Welcome to what many consider to be the most wonderful time of the year—the holiday season! A time for family, friends, and a whole lot of shopping. Maybe the season is more dreary than cheery for you as a small business owner, however.
For a couple of weeks, you may need to scramble to fill hundreds of orders, rush to meet shipping deadlines, and find innovative ways to keep your customers and employees happy. You may even be asking yourself how you’re going to survive another season of intense hustle and bustle.
The National Retail Federation predicts that this holiday season will be especially busy, with shoppers spending about 4% more than last season. That adds up to an average of about $1,048 per person. That’s a lot of sweaters, books, and specialty coffee!
Of course, customers can be fickle, and demand can plateau or come crashing down at any time. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the busy holiday season while you can—whether you’re an online business, brick and mortar, or some combination of both—and promote as many sales as possible.
Maybe you’ve considered free shipping as a way to reel customers in. Have you considered offering free express shipping to lure in extreme last-minute shoppers? Or, have you invested in a POS system that allows you to accept gift cards? Gift cards may not be the most glamorous gift out there, but a whopping 59% of shoppers say they’d love to see one in their stocking this year.
Here are some of the best ways you can boost sales online, in-store, and by adjusting your sales strategy this holiday season.
Incorporating these customer incentives into your business will take some extra time and money. They may even make your already-busy holiday season even busier.
However, they’re well worth it. Your customers will thank you, and you’ll be better positioned to beat out your competitors.
National Retail Federation | Microsoft | Shipping Easy | Small Business Trends | Inc. | Vox | Think with Google | The Balance | ShortStack | Retail Dive | Holiday Insights | The Balance Everyday | Adweek
Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a GM at NerdWallet.
Meredith launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending and financial management.