Time to Shine! Holiday Marketing Ideas for Small Business

By: Randy Hernandez | Chief Marketing Officer

As the weather cools and the days grow shorter, the small businesses that anchor our towns and cities are thinking ahead to the holidays. Savvy retailers, restaurateurs, salons owners, and even exercise-based businesses like yoga studios shift into a different gear as we approach the busiest time of the year.

Customers are also busier, so grabbing their attention around the hectic holiday season might take a little special effort. Now is the time for small business owners to finalize their plans for marketing their holiday events and promotions.

Here are a few important ways to drive your holiday marketing and increase sales.

Small Business Saturday is November 26, 2016

Since American Express launched Small Business Saturday® as part of their Shop Small movement, it has grown into a major national shopping and dining event. This important shopping day falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Giving independent businesses a day to unite and get shoppers to retail areas has lead to powerful holiday shopping numbers. According to American Express, 95 million shoppers participated in Small Business Saturday in 2015 - and spent $16.2 billion.1

If your business accepts American Express and is independently owned, participating in Small Business Saturday is an important way to do three things. First, you connect with other local business owners for a united marketing push. Second, you will get customers into your brick-and-mortar store during the busiest holiday shopping weekend. And finally, you will remind your local customers that you are an important part of the community as an independent business - a reminder that they will carry with them throughout the year.

Reach out to Loyal Customers

While it is always important to find new customers, around 75% of holiday sales are from customers who have previously purchased from you.2 Discounts and special promotions will help get customers in the door, but there are also more personal ways to show your business cares about its clients with holiday marketing events.

During the holidays, business owners have a fantastic opportunity to set themselves apart from competitors with a little holiday cheer. Consider the following ways to say thank you to your loyal following...and show new customers your memorable dedication to the best customer experience.

  • Host a free gift wrapping night.
  • Invite a local music group to play holiday music. Ask your neighborhood music teachers if they are looking for performance opportunities.
  • Participate in Small Business Saturday and other community-based events like ‘Downtown for the Holidays’.
  • Offer cookies and cocoa to customers.
  • Plan and promote a ‘free babysitting’ morning. Moms with small children will appreciate your help!
  • Partner with a local yoga studio for a calming free class during the stressful holiday season.

Solve Problems for Last Minute Shoppers

Everyone feels the crunch around the holidays. Think of ways to solve last minute shopping problems for your customers, then promote your solutions. Your small business will reap the rewards with better sales and increase customer satisfaction.

Gift Cards - Finding the perfect gift can be tricky! You can help your customers by selling gift cards. Providing your gift cards both in-store and online will help reach the widest possible audience, too. For experience-based small businesses like restaurants, salons, and exercise studios, gift cards are a powerful way to find new customers as current fans share their favorite places.

Shipping - Getting gifts there on time can be a challenge, too. The holiday season speeds by quickly, so your customers may be scrambling to get gifts shipped quickly. Consider free shipping or free shipping upgrades as an incentive to shop. Free Shipping Day is December 16th this year with many retailers offering special coupons alongside free shipping. Consider participating officially with this date or plan your own special shipping arrangements to help your customers.

Curated Lists - As busy shoppers try to find just the right gift, give them a little guidance with curated lists or groups of products. This can be as simple as an “If you like this, you will love this…” suggestion or a careful grouping of like-minded gifts. For example, select 6 to 8 products for a dedicated football fan. Or consider a favorite spa treatment, then create a list and display the products used in that treatment. Helping shoppers narrow down products or even discover something new is a great way to promote your inventory and help customers save time.

At Jet Capital, we understand the importance of the holiday season to small businesses. We are here with innovative, flexible funding solutions to help you market your business, hire seasonal help, and keep inventory refreshed to meet demand.

Contact us today for more information about our fast merchant cash advance products.

  1. Small Business Saturday Results: Shoppers Provide Encouraging Start to the Holiday Season (2015, Nov. 30) http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2015/small-business-saturday-results.aspx
  2. Dean, E., Stolt, J., and Thatcher, N. (2013, August) Beat the Holiday Rush: Three Strategies for Getting Ahead. Think with Google. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/3-strategies-to-prepare-for-the-holidays.html

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