Ah, Christmas! The very mention of the festival puts a smile on people’s faces. This is the time when people get together with all their loved ones, celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, and welcome the New Year. It is also the time of year when people shop a lot. From apparel to electronics, books, tools, toys, kitchen appliances, and beauty products – people buy a variety of different things during Christmas – for themselves as well as to gift others.
For small business owners, the holiday season presents a great opportunity to make that sales graph climb as high as possible. Given below are ten tips that can help you generate more sales and increase your profit during the Christmas season.
Present yourself as the alternative to shopping malls
Competing directly with large retailers or shopping malls is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a small business owner, since you cannot match or beat them in terms of discounts or product range. So, the best option for you is to present yourself as the alternative to large stores and shopping malls.
Think about it. Large stores and malls are insanely crowded, especially during the Christmas season. It is very easy for people to get tired of all the pushing and shoving, the long waits in lines, and the lack of personalized service. It is precisely why you should present yourself as the smaller, less-crowded, more-personalized alternative.
Hire a bunch of local kids to work as shopping assistants, offer a cup of coffee or hot chocolate for your customers, hand out free candy for kids, and chat with to your customers to make them welcome. In your advertising and marketing campaigns, drive home the message that you can provide a stress-free, personalized shopping experience that large stores and malls cannot.
Offer volume discounts
A 5% or 10% does not cut it anymore, since customers have been thoroughly spoiled by retail giants like Amazon. At the same time, offering a flat 30% discount on all your products can lower your profit margin considerably. So, introduce a tiered discount system instead. If customers spend $100 in your store, they get a 10% discount. If they spend $200, they get a 20% discount, and so on. It is one of the best ways to encourage your customers to spend more and buy more.
Special orders for big purchases
Make it a policy to chat with everyone who visits your store – regular customers, first-time visitors, and window shoppers. Ask them if they are thinking of making a big purchase for Christmas or New Year. If so, tell them that you can get it special ordered for them at a lower price than your competitors. This way, you are assured of a big sale, although at a slightly lower profit margin.
Prep your store for Christmas
What exactly is the point of having a sale for Christmas if your store does not look Christmassy? Decorate your store with lots of lights, throw a Christmas themed party, and offer a cup of hot chocolate for everyone who visits your store. Get a stand-up comedian, magician, or a band to perform at your store. Throw in a Santa and you’ve got Christmas! It is one of the easiest ways to get people to visit your store. And if they spend 10 to 15 minutes in your store, they are unlikely to leave empty-handed.
Partner up with other small businesses
Partner up with the business owners in your locality so that you can refer customers to each other’s stores, offer special deals for each other’s customers, or advertise each other’s products.
Offer shopping assistance
Shopping during the holiday season can be a chaotic experience. One way to make it easier for your customers is to offer a personal shopping assistant, who can help them buy what they want. Allow your customers, especially those who are planning to make a big purchase, to make an appointment so that they can shop in peace with the help of a personal assistant.
Keep the children occupied
How often have you seen a customer leave your store abruptly because their child was getting antsy? If a child gets bored and starts throwing tantrums, parents have no option but to drop what they are doing and rush home. Needless to say, it can affect your sales greatly. To avoid this from happening, you need to make sure that the children are occupied while their parents shop.
For instance, you can hire a stay-at-home mom or a teacher to organize fun activities for children. Similarly, you can set up a children’s corner in your store and offer free coloring books and puzzle books for children. You can also hire a magician to put on a show for young children.
Offer a layaway program
A layaway is an arrangement wherein a customer reserves a particular product and pays for it in small installments over a period of time. When the amount is fully paid, they can pick up the product. You can offer layaway programs for customers who want to make a big purchase, but cannot afford to make a lump sum payment.
Use personalized email marketing
A study by McKinsey says that email marketing, on average, is three times more effective when compared to social media marketing. So, two or three weeks before Christmas, send all your subscribers personalized emails to appreciate their loyalty and to inform them of your store’s Christmas sale and special offers.
Use proximity marketing
You can use devices like the Smart Antenna to send targeted messages to the mobile phones of potential customers in the vicinity of your store. Research shows that a significant percentage of customers are impulsive buyers. So, if they find your offers interesting, they will walk into your store and buy something without thinking twice about it.
Increase your Christmas sales
On the whole, put in a little more effort than you usually do and make sure that your store stands out from your competitors. Be patient with your customers and do everything you can to make Christmas shopping a pleasant experience for them.
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