The holiday season is rapidly approaching and whether you’re a yoga studio or an e-commerce retailer, you need to have a strategy in place. According to the National Retailers Federation, many business owners make more than 40% of their revenues during the holiday season and you don’t want to be left out of the rush. This year, there are only 25 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People are anticipating opening their wallets for a month and you want to be top of mind when they do. Here are 6 fail-proof strategies for bringing in the holiday sales:
Plan Promotions: During this time of year, customers are expecting a deal. While you don’t have to give it all away, you do want to plan a few enticing offers. Don’t start with a price cut. You could bundle items to create a higher perceived value and offer a packed deal. If you’re a bakery, try a holiday dinner dessert bundle of two dozen cupcakes with a sweet potato pie. Know what reasons are driving customers their purchases and package for their needs.
Share the Spirit: Transition your home base to show guests you are ready for the season. If you are a storefront, that could mean hanging decorations or changing window displays. If you primarily operate online, add some holiday cheer and special offers to your front page. Add an option of wrapping purchases that are gifts for customers. You can buy bulk wrapping supplies from companies like Paper Mart or Uline.
Plan for the Sales: You don’t want to have more demand than inventory. Look at last year’s sales history and determine where you need to stock up. Contact vendors before it’s too late and you run out of product. Get in touch with your merchant company to negotiate return fees and timelines so you don’t lose money on credit card orders. Be ready to close the sale on the go. Square has a software that allows business owners to process cards using an iphone or ipad on the go.
Prepare for Delivery: Customers want to know that their gifts will arrive on time. Talk to your shipping company to find out the deadlines for the last day you can ship for Christmas arrival. Also negotiate your rate – if you know that your volume will increase, you may be able to get a deal. This can also give you the ability to wrap the cost of shipping into the price so there is just one fee for your products or services, which can be more enticing for the customer to buy.
Gather the Team: Don’t lose business by being under-staffed. Bring on temporary help that can work during the holidays so you won’t lose out on business. Specifically, look at covering your cash registers to prevent long lines, staff the phones or email accounts for timely customer service responses. You can find qualified team members by using services like Craigslist, Odesk and Idealist depending on your staffing needs.
Ramp Up Marketing: The biggest opportunity is to increase marketing efforts. Use Hootsuite to set up a series of tweets promoting your offers. Test a few Facebook ads to invite your current followers to do business with you and attract new leads by reaching the friends of your followers. Prepare an email campaign using a service like Aweber or MailChimp to automate sending emails periodically over the 25 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
There is still time to prepare to be a part of the rush. Get your holiday plan in place for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and the after Christmas sales. Planning now will ensure that you can make your products and services appealing for Holiday customers.
“Present” courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / www.freedigitalphotos.net
How will you approach boosting revenues from holiday sales?