It’s no secret: Most small businesses earn 20–40% of their annual sales in the final two months of the year, meaning it’s essential to run an effective holiday campaign.
Whether you have an online store, a brick-and-mortar shop, or both, your small business will benefit from a season of strategic holiday promotions. You’ll drive sales, gain new customers, reward loyal ones, and finish the year with something to celebrate.
Here are some creative ideas you can use to boost your small business.
Offer storewide and sitewide discounts.
Try a few tiers of promotions. Offer holiday discounts to all customers, but create special deals for loyal ones as well. Think about limited-time offers, free gifts, coupons, and buy one (or two) and get one free. You can advertise holiday discounts through your social media channels and newsletters, which will also entice new customers to subscribe, helping to increase your contacts database.
Set special holiday hours.
Don’t limit cyber sales to one day of the week – make it “Cyber Anyday” for the weeks following Thanksgiving. Keep in mind as well that 57% of Americans shop on December 26.
Make your website mobile-responsive.
82% of customers use their phones when they shop and often do so to search for store and product information. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your customers are likely to give up and take their business elsewhere.
Upgrade your social media.
Ramp up your social media presence by creating popular posts tailored for the holiday season. You could feature a holiday theme across your social media channels, for example, or do promotional posts that spotlight your products that make great gifts. Or perhaps upload a YouTube video with your staff’s season’s greetings or run online contests with giveaway prizes.
Create customer-tailored gift guides.
Everyone feels overwhelmed during the holiday season. Make your customers’ lives easier by putting together gift guides that offer solutions to gift-giving dilemmas. You can structure your guides around price points – such as “10 gifts under $10” – or around kinds of customers, like “top toys for kids” or “5 must-have gifts for her.” Share these guides on your social media.
Run a business listing report.
Make sure that all online details about your business are correct. If you spot any errors, contact online directories (such as Yelp) with the necessary edits. Small businesses should also optimize for SEO to improve page rankings and beat the competition.
Keep it local.
You should also embrace the small businesses in your area. Think of other small businesses you can partner with to create joint holiday promotions that encourage shoppers to stay in their hometowns. Consider running local ads as well – people are willing to travel further to support local businesses.
Produce a holiday app.
Hire an app developer to design an app for your small business that features all of your holiday items or streamlines the online shopping process.
Strike a deal with gift cards.
Gift cards are great deals for small businesses. When customers use gift cards, they tend to spend 20% more than the gift card’s value. You can incentivize customers to buy gift cards by offering a discount on the cards, or providing them once customers have spent a certain amount. Advertise your gift card deals on social media and, if applicable, draw attention to your deals on an old-fashioned sandwich board outside your store.
Don’t leave your holiday season strategizing to the last minute – it should be part of your annual planning. But if you’re scrambling right now, don’t panic. You can always turn to the experts to draw up a business plan that will help you make the most of your holiday season.
Are you a small business owner? How do you prepare for the holiday season? Share your best tips and practices in the comments below!