Nine Holiday Ideas for Retail Stores
If you sell physical items, whether online or offline, the holidays are a great time to boost your yearly sales. In fact, some retail establishments make most of their income during the holidays. Of course, this depends on what type of items you sell, but any physical items that you ship can benefit from some well thought-out holiday marketing ideas to increase sales.
1. Gift Cards
A great way to boost holiday sales is to offer your customers the chance to purchase gift cards to give away to others (or use for themselves). A good way to do this is to offer extras for each gift card purchased. For instance, if someone wants to buy a 10 dollar gift card you can make it worth 15 dollars or even 20 dollars. It will depend on what type of items you sell and whether this is worth it and profitable for you or not, but it can encourage sales today and later when people start using the gift cards after the holidays.
2. Shopping Events
You can plan all kinds of shopping events from exclusive invitation-only events with prices not open to the public for previous customers only, to private after-hours events for retail stores such as a fun “snack and shop” event. During the holidays it’s nice to have a couple of smaller events and one big extravaganza. Throw in percents off and other incentives to make it even more fun. Remember, events aren’t solely for the bricks and mortar shop; don’t forget that you can have webinars, Twitter events, and more online too.
3. Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Both of these days are known by shoppers and shop owners alike. People live and breathe for these two shopping days. Be sure to plan a special sale for those two days, but make your other events on different days to boost your sales. It’s a good idea to have super one day only sales for these event days. People expect a huge bargain on those days so you need to give it to them or they won’t buy anything. You might even want to make a bigger deal about the days after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
4. Surprise Giveaways
Everyone loves surprises, and you can surprise your customers by giving them something they didn’t expect at checkout. You can do this whether you have only online shopping or you have a bricks and mortar store. Just give them a choice at checkout to add another product for a super special price based off what they are buying. Another alternative is to offer free companion products with products they already chose to buy.
5. Creative Windows
If you have a retail shop, the holidays are the time to make your displays and windows stand out. You can even do it on your websites, too. You can dress up any product pictures by simply adding a wreath frame, some digital snow, or a Santa hat to the corner of the picture. It adds interest and creates a holiday feel to you store and/or website.
6. Coupon Sales
Giving out limited time coupons to use only during the holidays or only on certain days is a great way to take advantage of the holiday spirit of buying. Creating the coupons for only a limited time will create scarcity and encourage the use of the coupons sooner rather than later.
7. Free Gift Wrapping
If you have a physical product, offering free gift wrapping and even shipping will encourage people to purchase more gifts. If they know they will get special treatment with wrapping, a personalized note enclosed, and shipping wherever they want, it will make your customer’s gift giving even easier. Even Amazon.com can’t get their gift giving right as they often forget to include a gift card. If you offer better service, you’re going to make the sales.
8. Gifts to Charity
Give a percentage of profits to your favorite charity during the holiday season. Even 20 percent of all sales from Halloween to Christmas can be a considerable amount. If you make a huge event of it by keeping an ongoing tally of how much you’re going to be giving, you can get a lot of press and buzz out of the event. As long as you donate every penny you said you would to the charity you stated you would there is nothing wrong with this, and the holiday are a great time to do it.
9. Loyalty Program
The holidays is a great time to launch a customer loyalty program. Simply send a notice to everyone who has already purchased from you in the past (you should be collecting names and information from everyone who buys from you at all times) and tell them you’re launching a loyalty program during the holidays. Offer an incentive to make another purchase during the holiday time period.
No matter which idea you use, remember that in the business world the holidays have to be planned for well in advance. You want to plant your holiday seeds early by being prepared. Think about it – the holidays are really no different from any other event that you’ve ever planned. Whether it was a product launch, a webinar, or a meet and greet, you had to start planning for it months in advance.