If retailers think of the year as a track meet, then the holiday months are the final straightaway. Leading up to the holiday rush, small, independent retailers need to be doing everything they can to prepare for the busiest time of the year and while there are countless ways to do this, some are always going to be more effective than others. With sales numbers expected to eclipse recent years’, every independent retail shop should be looking into how they can master the final push of the 2014.
Here’s how your retail business can win the holiday season:
Optimize your online presence: Shoppers have been gradually flocking to the internet to get their holiday shopping done for years, and this 2014 should be no different. Almost 60% of consumers plan on doing some online holiday shopping, according to NPD. Is your company website optimized for online transactions? Are your products available on third party websites like Amazon? If not, it may be a significant market you’re missing out on.
Convert more sales with current customers: It’s often cheaper and more profitable to get sales conversions from current customers than it is with new customers. Finding new customers always involves more money and time—two things that you can’t afford to lose during the holidays. Instead, your company should consider giving personal promotions to individual customers who frequent your store. For instance, offering complementary products or loyalty programs to existing customers are a couple avenues to explore.
Social media: If you’re tired of the same old social media speech, we feel your pain. However, social media still remains an essential tool for small businesses, especially during the holidays. Social media levels the playing field for all businesses regardless of size, and you should be using it to your advantage while you still can. Use your social pages to push out promotions such as flash sales, contests and giveaways. These are excellent ways to interact with all customers—old and new.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint: Yes, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are arguably the two biggest shopping days of the year, but you shouldn’t solely be concentrating on these two days. The holiday shopping season roughly occurs between Halloween and Christmas, so you should be going after customers often even well after Thanksgiving weekend.