Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Sales Ideas for Small Business

The Christmas holiday sales season can make or break the year for a small business, whether online, or brick & mortar.

  1. Reward early buyers. I know we all hate Christmas displays going up too early. But you can attract extra business by giving early shopper bonuses without being too commercial about the holiday itself. Try to shy away from big price discounts as this will not attract customers who will remain loyal after the sale.

  2. Share some of your profits. When donating, use these two criteria: donate to a cause with which you can be important, and donate to a cause for which you are passionate. Everybody does Toys for Tots and Food for Families, but there are many more deserving charities that would love your attention.

  3. Make your Web site holiday-friendly. Or more appropriately, make your store & website Christmas-friendly. It is chic these days to say the world 'holiday' instead of 'Christmas'. Instead you should be all about Christmas. There may be one or two PC'ers out that you will offend (like I likely just did), but you will definitely set yourself apart from the mass of light-stepping retailers who have no backbone.

  4. Offer perks or discounts. Go light on the discounts and heavier on the perks. Remember discounting your price does not encourage loyalty, only one-time purchases. Always tie perks and discounts in to a higher level of purchase. Don't offer bonuses for normal business. Reward customers for a larger, or more frequent, purchase.

  5. Partner with other retailers. Always a great idea if you can team up with complimentary, non-competitive businesses. Look for businesses that sell a related product, or businesses that sell to the same demographic as you.

  6. Go the extra mile. This should be standard business policy, so I would rephrase to say 'go the extra Christmas mile.' What's something extra you could do because it's Christmas? The season is all about giving and not receiving. Don't just try to sell, figure out how you can give.

  7. Play to win as the season revs up. The closer you get to Christmas, the more you ratchet up the efforts. How can you do promotions or rewards with lowering the price? Maybe you host a choir or a kids play from the local church to come sing carols the week before Christmas. Get creative.
Got any more ideas to liven things up for the Christmas retail season? Feel free to add them through a comment.

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