With the scramble on to get ready for the biggest shopping season of the year, local retailers are understandably looking for ways to stand out. If you want to make sure your local business cashes in big this holiday, it’s time to get your holiday sales and marketing strategy going fast. Try a few these marketing ideas:
Participate in Community Events
As a local retailer, you’re competing not just with other businesses in your geographic area but also online retailers. So how can you compel customers to visit your location to spend their holiday budgets? Partnering with other businesses.
Often, shopping communities band together to entice shoppers leading up the holidays. Don’t forget to create a Shop Small offer to promote for Small Business Saturday. It’s the Saturday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday, small businesses all over the US offer discounts, bundle deals and giveaways to shoppers to get them to support local businesses. Because there’s already a significant amount of marketing around this event, participating in it is a no-brainer.
Look for other community events to join in as well, such as setting up a booth at a local hospital, donating a portion of profits to a local charity, providing branded giveaways and goodies for the local Santa to hand out, and food drives.
Leverage Your Location in Search Results
Even if you’re a local business, you will still need an online presence in order to attract customers during the holidays. Brendan Morrissey, CEO of digital marketing startup Netsertive, had this advice: “Retailers need to be prepared for the rise in ‘near me’ searches this holiday season – customers searching for products and businesses by location. For small businesses, this means optimizing your mobile SEO to be found online.”
Morrissey says the first step is to make sure your Google My Business listing is up-to-date and accurate, so that your business will appear in geography-based searches. Additionally, use location keywords on your website so that people searching for, as an example, “toy store Normal Heights” can find you.
Invest in More Marketing
All the channels you normally use to market your retail business — email, social media, content marketing — will need to be turned way up during November. Keep the message consistent: come to our location to save big for the holidays.
Your emails should promote the hot products you’ve marked down, as well as contain high-value coupons. Social media should provide teasers for what will go on sale next. Build content on your blog such as best gifts for busy business owners to help people decide what to buy. But don’t wait until two weeks before the holiday to plan your marketing; instead, map out weekly promotions and coupons in advance so all you have to do is fill in the blanks.
Another channel to attract new business during the holidays is Groupon and other daily deal sites. While you give up a percent of the deal’s value to Groupon (sometimes as much as 50%), it’s a fantastic way to get people in the door of your local business. So you might offer one product at 75% off of normal price through Groupon, but then be ready with an upsell as 63% of people who redeem the deal tend to buy other products. So while you lose a little on that initial product or service, you make up for the loss in the upsells.
Just make sure you’re well-stocked in inventory of the product that you put on the deal, and that you’ve got ample customer service to assist the flood of people that will come redeem the offer before Christmas. Get them to sign up for your emails when they check out so that you can prolong the relationship, offering them more reasons to shop with you again.
Local businesses have huge revenue potential when it comes to the holiday shopping season. But it’s important to realize that you’ll need to position your business slightly different than an online-only retailer would. SEO is a much bigger factor during the holiday, especially on mobile devices. You want to make sure shoppers can find you through their mobile phones. Direct mail still works too, just make sure you’re tackling both online and offline marketing strategies to reach your customers.