1.Get your name out there. If ever there’s a season and a reason to step up your marketing, it’s the holidays. Make sure customers and prospects remember you. Reach them through your social media channels (go ahead and boost some of those posts), start sending out email newsletters to your mailing list, and take out ads in local newspapers (and yes, many shoppers still read newspapers – especially ‘hyper-local’ papers serving specific neighborhoods).
2.Leverage Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is now one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Customers specifically focus their attention on the small and local businesses that are such an important part of their communities – and they’re ready to spend money. Small Business Saturday is also a fun shopping day for many families, so make sure you’re an active part of it. Proudly display Small Business Saturday marketing materials to help customers remember that it’s great to “Shop Small” all year long. (You can download them for free at www.ShopSmall.com/GetReady. Terms apply).
3.Work together. Banding together with other local businesses – especially on Small Business Saturday – brings attention and draws customers to your locale. Work with a Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champion to help plan and participate in local events. Your neighborhood doesn’t have a Champion yet? You can apply to become a Neighborhood Champion for your neighborhood/community at www.shopsmall.com/rally.
4.Plan in-store events. On Small Business Saturday and during the entire holiday season, customers are looking for things to do (especially with kids). Plan events in your store or location. These don’t have to be big parties, just something interesting or fun. Independent bookstores have been leveraging Small Business Saturday to have in-store author events on the day and independent gyms have sponsored special free classes. Be creative!
5.Create bundles. Solve your customers’ gift shopping dilemmas by creating gift bundles (some pre-wrapped are great!). Select products by themes: “for him” “for her” “for your pet.” Customers spend more when they find gifts conveniently wrapped together. Here’s another advantage to bundles: they’re not easily available from discounted online retailers, which help you make the sale. Bundles aren’t just for retailers. Restaurants can pre-wrap gift cards with a menu or grocers can bundle a gift card with a shelf-stable food item.
6.Get social – in person and on social media. It’s a social season, so it’s time to socialize, both in person and online. During the holidays, opportunities abound to meet new customers. Attend community, industry, and neighborhood holiday parties and bring lots of business cards. Now’s the time to step up your social media activities and get in on the conversation around holiday shopping. Suggest cute or unique gifts or holiday survival tips. If customers have liked you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, make sure you’re busy posting throughout the holidays. And be sure to use the hashtags #ShopSmall throughout the season and #SmallBizSat before and on Small Business Saturday to join the conversation on the day.