Let's face it. Some people are finished with their holiday shopping. But for those of us who are left, we are starting to get a little nervous. We think about the people on our list and all the work that is left to be done before the big day, and most of us feel overwhelmed. This is an excellent time to provide the kind of helpful guidance that will create an army of loyal customers for you. It just takes a little marketing finesse.
So how do you get loyal customers in the last few weeks of the holiday season? You give them what they need in a way that is accessible to them and easy to understand. Now let's unpack that.
Bonus offers are a great way to drive sales without discounting your products or services. It makes people feel like they are getting extra value—and these days, with inflation—that can make a reticent customer buy quicker.
During COVID, QR codes made a comeback. They allow people to access important information without having to key in a URL. A QR code can also be used to reduce paper dependency and eliminate something people pass around such as a menu. QR codes reduce printing costs. That's why a lot of businesses are embracing them. However, there are times to use them and there are ways where they are more of a hassle. Follow these best practices in QR code usage during Small Business Season to make buying from you more appealing.
A new report from Intuit Quickbooks shows a unique opportunity for small businesses during Small Business Season. Based on survey results from 5,500 consumers and 1,500 businesses, consumers are planning to spend “over 40% of their holiday shopping budget at small businesses” — an estimated total of $88 billion! Because of this, the US Chamber suggests, “it’s the perfect time for small businesses to lean heavily into their holiday marketing campaigns and possibly even launch a new product in time for the season of giving. With heightened inflation and supply chain challenges, ensure your business is considering affordable shipping options, providing efficient customer service, and selling products on multiple channels.”
Affordable Shipping OptionsThe psychology behind free shipping is undeniable and, at times, illogical. But most online shoppers would prefer to spend a little more on your product (or buy more products) to get free shipping. That's why so many businesses offer free shipping with a minimum spend. It's also why many consumers purchase from larger internet retailers. They assume small businesses’ shipping options will be more expensive.
Look for ways to cut costs on shipping and pass those along to your customers. If possible, offer free shipping with a minimum spend even if it means slightly increasing the cost of your products to cover it. A customer would much rather pay for an item than pay to ship it.
Efficient Customer ServiceDealing with customer service at a large online retailer can be frustrating. Small businesses, on the other hand, make this easy. Just bring in the item and speak with a human.
Reevaluate your customer service and make sure the process is easy and smooth and your buyers know what to expect. You can also improve your customer service by allowing messaging on your business Facebook page. That way people can get in touch with you easily. You may also consider running customer service through other social media platforms where your audience may be.
Multi-channel MarketingMulti-channel marketing is a pronged approach to increasing revenue and sales. If you've ever heard the phrase don't put all your eggs in one basket, then you know the idea behind multi-channel marketing. Most people are on multiple devices and sites throughout the day. Any marketer will tell you for a buyer to be moved by effective marketing they need to see multiple touchpoints (as many as seven) from you. That's one of the reasons why Google and Facebook ads are so effective. They show visitors/users those ads multiple times. But seeing ads on one platform isn't nearly as effective as using multiple ways to connect to your ideal customer.
During Small Business Season and throughout the year an effective marketing campaign calls for a combination of paid, free, digital, and traditional channels.
This small business season you should consider using:
Each of your ideal customers favors different ways of interacting with you. For instance, some people love to read helpful blog posts and resources from you on your products or services, while others can be coaxed into purchasing through entertaining videos. A multi-channel marketing campaign is successful because it not only helps you reach people in the way that they want to enjoy your information but also helps them see you more. That's how they get to know you in order to buy from you.
Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?
It’s officially Small Business Season and that means it’s time to give a little love to small business. With rising interest rates, soaring costs, and online competition, small businesses are feeling the crunch. This season, do a little extra for your neighbors and make a concerted effort to shop small. If you do, you could be saving a small business this year.
Online shopping is so convenient. Just open a browser and click a couple of times and your holiday gifts could be on their way. But this holiday season we’re asking you to rethink the click and support local small business. It’s good for you and good for them. Here’s why:
By now you’ve likely seen the statistics that shopping small/local keeps roughly $68 out of every $100 in our community, whereas shopping at a national chain means about $43 remains here. Why is that important and what does it mean to you and your family? A lot more than you may think.
Small businesses add flavor to our area. There is a sense of adventure when you explore a small business. You never know what beauties you’ll uncover or what scrumptiousness awaits. Sadly, that’s also why a lot of people choose to patronize chains. With chains they know exactly what they’ll get and there’s a lot of comfort in that.
Most people research online before they purchase. That could take the form of looking up prices, options, or educating themselves on the product or service they’re in the market for. Many buyers also use a business website to verify hours, availability, make reservations, etc. During the holiday season people are busier than ever and it’s common to check things out online before getting in a car. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, with important information front and center, you may be missing out on a host of customers. Here’s how you can ensure it’s in good shape.
The holidays are right around the corner and that can be a big spend time whether you’re in retail, hospitality, or services. It can also be a lucrative time for your employees as many people generously tip at the end of the year. But good tippers want a great experience and if your business isn’t ready for the holidays, it won’t just hurt your revenue. It could affect your employees’ earning potential as well.
Here are a few suggestions to help your business get ready and have the best holiday season yet.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.