As summer winds down and fall quickly approaches, it’s your job as a business owner to figure out how you’re going to get the most out of the upcoming holiday shopping season.
The months between October and January are, for many businesses, the best months out of the year in terms of sales and revenue.
According to statistics mentioned in a blog post published by Constant Contact last fall,
- “20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year.”
- “55 percent of consumers plan to visit stores on shopping days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.”
- “40 percent of consumers begin shopping before Halloween.”
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Wondering how you can boost sales and awareness at your business this holiday season? Here are five ideas you can incorporate into your game plan this fall:
1. Give them the deal of the year. One of the best ways to wow your customers this year is by surprising them with an offer that they’d be crazy to ignore. Since consumers tend to buy more in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmas and other fall holidays, it’s the perfect time to launch new deals that are sure to peak the interest of consumers and get your products and services in front of more eyes.
Consider launching some sort of “best deal of the year” and run it until the last day in December. Not only will this get customers excited and help you make more sales, it’ll also help you make room for new inventory. Make sure your customers know that the deal ends when the clock strikes 12 -- or whatever time your brick-and-mortar shop actually closes on December 31.
2. Give them appreciation. The holiday season is also a great time to say thank you to the customers who have helped you grow your business over the past year. Taking the time to show your customers that you appreciate their business and loyalty can go a long way in terms of continuing to sustain and benefit from the relationships you’ve worked hard to develop over the last 12 months or more.
There are a number of different ways you can say thank you to your customers. For example:
- Send a handwritten card or email.
- Surprise them with exclusive loyalty offers.
- Produce a team thank-you video and share it across your social channels.
- Throw in something extra the next time they purchase your products or services.
Ultimately, how you say thanks depends on who your customers are, what industry you’re in, what products or services you sell and how much you can afford to spend.
3. Give them a preview of next year’s new products. To create buzz and excitement at your business and among your customers this fall, consider spilling the beans about what you have planned for next year in terms of new products or services. Consumers love being early adopters, having early access and feeling like they are part of something exclusive.
You can boost awareness and sales this holiday season by giving your most loyal customers early access to the new products or services that you plan on releasing to the rest of the general public after the new year. When your customers feel special, they remain loyal.
4. Give them a party. There’s a lot of partying in the last few months of the year. During the months between October and January, almost everyone expects to go to at least one party or get together, so why not invite them to a party hosted by you and your employees that celebrates the success and growth of your business over the past year?
When your customers are given the opportunity to help you celebrate your successes, and when you also take the time to thank them for their business over the past 12 months as part of the celebration, you show them the human side of your business.
It’s a great opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper, more personal level that you don’t always have the chance to do when they are in your store or shop on a typical day of business.
5. Give them what they’ve been asking for. One last great way to dazzle and delight your customers during the holiday season is to finally give your customers what they’ve been asking for. If you’ve received a lot of feedback or requests about a particular product or service over the past few months, fall is a great time to launch updates and improvements.
Doing so will show your customers that you listen to what they say, that you’re committed to serving them, and that you want to continue strengthening and sustaining the business relationship you’ve built by giving them the products and services they want or need.
The next few months could be your biggest, most successful months of 2014. Do you have a plan in place to make sure your customers will give you their business this fall?
What other ways can businesses dazzle and delight customers this holiday season? I’d love to see some more creative ideas. If you have one, please share it in the comments section below.