While children have visions of Santa and gifts in their minds during the Christmas season, we, as small business owners, have the overwhelming question of how to get more sales and make that graph climb as steeply as possible.
Well, we all know the answer to that, get more customers! Oh, if only it were that simple. Assuming you have a quality product or service, the more people who see or experience what you have to offer, the more sales you’ll make. To do that, though, you have to get potential customers into your store. With a little effort and some ingenuity, that’s not as hard as you think. Use one or more of these ideas to create your own retail rush:
1) Have a sale.
I can hear you slapping your forehead and muttering, “Well, duh!” But before you dismiss this idea, consider this: pretty much every retailer of any size has some kind of Christmas season sale. You know why? They work!!!
Now consider this: what if you didn’t just have a sale but had one of the sales that just about everyone wanted to attend?
Keep these tips in mind:
Offer one big bargain a day.
Offering big discounts (30% or more) on some one well-known item each day to bring Christmas shoppers in can work for you if you have well-known brand merchandise or particular items that people are looking for.
Make it a discount, not a thing.
In a flyer recently, a retailer offered a free pair of socks to anyone spending over $20 in their store over their three day pre-Christmas sale. But what if I feel I have enough socks or that socks just aren’t very Christmassy? Not interested!!
Make sure your discount is worthwhile.
Shoppers are used to being spoiled. So little 5 to 20 percent discounts aren’t going to cut it unless you do something like a 20% off storewide sale. On individual items, the higher the discount the better Shoppers will compare. Advertise your sale heavily on the most appropriate marketing channels for your ideal customers; social media, newspapers, radio etc. People need to hear about it if they’re going to turn out!
2) Hold an event.
It is ok to go a little over the top once a year. Think along the lines of fire-wielders, jugglers and musicians performing and, of course, Santa visiting.
If your town doesn’t have something like this going on this season that your small business can participate in, what would it take to get such an event going next year?
There’s nothing to prevent you from holding an event of your own either. The trick is to create an event that will tie in to your products or services in some way. Put your thinking cap on and ask yourself, “Why would I go to that event?” In other words, what’s the benefit to the customer? No benefit equals no turnout.
3) Use email campaigns.
Social media is THE THING, but email is effective too. According to McKinsey, email marketing is three times more effective than social media, and the average customer order is 17% higher.
Hopefully you’ve already got an email newsletter going out. It’s an ideal spot to promote the products or services you’re featuring over the Christmas season and spread the word about any sales or events you’re having.
Go ahead and send out separate emails as part of a marketing campaign. The one bargain a day idea might work well for you as a daily email, for example.
Whatever email you send out to customers, be sure to court them personally. Always use use the recipients’ first name in the subject line. That will increase the click through rate, according to HubSpot. You could send customers special offers such as extra discounts just for them, buy-one-get-one-free deals not available to the general public, etc. The message is “you’re special.” That’s a message hard to resist.
4) Create an attractive window display for your small business.
Take advantage of the extra foot traffic out during the holiday season by using an eye-catching, foot-stopping Christmas window display.
Incorporating your products is great if you can manage it, but what’s really great about a Christmas window display is that you don’t have to. A totally Christmas themed display can work well.
What you want is something unique that’s going to draw the eye. And incorporating some kind of movement can really draw a crowd. One of the most successful Christmas displays I’ve ever seen involved a train that ran around a track.
Most important of all is to work your crowd. You have to bring them into your store. Try offering visitors a free hot drink and a cookie – seasonal and irresistible to most.
5) Use proximity marketing to lure shoppers into your store.
Many shoppers are glued to their phones to the point that they might walk right by your store without seeing it.
By using proximity marketing that broadcasts your targeted message to phones within a certain distance, such as iBeacon or Smart Antenna, you can entice those shoppers in, and offer them personalized offers to encourage them to buy more.
Smart Antenna looks especially appealing because it operates through Bluetooth and WIFI and doesn’t require potential customers to download an app as iBeacon does.
Invite Them & They Will Come
So there are five marketing ideas you can use to get more customers into your store over the holiday season so you can rack up more Christmas sales. There’s no reason why all five of them can’t be part of your Christmas season marketing plan.
Don’t let this Christmas season be a retail non-event for your business because you didn’t invite your customers to your store.