Image by: DCUSA
By: George Lamb
The holiday season can be a stressful time period, especially for those who own businesses. Depending on the results of your meticulous planning, you can either watch your company flourish, or drown in the sea of competitors you may be facing. In order to develop and execute a plan to maximize your holiday sales you’ll need to start early, stay focused and stick to the plan.
And you’ll need a good one, because while holiday rushes can bring a lot of profit, they can also determine whether the consumers of that traffic will stick around and become long term customers that will bring you revenue in the off-season.
In order to hold these customers’ interests during the slower time periods throughout the year, you’re going to have to dig deep into your creative psyche and figure out ways to not only attract the holiday rush, but also to engage them. You can do this by preparing your staff and business accordingly.
And if that means issuing Santa Claus outfits to the males, elves outfits to the females and decorating your headquarters into a giant gingerbread house, then hey, do what you’ve gotta do. Whatever it takes to drive in the traffic in! But if you’re too shy about masquerading as a mythical creature then here are some more ways you can prepare for the holidays.
#1) Holiday Promotions
What sets you apart from all the other companies that offer a similar brand as yours, and what you you do for your customers that nobody else can? These are questions you need to ask yourself before proceeding into the holiday chaos. It is imperative that you are able to clearly define why these customers should not only choose you, but give you their business over a long period of time.
The goal with holiday promotions is to attract immediate customers, but you should also consider using this opportunity to build a relationship with them strong enough that will keep them coming back for more.
Holiday promotion is the first step in this process, as it would give your business a small advantage over the competitors. Now, you may think that Holiday promotions would ideally consist of throwing out generous discounts, but to do that wouldn’t contribute to the ‘engage’ factor.
Instead off offering 50% off of your product, offer something like easy return or exchange policies, layaway deals or free gift rapping–something that will give your customers a long term since of security, rather than an immediate buy and go purchase. This will not only better the chances of them making another visit, but will also save your business money, as you won’t be handing your product out at ridiculous prices. The key to promoting is to exposing and not giving.
#2) Prepare Your Staff
If you own any kind of physical store and require the help of various employees to keep your business functioning, then its a given that you ant to hire people who are enthusiastic about your product and have excellent customer service skills. As the holiday flood may overwhelm you, it would be ideal to plan accordingly by hiring seasonal employees to help run the place efficiently and effectively.
Of course not everyone who applies for the job will possess these crucial qualities, so its critical to begin the hiring process early enough to search for the right candidates. Look for people who are able to communicate well, expel at least a glimmer of confidence, and are able to take direction and listen well.
#3) Social Media
Have you been slacking on the social media accounts as of late? If so you may want to consider upgrading for the seasons. If you are reeling in lots of customers through any holiday promotion strategies you might have created, then these customers will want to see that you are active not only physically but virtually.
As we have delved into a new era of technology, most people have sites like Instagram and Twitter in which they use religiously, and if you make your presence known in the virtual world your brand would have that much better of a chance getting stuck in the public’s collective memory, and therefore attracting more customers.
Social media marketing is a necessary tool to remain competitive in the business world, as many people in our generation base most of their purchases off of what they see online. And if you own a retail shop of some sort, social media will not only be perfect to advertise your products to the many users across the country, but to also display any promotions or specials you’ve got going on.
Do you have any experiences brandishing a successful brand to the masses during the holiday season? If so, share with us on how you were able to turn the chaos into dollar signs!