Candles & GiftsExperts' Corner

7 Ways to Wrap Up Last-Minute Sales

Christmas is about five weeks away and it can be challenging to come up with last-minute promotional ideas that motivate customers to shop your business. Realizing, the holiday season is the most competitive time of year in retail, consumers are being barraged with sales and promotions. However, you can still create opportunities to promote your business and raise awareness of upcoming events, giftable products and special services.

At the close of the year, hardware stores or home improvement centers, may not have extra advertising dollars to divert to a complex holiday campaign. But, if you’re willing to invest a little time and creativity, your efforts can pay off. Here are a few ideas to help you wrap up more sales.

Greet existing customers via e-mail. Send customers a personalized email inviting them to attend in-store events, sales or to receive extra discounts. Social media is often the starting point for many businesses because these communications have the potential to go viral. Yet, research indicates that email is 3 times more effective than social media and the average order is 16% higher. Using email is a great way to send targeted messages to existing customers and build relationships with new ones.  However, you should also incorporate social media into fast-track campaigns to engage online consumers and to fully integrate all communications related to your promotion.

Promotion: 12 Gifts Giveaway. Generate traffic and sales by inviting customers to drop by your business to enter a daily drawing for one of 12 popular gifts. (i.e. gift cards, hand tools, small appliances). Entrants are required to include a valid e-mail address to participate. This information can be used in future campaigns.

Promotion: Holiday Spirit Giveaway. You can also modify the 12 Gifts Giveaway to build community and support a local charity. Collect entries in-store and online for a total of 12 consecutive days. On the 12th day, draw one winner. Donate a pre-determined amount to a charity listed on the entry form and selected by the winning entrant.

Use Facebook to Attract Last-minute Shoppers. Facebook is a great way to deliver colorful and festive holiday messages to customers while creating awareness of special offers. Begin by developing engaging page posts and ads, then schedule them in advance to appear at times when they will be most effective. Keep in mind, images cannot include more than 20 percent text to comply with Facebook policies.

Promotion: The first 20 customers get 20 percent off. This offer creates a sense of urgency and rewards customers who respond quickly. Adjust the customer count and percentage to reflect a realistic goal for your business. Offering a 5, 10 or 15 percent savings is likely to generate a low response since consumers have high expectations when it comes to getting good deals.

Update Your Website. Incorporate the spirit of the season by giving your website a holiday theme. It will make shoppers feel good and put them in the mood to buy gifts. Promote exclusive items that will only be sold for a limited time, new products and popular favorites that appeal to DIYers. When possible, incorporate images of people shopping or celebrating the holidays.

Promotion: Win Santa’s Helper Toolbox. Display the items every DIYer should include in a well-stocked toolbox. Feature them individually and show them displayed in an attractive toolbox. Hold a drawing to give shoppers an opportunity to win the toolbox.

These are just a few ideas to help you sell more products during the weeks before Christmas. The most important thing is to get the ball rolling.

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