7. Remember existing customers.
Want customers to remember you? Remember them:
• Send greeting cards to your customer, prospect, and vendor lists. Give affordable gifts to your best customers
• Throw a VIP holiday party or open house early in the season
• Invite your best customers to one-on-one lunches or dinners as a thank you
• Choose a "customer of the week" and feature them on social media
• Give a charitable donation in a valuable customer's name
8. Sell through e-commerce. Just as in physical shops, the holiday season is make-or-break time for online retailers. Driving customers to your site and then getting them to buy takes marketing, merchandising, customer service, and even holiday decorations. Merchandise your virtual "windows" by adding holiday themed visuals to your website, creating special holiday landing pages and gift bundles, and updating your website's search engine optimization (SEO). Consider buying search engine ads and offering free shipping on purchases over $50.
9. Get found on mobile. Your customers are using their phones to search for products, get gift recommendations, and look for nearby businesses. Take advantage of the opportunities mobile devices offer. First, make sure you show up when they are looking for a local business like yours by listing your business for free on all search engines and review sites. Then give customers a reason to check in on social media when they are at your place of business – like offering a free dessert at a restaurant or a cute place to take a pic in your retail store.
10. Turn holiday customers into regular customers. You worked hard to get someone to come to your physical or online location, so find ways to stay in touch with them year round. Look for ways to collect their contact information, especially email addresses and social media handles. You can do that through offering small gifts or discounts when they make a purchase. Ask for permission to add their names to your email newsletter and request they follow you on social media, so you can connect with them in the New Year to let them know of future sales, special events, and new products or services.
I want to help you make Small Business Saturday and the holiday season a success and to keep that success going into the New Year. With just a few simple steps, you can help set yourself up for success now and in the months to come.
Copyright, Rhonda Abrams, 2016, National Retail Federation's 2015 Holiday Trends and Expectations