How to stand out and add value this holiday season

November is here and it’s safe to say Christmas is coming. As a retailer, it’s important that you are well equipped to make the most of the marketing opportunities that come with the holiday season.

Develop a marketing strategy

We realize that not every small business owner has a marketing driven mindset, which is why we’ve put together these tips to help. It’s important to remember that a marketing plan doesn’t need to be highly technical. You just need to have simple yet strategic ways to connect with your customers in an genuine way around the holidays.

Take note of upcoming dates

The first step to formulating a simple plan is to take note of upcoming dates. Start with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years Eve and Chinese New Year. Don’t try and chase each holiday if it doesn’t make sense for your business. Pick the ones that resonate with you and your customers and then plan out what you are going to do to make the most of each of them.

Your cheapest and biggest billboard is your shop window. Theming your shop window around these upcoming celebrations will draw extra attention. Earlier this year Shopify posted a great blog  around building a compelling window display.

If you already have a presence on a social media platform, there’s a lot of value in setting time aside to plan out some posts prior to the important dates, for example “10 sleeps till Christmas”. If you’re not on social media, this period of time could be your best opportunity to leverage on the hypes and trends and establish a following by posting eye capturing images. You could use trending hashtags alongside them to gain more exposure.

Get creative, be unique

It’s called the silly season for a reason! Why not change things up within store. Get creative. Running a promotion doesn’t need to be an expensive task. It could be as little as setting up an advent calendar in store for shoppers to open each day. It could offer different shopping incentives like 10% off or a ‘spend and save’. This will be far more enticing in terms of closing a sale, than a candy bar.

If you don’t already provide gift wrapping, having a complimentary service is a great way to differentiate yourself from competitors and help close the sale. It doesn’t need to be an expensive add on either. Buying wrapping paper in bulk is a great way to keep costs down. If you are worried about not getting through a whole roll, go for a neutral color, like white, and use Christmas themed ribbons to keep on theme, that way you can keep using any extra wrapping paper well into the new year.

The key with any holiday marketing is to be sure that it makes sense for your business. Offering gift wrapping when you sell motorcycles won’t make any sense. This is a time to genuinely connect to your customers. People are time poor around the holidays, you want to help solve their shopping problems while also giving them a great experience. If you approach it from the right angle, your holiday marketing will leave your customers smiling.

 

Original blog posted by Isabella Couwenberg on https://www.xero.com/blog/2016/10/take-advantage-holiday-season-business/