How your small business can make the most of the holiday shopping season
Once Thanksgiving is over (and Black Friday, for you retail businesses), the days seem to pass more and more quickly leading up to Christmas — meaning your customers are in a frenzy to get their holiday shopping done.
Don’t let the holiday season sneak up on your business ! As soon as November hits, you need to make every day count. Here are four ways your small business can prepare for the holiday shopping rush.
1) Start early and promote often
Let’s get the obvious out of the way — you need to get started early. Like, “right after you finish reading this” early.
Start communicating any of your holiday deals and specials now, as opposed to waiting until holiday shopping “officially” kicks off on Black Friday (or later).
Holiday shoppers will no doubt do research for deals on the gifts they’re looking for, so make it easy for them to find your offers by putting them out there early and often, everywhere you can:
- On your social media channels
- In email blasts
- On your website and blog
If you don’t have any specific offers, focus your messaging on the benefits your products or services provide — the value your customers will get for their money should be clear and undeniable.
And many holiday shoppers still need to pin down what they’re purchasing for specific people, so why not make it obvious that your products or services (or gift cards for those services), would be a perfect gift for that “hard-to-buy-for” individual on their list?
2) Master mobile
With more and more people exclusively using mobile devices to access the internet, shoppers are going to be on the lookout for gifts while they’re on the go. Now’s the time to take advantage of the most important devices in your customer’s holiday purchase journey — their mobile phones and tablets.
Make sure your website is optimized to look great on all mobile devices. Don’t leave money on the table because people can’t easily navigate and engage with your site. And you shouldn’t stop there — you’re going to need more than a mobile-optimized website to take advantage of all the opportunities that will pop up this season.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, potential customers will be searching online for information about your business. You need to be sure that your listings are accurate and up to date. Are you changing your hours for the holidays? Make sure your listings reflect that crucial information!
3) Close the deal with last-minute shoppers
According to a 2018 survey, over 50% of holiday shoppers were still shopping until the last Saturday before Christmas — and 4% of people say they would wait until Christmas Day to buy their gifts! This means that making your small business stand out for those last-minute shoppers is extremely important.
If you offer free or fast shopping, highlight it! Those options can help you cut through the noise and stand out with last-minute shoppers, especially if they need to purchase gifts for friends and family across the country.
Consumers have become accustomed to getting both fast and free shipping (thanks a lot, Amazon), and while that may be feasible for the big guys, doing both might not exactly work for you. If you have to choose between sending it fast or sending it free, research shows that you should choose free shipping.
And if your business can’t afford to offer free shipping on all of its holiday orders, find out what day Free Shipping Day falls on this year… circle it on your calendar… and promote it to your customers. Created in 2008, Free Shipping Day is a one-day event in mid-December to encourage last-minute shoppers to continue shopping online late into the holiday shopping season — with the guarantee that their product will arrive by Christmas Eve.
4) Don’t get tunnel vision
With the frantic rush to make the most of the season, most business owners will be hyper-focused on generating immediate holiday sales… and then relaxing after the holidays are over. But the smart small businesses will also be keeping an eye on post-holiday opportunities. That’s because there’s a huge opportunity for you to convert holiday buyers into year-round buyers.
The weeks after the holidays can be the perfect time to launch new promotions and messaging to nurture your customers. As a bonus, with fewer advertisers competing for eyeballs after the holidays, this time can be an excellent opportunity for your business to stand out and drive efficient reach and results. Don’t miss out!
Visit Hibu.com today to check out more ways for your small business to succeed during the holiday season and beyond.