We’re in the final stretch of the year since the holiday season officially arrives in a few weeks. It’s critical for small and mid-size businesses to end the season on a high note by having a profitable November and December. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), these last two months can account for up to 40 percent of a businesses’ annual transactions. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring in new customers and create lasting relationships. The holidays are also the ideal time to acknowledge the loyal customers who have shopped your business throughout the year.
Hopefully, you’ve created a sales and marketing plan that will serve as a roadmap for the entire team to ensure a positive outcome. If not, take time now to set sales goals and create a calendar of promotions you can implement during upcoming weeks. Keep in mind that most home improvement businesses should develop an omnichannel strategy that identifies sales goals for their eCommerce business, in addition to a physical store.
Invest in Days that Connect Customers to Your Business
Customers expect businesses to reach out to them throughout the holiday season to promote products and special offers. For home improvement retailers and other companies who are deeply rooted in the community, participating in Small Business Saturday on November 27 is a great option. It’s a day created specifically for small businesses and is a way for customers to come out and show support for small business owners. Other dates to add to your calendar include:• Black Friday (the top holiday retail sales day)• Thanksgiving Weekend• Cyber Monday• Super Saturday (Saturday before Christmas)
Promote Buy Online Pickup at Curbside
Although online retailers such as Amazon and big-box chains offer free shipping during the holidays, this is not an affordable option for most small retailers. Buy Online Pickup at Curbside (BOPAC) is now a service that consumers have come to expect when doing business with home improvement retailers and garden centers. The concern about health and safety practices at organizations has modified consumers’ behavior. According to a survey conducted by Medallia Zingle, a technology company, 87 percent of respondents want businesses to continue curbside pickup and other processes that reduce the need for in-person visits.• 79 percent of respondents seek out information about health and safety measures businesses have in place before doing business with them• 77 percent of respondents consider the need for in-person contact before visiting a business
Get the Word Out on Social Media
There is a world of opportunities to connect with customers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media sites. It’s crucial to deliver your sales messages in spaces where shoppersare receptive to engaging with them. Keep product pitches funand simple while mixing in a holiday theme. Remember to add a call to action to create a sense of urgency that now is the time to purchase that special gift before it’s gone. Try adding impactful visuals or quick demos. Remember, you don’t have much time to convey your message, so make it memorable.
Gift Loyal Customers with a Special Discount
What better way to thank loyal customers than to give them a small token of appreciation during the holidays? Offering a special discount on products or services for a short time makes customers feel appreciated and motivates them to take advantage of the offer. Hardware stores can offer free assembly or delivery or a gift certificate for a specific product that is popular with customers. You can send the note of appreciation in the form of a thank you card or an email they can redeem in-store.
Ongoing communication is essential to generate sales during the holiday season. Understand the best ways to connect with your target audiences. What works for Millennials won’t necessarily be effective with Boomers or Gen Z. Most likely, it will take a combination of communication approaches to reach loyal customers and shoppers less familiar with your business. Even more important, keep a positive attitude and commit to having a successful season.