Experts' CornerNews and Events

The Busiest Shopping Weekend of the Year is Here!

Now that we’re rolling into the “big three” sales days of the holiday season, it’s time to step things up and bring in more shoppers. People are ready to buy. They’re purchasing gifts online or heading to physical stores to load up on deals and special offers. Small and mid-size retailers are in an ideal position to capture a share of the billions of dollars consumers plan to spend on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

 It’s up to you to intensify your online and in-store promotions for the next four days to capitalize on the goodwill your business has with loyal customers and motivate new shoppers to visit. Is it worth the effort? According to estimates, more than 186 million people will make purchases during Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday.

That’s great news for small businesses since many establishments typically boost revenue by 107 percent during the holiday shopping season. Although it may feel overwhelming to join in the advertising frenzy at this point, the payoff is worthwhile.

  • In 2020, shoppers spent an average of $310 during the extended 4-day weekend.
  • Retailers generate 20 percent to 40 percent of their annual revenue in November and December—the last two months of the year.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two biggest spending days of the year.

Shoppers Return to Physical Stores
Although e-commerce sales grew more than 20 percent from 2019 to 2020, that growth rate is projected to slow to 5.9 percent in 2021. The drop is partially due to consumers making purchases earlier in the season because some products are in short supply due to disruptions in the supply chain. Shoppers are also returning to buying goods in physical stores since more people are now vaccinated against Covid-19, and capacity limits are gradually being lifted.

Keep the Sales Momentum Going
This weekend is popular with consumers because they expect retailers to roll out irresistible offers that can save them big bucks. Unlike big box stores, most small retailers don’t have the luxury of breaking even or giving away margins on high-visibility products. However, home improvement retailers can still offer shoppers something they crave—real value for the money. Although some retailers developed marketing plans earlier this year, others need some ideas and tips to excite shoppers and drive sales today and over the weekend.

Send Daily Emails to Loyal Customers 
Emails are a quick and easy way to inform customers about limited-time offers and hot deals. Start with a personalized subject line. You don’t want your email to be deleted, so make it clear it’s from your store. Focus on the product benefits, why the item is a great gift idea. Will buying the product now save them money? Send one email out every morning with a different offer to keep them fresh and top of mind with consumers.

Use Social Media to Generate Sales
Promoting your business on social media and your website can quickly advertise special holiday offers and in-store events. Consider using your online platforms to highlight products that are only sold in-store. These can be niche items or time-sensitive deals only on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday.

  • Prominently display promoted products on your website
  • Promote day and gift ideas on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest
  • Encourage customers to buy-online-pick-up-in-store

Bundle Products to Offer More Value
Everyone likes getting four products for the cost of three. Consider bundling together a highly popular drill, drill bits, safety glasses, and work gloves. You can also do the math on a hand-crafted holiday sign to show shoppers the savings they can receive by purchasing the bundle.

Give Discounts on Select Product Categories
Taking discounts right off the purchase price lets customers easily see how much money they are saving. This approach works best for specific product categories—for example, power tools or kitchen appliances. Try something different this weekend. When customers make a purchase, ask them to pull a gift tag from a beautifully decorated box to receive a “surprise gift” discount ranging from 5 to 15 percent. Everyone will feel like a winner, and a few shoppers will receive a significant discount to make them even happier.

The next four days are going to be super busy. Use the resources in your toolbox to communicate with your customers about the products, deals, and services you offer that can complete their wish list this season.

Although loyal customers frequent neighborhood establishments regularly, remember to extend a special invitation to stop by on Small Business Saturday. Studies have shown that people respond positively to companies that support a worthy cause. This day will be an opportunity for the community to use its buying power to help their favorite businesses. You’ll also want to promote the day in-store and online. Other tips include:

  • Display “Small Business Saturday” signs on display windows and inside the store
  • Post messages on the website
  • Host or promote events that benefit the community
  • Promote day and gift ideas on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest

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