No matter what type of business you have, it’s important to start planning early for the holidays. If you don’t plan for making money during the holidays, it is likely you won’t make any. It doesn’t matter what kind of merchandise you sell – whether it’s a physical product, a digital product or even services, you can make sales during the holidays that will have a major impact on your overall yearly sales numbers if you plan for it.
Refocus on Upselling and Cross-Selling
The holidays are a great time to refocus on upselling and cross-selling goals and repackage goods and services in a new way.
A good example of an upsell is a customer who wants to buy your 4-week coaching package when you also have a 12-week coaching package which is more expensive but saves money on individual coaching sessions. When they click to buy the 4-week coaching, they will be given a one-time chance to choose the 12-week coaching at a special price.
An example of a cross-sell would be if someone is purchasing earrings at your local business and you offer them a matching bracelet at checkout for a reduced price. This can be accomplished online or offline.
Demonstrate the Benefits of Your Products
Whether your business is online or offline you can show the value of your products. If you have a bricks and mortar store you might do demonstrations of your products live and in person, but if you have an online store you can also demonstrate your products via video.
Even if you have a service instead of a product, you can demonstrate the value of them by interviewing customers who have successfully used your service. Today, pretty much anything you do off line can be accomplished online with the right technology. While it’s true you can’t smell cake baking online, you can demonstrate it by your words and terrific photography.
Give Affiliates an Added Bonus
Using affiliates to promote your products is a great way to increase sales when you have online sales. You can put your holiday sales on automatic by increasing the payout to your affiliates during certain dates. Give them the tools to succeed and they will do so, especially if you offer faster payout during the holidays as an added incentive.
Have an affiliate contest where they can earn a special gift such as an iPad Mini or other special gift for making a certain number of sales, and make the contest end before the big holiday so that the affiliate gets to enjoy the gift sooner rather than later.
Donate a Percentage of Sales to Charity
Doing good is always a great way to increase sales during the holiday. Not only that; it feels great. Every charity needs more money during the holidays no matter what kind of charity it is.
You can choose a special charity to donate to once a year, and keep track all year long, or you can do it on sales during a specific period of time only. Don’t end the event without ensuring that you publicize how much was given to the charity by sending out press releases and thanking your customers for their donations. Making an event a yearly thing can increase sales even more while also increasing the amount you give to the charity.
Create Special Holiday Bundles
During the holidays people don’t really like buying things only for themselves, so create bundles that enable them to keep some for themselves while giving the rest away. This can be done with digital or physical items. Buy one get one are great ways to accomplish this goal.
Have Enough Physical Products
If you are selling physical products, while you will create scarcity by having the sale only during a certain time frame you don’t want to run out of product. If you do run out of product, consider having a “rain check” policy so that people who want to purchase now can still get the product later when you get more in.
Have a Contest
Right before the holidays is a great time to plan a contest. You can use social media to do this. For instance, get your current customers to make a short 45-second video about why they love your products and/or services and post to YouTube.com. Ask them to solicit votes, and share it widely. The winner will get a big prize of some kind. Make it super great like a year’s supply of widgets or a free year of services.
By creating unique holiday offers for your products and/or services, you will create a buzz during the holidays that won’t soon be forgotten. But remember, don’t wait too long to get started with your plan. Like any other event, promotion is the key to success.