It’s officially fall with football and pumpkin spice taking center stage. Know what that means? The holiday season is right around the corner! Only about 20% of shoppers have started their shopping by the end of September and 42% don’t plan to start until November. If you don’t already have a strong holiday marketing plan in place, there is still time to position yourself for success, but you must prepare now.
Want more sales? Get more customers into your store!
Here are a few suggestions to increase store traffic during the holiday season:
Have a sale
Everyone is having a sale right? That is because it is what customers expect and are looking for this time of year. Be unique in your timing or with your offers to stand out.
• Have at least one item on drastic sale. Maybe a different item each day for a set time period.
• Discounts are more flexible, and can be offered on a more broad selection of merchandise.
• BOGO is always strong. Promote it as buy a gift for a friend, get a gift for yourself! Customers like to treat themselves this time of year too.
Hold an event
Give shoppers a reason to be in your store and shop. Be sure the event ties in with the products and services you provide and has a strong benefit to your customer.
• Get the customers involved! Hold a “hands on” event such as a holiday decorations clinic, cooking demonstration or holiday crafts for kids.
• Host a giving tree and make note of the requested items that are available in your store.
• Send invitations to those on your customer list to a secret sale or customer appreciation night.
• Host a Holiday open house with special appearances by Santa or his elves.
Participate in your town’s holiday events
• Stay open during the event, even if it is after typical business hours.
• Offer free food and drink and a warm place to rest to those who stop by.
• Use your social media channels to share the schedule or details of the event including where to park and suggestions for meals and other activities in the area.
• Volunteer your time to help plan or staff the event – encourage your employees to as well. Wear clothing that identifies your business.
• Consider a paid or in-kind sponsorship or other advertising opportunity tied to the event.
• If applicable, offer to sell tickets at your location.
Offer something extra
Prepare to provide great customer service and take care of weary shoppers.
• Beautiful window displays catch the attention of those walking by and draw them in.
• Offer and promote services such as gift wrapping, personal shopping assistance, or layaway.
• Have a selection of suggestions and pre-wrapped gifts for the most common recipients (teachers, moms, dads, baby, etc).
• Consider offering chair massage and free food or drink for wearing shoppers.
If you want more traffic in your store, let people know about it! Be creative with your advertising and be sure to get the word out about your sales, special events, and extra services.
• Consider all appropriate avenues including social media, email, direct mail, newspapers.
• Send personal invitations to your customer list for events or to encourage them just to stop by.
• Post helpful tips and information on your social channels to keep you top of mind.
• “Redecorate” your social media channels and website with a holiday theme and keep them up to date with information on your holiday happenings.
Be sure you have appropriate staff and that they are ready for the additional traffic and knowledgeable about your products, services, sale items, and events. Plan ahead for big shopping days such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Be ready and welcome last minute shoppers! 90% of shoppers still have at least a few things on their list to buy as of December 1st.
Want to be ahead of the game for 2017? As you go through the 2016 season, be sure to track the results of all of your marketing tactics and special events. What worked and what didn’t? Why? What problems did you run into that you would like to avoid for next year? Keep these notes on file to review when it is once again time to start planning for the next successful holiday season.
Looking for more tips? Check out these ideas from the SBA for how to make the most out of the holiday season.
Contact a TMM sales representative to find out how Shared Mail can help you increase holiday sales. Contact us early in the process as we may have ideas to help with your planning!
(Sources: National Retail Federation 2016 Holiday Playbook & 2015 Consumer Spending Survey)