Have you noticed that more people seem to be out and about shopping this year? While it might have something to do with the shorter shopping window between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, or even people wanting to get great deals – all that matters for store owners is that they ARE shopping. If you sell anything, being ready to capitalize on this frame of mind could give you a giant boost to your year-end sales stats.
…the good news is that people are looking to spend, the bad news is that there is a ton of competition out there hunting for their dollar…
With the economy continuing to chug along just fine (thank you very much) it would behoove any small business to get ready now for customers who are looking and ready to spend. Here’s how:
Have a sale: This is key. If the good news is that people are looking to spend, the bad news is that there is a ton of competition out there hunting for their dollar. So you simply have to play the sale game if you want to be in the hunt.
But let me add this caveat/idea: don’t have a Black Friday sale. Concede that day to the big boys. Instead, plan a sale for later in the week, or December. Have a “Super Tuesday” sale or something, but whatever it is, plan it ahead of time and time it for when there is less competition.
Also, be sure to put on sale things people want. The loss leader strategy works because it does in fact lead to more sales if done right. The discount on the cool item they love gets them in the door, and it is your job then to entice them to stick around and buy other items.
Once your sale is planned, get the word out. Have signs in your store announcing it, blast it out via your social media and e-newsletter, post it on your site and blog, advertise it, etc. Consider too offering a “free gift” in your promotions – people love free.
Finally, order enough inventory to handle the expected rush, and be sure to make returns stress-free: “We have a no hassle return policy!”
Make it easy: If you walk into any market these days, it is no secret that gift cards are all the rage. That is a bandwagon to jump onto too. Offering gift cards or gift certificates for your store makes for an easy sale.
Be brandtastic: People love brands, they feel confident buying name brands, and they are willing to spend more to get a brand. Moral of the story? You know.
Get your site ready: People are, in increasing numbers, shopping online. That is true for the big box customers and it is true for your customers as well – whether you realize it or not or take advantage of it or not.
So let’s take advantage of it. Upload new pictures and content to your site. Put brands on the homepage. Post some testimonials.
Also, if you don’t have a mobile version of your site, you should, because the mobile phone is how we all get our info these days, and is also what people use to compare and shop. Creating a mobile website is not difficult either.
Say thanks: Finally, the other important way to ring in the holidays is to be sure to thank the people who make your business possible (using gifts, words, or deeds) – customers, clients, employees, partners, vendors, friends, associates, mates, and so on.
And so to you, loyal and new readers alike who make this site possible, my sincere thanks.
Happy holidays to all!