t’s almost NOVEMBER and the start of PEAK shopping season for the holidays. Be ready to take advantage of those early season sales.
Due to the pandemic’s still-looming supply chain issues, 45% of customers intend to start shopping sooner to get deals on gifts for family and friends. As a result, brand loyalty is also at an all-time low. If shoppers can’t get the brand they want, they won’t hesitate to move on to another brand to get it. McKinsey reports found that more than ¾ of consumers in the United States have switched brands, products, stores, or buying methods during last year’s holiday season. For businesses, finding new ways to make an impact and get them back is critical, especially while competitors are all vying for customer’s attention and dollars.
Here is what you can do to get a jump on sales:
- Make it EASY to buy. If you have the luxury of selling items online, then be sure you are including those links to purchase those items right in your November email blasts. And don’t make it hard to find the items they are looking for. If you are a retailer, be sure you have plenty of staff for peak hours. Consumers won’t wait in long lines. They will leave and go to another store or buy it online. Also, be sure you have advertised your sale! If you are going through the effort of designing a sale or promotion in your store, you NEED to ADVERTISE it. Put it in the newspaper, on the radio and on social media!!
- Reinforce value with loyal customers. Give your loyal shoppers something extra to instill that loyalty of shopping with you. If you have a database, send out an email with a 40% off coupon to drive them into your store. Use a punch card for only the holiday shopping season with a bonus at the end.
- Use a countdown calendar on your sale. Time-sensitive content helps drive urgency, which is crucial for capturing attention during Black Friday and Cyber Week sales. If you are focused on Black Friday specials or just an open house sale, then include a countdown clock on your website and in your ads to instill that urgency.
- Make it fun! Shopping for the holidays is sometimes seen as such a chore. By making it fun for shoppers, it will encourage more repeat business. Have special event days throughout the month: Throwback Thursday with employees in vintage attire and serve treats like your mother used to make and give an extra discount for bringing in a canned food item for a local Food Drive, Open House weekends (yes, I said weekends with an “s”) with festive music and a visit from Santa, etc.
- Don’t leave out the discount. You can’t expect sales to increase if you don’t do anything different. Give them a reason to shop with you and buy with you.