Unless you are knee-deep in the retail world or happen to work somewhere such as a movie theater or restaurant, chances are your sales can slow down during the holiday season. Because of the typical downturn, many small business owners (and even some large ones) naturally lower expectations and projected revenue for the fourth quarter. However, with a little creativity and dedication, there are ways in which you can grow sales and gain new customers during this time.
By now, you should be using at least two social media staples (such as Facebook and Twitter) regularly. The majority of your customers are online and perusing these sites often, which gives you ample opportunity to connect with them and promote your goods and services, especially any special holiday sales and pricing. Be sure to reward your fans/followers with exclusive coupons or discounts. This drives both sales and customer loyalty.
Dig around for bloggers who specialize in your area of business or cover your market. Not only are these good relationships to cultivate throughout the year, but also imperative at the holidays. Many of them write about gift suggestions and relevant services (cleaning, catering, gift wrapping, decorating, etc.) throughout this time. Dependent upon the level and reach of their blog, you can even pay to guest post or develop unique content. They have their own holiday to do lists, after all; chances are they are hard-pressed to post each and every day, and they too could be looking for new ways to engage their audience and avoid a slow down this time of year.
Tis this season to give, right? You can easily increase sales by offering something a little extra to buyers. There are many ways you can do this: guarantee a certain percentage of sales will go to families in need, homeless organizations, or pet shelters; host special events at your store(s) to treat customers to something special; or offer free gifts with a certain purchase amount. Well-meaning incentives go a long with way customers, both old and new.
Send a note of thanks to current customers; showing your appreciation is integral to great customer service. Even better, include a discount with the email or card for them to use the next time they come in or place an order. The coupon should have an expiration date of 12/31 if you’re looking to up sales by the end of the year, or the end February if you’d like a push early in the New Year.