With the holiday shopping season now fully upon us, it’s important to find ways to encourage more customers to visit your place of business. Shoppers will be looking for bargains, but don’t forget that your new and inventive marketing strategies will have a lot of say in whether or not people decide to pay your store a visit in the coming weeks. It’s time to rev up your methods of increasing business during the holidays.
Here are six ways how:
1. Participate in charitable causes. One of the most important things you can do this holiday season is to give to charity. Partner up with a charitable foundation and start a food or toy drive. Not only will you be helping for the less fortunate to enjoy their holiday season, but you will be making your business look really good in the process. On Inc.com, Chuck Blakeman recommends that you “do charity work as a company and get everyone involved.”
2. Reach out to loyal customers. Don’t assume that just because people have visited your store in the past that they are automatically coming back. Do your due diligence and reach out to them. Let them know that they can come to you for their holiday shopping needs. “It’s never too early to start the season by reaching out to your past customers and offering discounts for those who buy ahead,” insists Nate Gilmore on SkipMcGrath.com, “Repeat customers should be rewarded for their loyalty!”
3. Write a press release. It’s important to get a leg up on your competition during the holidays. There’s no better time than now to release to the media all the ways in which your company will be able to satisfy everyone’s holiday shopping needs. “Connect a newsworthy idea about your business to the holidays,” advises Blakeman, “It\’s called ‘piggybacking’ in fancy PR terms. News organizations are notoriously slow during this time – you just might get it picked up by them as well.”
4. Offer up something for free. It is the season of giving, isn’t it? Offering free gifts to your customers will go a long way in building bonds that can last a lifetime. As Gilmore writes, “Everyone loves them. Promotions are a great way to thank customers and ensure referrals. Consider offering free or reduced shipping, discount coupon codes, or special offers targeted to select audiences like past buyers or Twitter followers. Consider a free sample insert in every box you ship this holiday season.”
5. Conduct a holiday poll. It will be important to communicate to your target audience that your business is very much in the holiday spirit. It will encourage them to check you out. Blakeman advises that you do so via social media. “Do a simple poll to your clients, or on Facebook, Google+, etc., and announce the results,” he suggests, “Survey what small business owners really want for the holidays, or maybe their biggest pet peeve about holiday shopping.”
6. Invest in an e-commerce solution. There’s no questioning the popularity of online shopping anymore. Canadians love it. And, as a Canadian business owner, it is certainly in your best interests to allow your customers the option of buying products directly from your website. “Examine your technology (especially your shopping cart and order inventory management) and processes to make sure you are ready to process orders through the holidays,” advises Gilmore.