You did it! You survived Black Friday AND Small Business Saturday AND Cyber Monday. You handled them like a pro, a real entrepreneurial champ. Surely now you can settle down in a cozy chair with a mug of eggnog and let the yuletide wash over you, right?
Wrong! You may feel like the Rocky Balboa of sales right now but- ding ding ding, you’ve got one more round to go! The sales year is not over yet. Here are 5 things to remember as you get back in the selling ring this December.
Procrastination Nation - Last Minute Shoppers Are Out In Force
Shopper’s Mindset - They’d Love Some Suggestions
Deck the Halls with...your Brand’s Aesthetic In Mind
Showing Gratitude and Sharing Your Purpose
Getting Out of the Office & Scheduling Sanity
1. Procrastination Nation - Last Minute Shoppers Are Out In Force
While you may have planned ahead with your deals, many shoppers seem to wait later and later to act on them. Why is this happening? Some people are hoping for better sales as the holidays get closer, some are holding out for the perfect gift, but more relatably, some are just procrastinators. Bless their hearts.
As the shipping window starts to close, more consumers turn their sights local for their gift giving needs. It is your time to shine. Try to plan some offerings to appeal to the last minute crowd that will be at it’s peak the week before Christmas.
Don’t count out Christmas Day and the day after either. One statistic shows that shopping searches were up “34% more...on Christmas Day than...on Black Friday,” and that “last year, December 26th was the fourth busiest shopping day of the year.” People are excited to get back in the stores to hunt for clearance items and redeem gift cards and now you’re going to be ready for them.
2. Shopper’s Mindset - They’d Love Some Suggestions
Statistics show that shoppers are more open minded right now. They are in search of individuality in their gift giving, and in doing so they are broadening their retail horizons.
How can you help them find what they need? Be descriptive.
Ideally customers would like to have a tactile experience with the product before purchasing. That’s not always possible so you may want to get really specific about what you’re selling in the descriptions on your website or social media. Try to imagine your customer experiencing the product and what questions they might ask. For example if you’re selling clothing you may want to discuss how it hangs or if it allows for stretch, more than just what size it is.
Provide suggestions about what sort of products may appeal to the different people in your customer's life. Often times people make specific searches like, “gifts for dad” or “gifts for coffee lovers”. Give some thought about who your customers are shopping for and use social media to share gift guides for those special people in their life.
3. Deck the Halls with...Your Brand’s Aesthetic In Mind
While you may already have your halls decked out, consider, is it the usual holiday fare? Does it work with your brand? It may seem like a small thing, but working a holly jolly feel into your brick and mortar store or in your social media can be subtly jarring to your customer if it’s incongruous to what they’re used to. Let’s be real, red and green doesn’t go with everything.
What can you do? There’s plenty! As it gets colder we’re all looking to get a little cozier and treat ourselves. Metallics and sparkle are always a good call this time of year. Earthier tones and jewel colors are also a welcome addition. Think about what comfort and opulence means to your brand. That being said, there really aren’t any rules, as long as it feels cohesive to your aesthetic. For example, this year for a holiday campaign, Tiffany’s has its trademark blue on full display, along with metallics and a delightful pop of some neon colors that feels fresh, but somehow still of the season. The blue is what links everything to the brand and gives customers something new without feeling out of place.
4. Showing Gratitude and Sharing Your Purpose
While finding new customers is important, it’s equally important to value the customers you already have. The emotional component to selling is not to be underestimated. 70% of all buying decisions are based on what customers feel. This begs the question, how can you show gratitude to your customers in a genuine way? While special discounts for loyal customers and great customer service are definitely valuable, consumers also like to have a shared purpose with the establishments they frequent. Your shared purpose is not an offering for your customers, but rather something you do with them (often times highlighting your brand’s values). It makes your customer feel like they are a part of something and that you are happy to have them there.
While that sounds a little daunting, it really doesn’t have to be. Take a minute to think about what your brand represents. What is your mission and how does your customer become a part of that mission? They have given you an opportunity to help them solve a problem, why are you grateful for that? When you work these things into the language you use in your copy and your offerings, customers feel a greater sense of connection to your business.
5. Getting Out of the Office & Scheduling Sanity
Now, you may be wondering, when do I get to sit in my comfy chair and drink eggnog? Technically, that’s up to you, but whenever you decide to take some time away, remember to set up some out of office messages for clients or customers who may be trying to reach you. Most email providers have some sort of option for this but here’s how you set it up for Gmail and Outlook. How formal or informal you make the message, should take a cue from how you generally write emails and what your clients expect. While you’re deciding what to include it’s also a good idea to not get too detailed or personal. Home Alone taught us a lot of things, including the need for a little extra awareness about your empty home during the holidays. While you may be on vacation, generally the internet is not, so take some time to prep some posts, possibly scheduling them if your platform allows for it. Apps like Hootsuite, provide scheduling on a variety of platforms, but it’s good to get familiar with how they operate before you hit the road.
Whether you’re away or having a staycation, it’s a good time to get some reflection going and start thinking about your business for the new year. Check out some of our tips for coming back from vacation and getting intentional about setting goals here.
As the holidays draw to a close, remember there is plenty left to the shopping season. Don’t sell yourself short! Get back in ring and take another swing at making the most of your December sales.