The holidays are quickly approaching and you as a local business owner have an amazing opportunity to engage your customers and online audience to attract them to step inside your store for an amazing experience.
This time of year is when people are thinking about how to spend their money on gift giving and we want you to be top of mind! So let’s dive into some creative opportunities that can help.
While this is a no-brainer, it’s important to note that people definitely love a good sale or deal! For a limited time, allow you customers to take advantage of a promotional offer in store. Perhaps it’s a buy one get one 25% off or the first 50 guests get to enter their email and draw a card with 10%, 20%, 30% or 40% off their purchase that day only.
We highly encourage you to do this outside of Black Friday offers. Many people will opt out of the craziness of Black Friday shopping, so find a day, week, or weekend before or after Black Friday to incentivize shopping with you.
You’re keeping track of your most loyal customers, right? If so, tell them why you’re grateful for them and offer them an amazing “VIP” experience. Whether it’s a significant discount or a night of complimentary cocktails, show your biggest fans they matter and treat them! Don’t overthink it; if you’ve never created an experience for the top 10% of your customers, they will be totally flattered to receive a message sharing your gratitude and inviting them to be part of something special.
While this may seem like the wrong idea to promote YOU, the amazing thing that happens when you point your audience and community to others, is that you gain more credibility and then those brands point content back to you! So make a list of 20 businesses that you can promote (tag them on social!) for the next 20 days and watch how people respond. You can do this on your Instagram Stories or your Facebook Page.
Invite customers to come in and purchase your products with a commitment to giving back to a cause you stand behind. It shows that you are stretching your dollars beyond your own profit and reinvesting back into the community. Share why you care so much about the cause on your on social profiles (integrating your own personal brand is very advantageous in this regard) and mobilize your community to choose YOU over Amazon Prime!
Many local initiatives happen during the holidays such as food donations, winter coat drives, or other “feel-good” efforts. Why not be the drop off location for those items? Do your research or post on social media if there are any efforts you can be a part of. The great thing is, you not only get to help your local community out, but you also get new foot traffic and new guests showing up who may linger to chat with you or purchase from you!
If you have a space and a vibe that is pro-Santa, why not invite him in for an evening? Parents LOVE the opportunity to get photos with Santa without crazy lines at the mall.
Not everyone has a retail space like you! So be collaborative and invite different people in to sell their products. Of course, the key is to find brands that are complementary to yours and to set an expectation that they also promote when they’ll be at your shop. It can be a win-win for everyone.
You’ve got an email list of all your customers, we hope! If that’s the case, remind them that choosing local makes a huge difference and what your store hours will be during the holidays. Post about your “starting out” story to connect people to the real YOU and why you run the business. People want to support local, they sometimes just need a reminder to do so.
It’s one thing to host a pop up shop, but what about your business heading to another business to set up shop for a day? Maybe someone is offering a holiday shopping expo or a neighborhood shopping experience. See if it makes sense for you to join and mobilize your business beyond your storefront.
If you choose to try any of these ideas, remember it is essential to communicate ahead of time. You won’t find success pushing something out a few days ahead of time. Maybe this means putting dates on the calendar this instant even if you don’t know all the details. The point is: TAKE ACTION! Don’t wait around hoping for a moment of brilliance or “free time.” Now is the moment to get moving so your customers and online community can support your local business.
My name is Emily Steele and I teach local business owners how to be the legends they are and build an irresistible and profitable local brand.