“Look Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.” - Lucy, Peanuts.
Ah, from the mouths of babes. Sure, Lucy’s cynicism is funny, but she’s not wrong. The holidays are commercialism at its finest. And if you’re a small business, you would be a fool not to get a piece of the action.
For this Small Business Saturday (November 25) get your fair share of what’s coming to you. Here are five good reasons why you should start planning your SBS strategy now.
1. Start Holiday Promos Early = You’re on Consumers’ Radar
No sooner do we put away our flip flops, and bam Christmas merchandise fills the shelves. In fact, the past couple of years, Christmas has started creeping in on the coattails of Halloween, much to the chagrin of holiday purists.
But don’t listen to them. Here, it’s okay to give into peer pressure and start your holiday promos early. Savvy shoppers don’t care if it’s still 80 degrees out, if it means they’ll score a steep discount on that peacoat they’ve been eyeing.
Start running your holiday promos now to ensure you’re on your customers’ radar. And to help differentiate your special offers from your regular sales, incorporate hashtags like #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat in your tweets and Instagram posts, too.
2. Offer Unique Incentives = Too Tempting to Resist
As the retail apocalypse continues to reverberate throughout the industry, many shoppers probably aren’t wowed by 50% off deals any more. For them, those types of deals are too common (and honestly unimpressive).
However, you don’t want to cut too far into your profit margins by giving your product away for free. For Small Business Saturday, try to make your deals unique and truly irresistible.
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Perhaps if you’re a boutique, offer a free styling consultation with every $100 purchase. Or if you’re a tanning salon, have your clients renew their contracts now at a sweet, but reasonable discount.
Try to think outside the box, and personalize your discounts and incentives to your target audience.
3. Stockpile Your Social = One Less Worry for You Later
It’s never been easier to ramp up social media in advance. And with your social media prepped and out of the way, you can worry about the things that matter like what controversy will Starbucks Red Cup brew up this year?
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Here are a few ideas to stockpile your holiday social arsenal:
Promote Your Giveaways on Social. Offer the chance to win a gift card for the best Instagram post featuring your product.
Cross-Promote Discounts With Other Local Stores. Team up with nearby shops to cross-promote your specials on each other’s social accounts.
Alert Your Audience to Special Events. Having a celeb stop by or perhaps offering a hot beverage while shoppers? Alert your audience to special events via social.
4. Geotarget Your Ads = Local Customers Will Come Flocking
Most small businesses rely on foot traffic. To draw shoppers into your brick-and-mortar store be sure to geotarget your ads. Geotargeting means local consumers will see your ads when they search relevant keywords, or even in their Facebook news feeds.
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For instance, shoppers looking for real (or faux) Christmas trees don’t want to travel too far. Here, you can geotarget your ads to capture those local consumers searching for the perfect tree. Easy peasy.
5. Optimize for Mobile = Consumers Will Shop Anywhere, Anytime
Optimizing for mobile by now should seem like a no brainer. But you’d be surprised by how many businesses have yet to get on the mobile optimization train.
If you haven’t yet optimized for mobile, or perhaps your mobile could use some refining, there’s no better time than before the holiday rush. If you have an ecommerce site, make sure it’s smartphone and tablet friendly. Include mobile call extensions and buy buttons to make purchasing seamless.
To sweeten the deal, even offer purchase now, pickup in person later.
Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you. Prep your Small Business Saturday strategy now. With everything in place, you’ll be set to reap the rewards of increased sales. And with the hard work out of the way, you can relax a bit and enjoy the holiday festivities.