opens up your network and connections that may be going through the same entrepreneurial obstacles you are going through. Open the doors for strong business connections and bring in more sales for both of your businesses!
2. Target less popular holidays
We all know about Black Friday and Christmas, but what about the Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, or National Fruitcake Day? Put your team to the test to brainstorm exciting holiday promotions around the unique holidays not as many other companies focus on. Say for National Fruitcake Day you add something, extra sweet, into a bundle with an extra sweet discount.
Make this process slightly easier by purchasing an email scheduler like Buzzstream or MailChimp to easily send out email blasts to all of your past customers. Even do this outside of the Christmas season to catch customers off guard. As the summer seems to be a slower season, offer a random discount when they are more likely to be able to spend the money on your product or service.
3. Revise your return policy
There is nothing worse than purchasing something you aren’t able to return (especially when bought online). Cater to all of your customers by providing free returns, exchanges, and gift receipts for easy gift giving. Click To Tweet Also, make an effort to upgrade your customer service team during this fast-paced time of year. It may be just the right time to invest in chatbots to answer your customer’s repetitive 24/7 customer service questions.
4. Give back to the community
Whether you are giving your time or any sort of monetary contribution, it is extremely rewarding to lend a helping hand. Not only does it feel good to give back to your community, but it also expands your network by getting out and meeting those you wouldn’t, sitting in your office all day. Consider taking it a step further next year and contribute a percentage of a specific product’s earnings to a charity of your choice.
Put a smile on all your customer’s faces, as well as your own by catering to all the holiday shoppers. Fundera brainstormed some of the best ways you can boost sales online, in-store, and by adjusting your sales strategy this holiday season.
Interested in taking your business to the next level? Reach out to us through the form below and let’s help transform your business into a sales machine!