On behalf of the entire Canadian POS Corporation staff, we would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holiday seasons! We’re very grateful for our many customers throughout Canada and look forward to working with them well into the new year and beyond. We also hope, of course, that this holiday season has brought their businesses much prosperity.
We know that, because they are offering their customers paying options such as credit cards and debit cards, they are enjoying greater successes than businesses that are cash-only. Canadians have long loved plastic as a means to pay for purchases. And with several last minute shoppers making their rounds over the next day or so, it will be important for retailers to make things easy on them.
In our last blog, we revealed some ways that business owners can cash in on last minute shoppers. Among them was extending their hours, running an email campaign and making gift cards easy to find. As you can imagine, gift cards make the entire last minute shopping experience very easy. Offering them is always beneficial. But what else can you do to encourage shoppers to enter the doors of your store before Christmas comes this Friday?
1. Engage your customers on social media. You’re rarely going to find a person without an account on Facebook or Twitter. Your business should certainly not be left out in the cold because it doesn’t have an active account on either of these two platforms. Be sure to post messages about your store’s last minute deals. Canadians are regularly online looking for information about the purchases they can make before they make them.
“Consider running an ad campaign to attract last minute shoppers from a wider net,” suggests Cara Wood on Capterra.com, “Facebook advertising is very cheap, can reach a very targeted audience, and can be set up in a matter of minutes. For the most success, limit your targeting very tightly. If you’re a brick and mortar store, make sure to layer in regional targeting as specific as 20-50 miles from your location.”
2. Engage your customers in person. If you have last minute shoppers coming into your store, chances are that they may know other last minute shoppers. It doesn’t hurt to ask for a referral. Let your customers know that if they recommend others to shop with you, benefits await them. Perhaps, you can create a referral program that involves last minute shoppers mentioning the names of the people who recommended your store.
Wood insists, however, that they best way to encourage word of mouth promotion is to simply give customers unforgettable experiences. “Make sure your sales people are trained in providing a flawless sales experience to each and every customer, but also go above and beyond to surprise and delight,” she advises, “Many stores simply go into survival mode during the holidays, which makes it easy to stand out above the (generally literal) noise.”
3. Give customers a seat. “Seating is often overlooked by stores, but you wouldn’t believe what a great idea it is,” says Wood, “Especially at the holidays, most shoppers are shopping in mixed groups…By offering them a place to rest, and relax, and even materials to keep them entertained (magazines, children’s books), you will take a load off your actual customers. And who knows, you might even get some of the angry people dragged into your stores to like you.”