Holiday Marketing 101
The holidays are a make-or-break time for small businesses, so you need to be prepared to bring in as much income as possible. Without proper marketing and preparation, your numbers will suffer. Here are some sure-fire ways to use effective marketing strategies to maximize your holiday sales potential!
This is one of the biggest shopping days of the year for Americans, and your small business needs to be ready. Be sure to run online and print advertisements with your store hours that day, and even for some special item promotions that will run through the weekend. Black Friday is about getting people through the door, so spend the time and money to reach as many people as possible to help get new customers into the store!
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is a relatively recent invention for retail owners but has had a big impact. This is the one day a year where people are encouraged to “shop small” and support their local small businesses. Take serious advantage of this by running special discounts and promotions this day, like an additional 10% off a purchase if the customer can show you that they checked-in to your store on Facebook or Yelp! You could even run a raffle with door prizes or a special event to thank your customers for coming to spend their money with you. This can make an awesome social media campaign for the week leading up to it, and the day of. Your updates can draw people into the store!
This is the best day to take advantage of and maximize your online sales! Make sure you are advertising the sale on your website, and that your online marketing and social media channels are driving traffic to your site on the day of the event. Offer free shipping and gift wrapping to encourage customers to buy their holiday gifts from you, no matter where they are located. You can also run special promotions that apply to online-only items (things you may not have in your store, but offsite). Cyber Monday is also a great way to collect email addresses via sales to build your off-season database!
Specials & Discounts
We’ve mentioned specials and discounts to be run on each of the days, but you need to be careful about what you choose to mark down. If you have a sale or clearance section normally, mark it down enough that you still make a profit, but can move that merchandise, clearing out room for newer, better-selling items. Also, consider running a BOGO or special gift with purchase promotion for your slowest items to move. For your best sellers, do a small discount or a special (like buy one get one half-off), so that you can really maximize those sales without losing much money- you know they’ll sell at full price, but the special can increase the chances a customer will buy more than they would without the special- improving your sales!
While it can get crazy busy and even frantic during the holidays, it is important to remember to keep your personalized service at its best! Offer gift wrapping to every customer, make gift recommendations, offer personal shopping for your top customers, or a valet service so customers don’t have to worry about parking during the madness. Whatever it is that can make you stand apart from your competitors, do it loudly and proudly, and make sure you advertise this rare, customized service on your website, social media channels, and other marketing outlets so that people know it’s happening!
This is an insane and stressful time of year, but if you do your holiday marketing well, it can be worth the long hours! When you come out at the end with a huge bump in your sales, you will be so glad you made the right preparations to be able to take full advantage of the season.
Abby Yetter is the CEO and Chief Consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, LLC. She is a driven, enthusiastic businesswoman, with a talent for organizing the chaotic, and branding the unfamed. Abby strives to use her creativity, and experience, to solve the many problems of small businesses. With a background based in customer service management, social media, technological organization, sales, marketing, and customer experience specialties, she enjoys taking everyday complications, and finding the newest, most productive ways to execute the tasks.All stories by: Abby Yetter