When you own or manage a retail business, you know how important holiday season sales can be for your year-end profitability. During a peak sales season for many retail customers, competition is fierce to land customer sales. But there’s something you can offer as a brick-and-mortar business that online stores can’t: fun in-person events that bring customers into the store prepared to shop.
When your products and services are optimized and ready to sell, getting customers into the store is often the hardest part. Here are five creative ideas for your business to improve foot traffic and grow sales.
Hold a customer appreciation event
Everyone wants to feel noticed and appreciated. Reach out to your customers and make them feel appreciated with a unique customer appreciation event tailored to your ideal audience.
A special party, festival, or carnival can draw in singles, families, businesspeople, retirees, and anyone you want to attract. Well-publicized events with free food, drinks, or music are almost sure to draw a crowd. Make sure you and your staff are on your A-game to convert those event visitors into customers before they head home. While they’re visiting, remind them to pick up a gift for a friend or family member.
Put together a marketing campaign with emails and social media content so your customers and potential visitors know about the event and see regular reminders.
Sponsor a giveaway
Giveaways offer multiple benefits for businesses and limit your potential cost to the value of what you’re giving away. Some businesses see holiday marketing success when giving away a high number of lower-value items or services, while others give away a smaller number of high-value prizes.
As part of the signup process, consider requiring entrants to submit an email address or phone number for your contact list. Small to midsize businesses can grow their text message and email marketing email lists, building a prospective customer database for future promotions and sales. These tactics are not limited to big box retailers.
Lotteries and giveaways also bring in customers and highlight the season’s biggest deals. If you must be present to win, you’re going to fill up the store (hopefully) at the same time as the drawing. And even those who are not present made it onto your contact list.
Engage local nonprofits
Nonprofits are an excellent way to build your business reputation in the community. You can support causes near and dear to you, save on taxes, and help your local community. That’s a win-win for you, your business, and your favorite causes.
Working with local schools, Scouts, and other nonprofits helps your community while giving you a chance to spreading the word about your brand and your work. Host a nonprofit event at your business, sponsor a local team or community group, or find another way to help. Some of that goodwill you create should come back to your business when you do.
Networking with other business owners
Business networking can be an intimidating phrase, but it’s often simpler and easier than you realize. Local Chamber of Commerce, business owner groups, and networking organizations are designed to help entrepreneurs learn from each other.
For example, Chamber of Commerce organizations may focus on a specific city, region, or business owner group. You can also swap tips and leads and leverage that network to expand your customer base. You’ll likely also find your chamber runs an online directory, hosts expos, and offers additional opportunities to network with other business owners and local government officials.
Bring your business to the customers
We live in a time when people can click a few buttons, and food or products will show up at their homes in under an hour. With such convenience, getting customers to show up may feel like an uphill battle. But you can climb that hill by packing up and showing up where your customers already spend time.
Farmers’ markets, craft fairs, and other seasonal gatherings may welcome businesses of any kind. There’s no reason an electronics store, massage shop, or coffee shop couldn’t set up a mobile “pop up” location where potential buyers are already wandering around looking for places to spend money.
Taking your products or services to where there are crowds of people helps with advertising, too, as you can add a big banner or sign to your booth or table. Any opportunity to show off your brand helps keep your business at top-of-mind for future visits.
Make holiday shopping fun
What do all these holiday season ideas to bring people into your business have in common? They’re all fun! When you focus on providing a good time and customer engagement on top of a valuable product or service, you’re bound for holiday season success.