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The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve can be an excellent opportunity for small businesses to boost sales. On average, Americans expect to spend around $1000 during the season.
The number may grow as people cut back on traveling and social activity due to the pandemic. Therefore, prepare your business for the holiday season to take full advantage of this opportunity.
This article will share seven tips that can increase your profit over the holidays.
Check Your Website Security and Performance
Therefore, ensure that you buy a hosting service from a reliable web host before the upcoming sales. Credible web hosts include security features, like an SSL certificate, firewall, and technical support, to help prevent malware attacks on eCommerce sites.
More than 50% of malware attack victims are small businesses. This can make people concerned about online shopping security.
They can be more expensive, thus use a Black Friday web hosting deal for a more affordable option.
Another aspect to check is the website loading time. A rule of thumb is to keep it under two seconds. An extra second delay can decrease the number of visitors by 4.9%.
Increase Online Presence
Create holiday-related content on social media and blog posts to build anticipation. Such content examples include gift guides, and the deals’ sneak peek. Also, include popular keywords for blog posts and hashtags on social media posts to spread brand awareness.
Last year, Walmart created an excellent Black Friday campaign named #UnwrapTheDeals.
It used a shoppable TikTok filter that enabled customers to reveal the deals and win them. The campaign resulted in a huge success, including 5.5 billion hashtag views and over 96 million page impressions on the website.
Review Your Inventory
Make sure you know the exact inventory level. Then, forecast the demand to anticipate which products will sell and how much stock you’ll need. If you’ve experienced a holiday season before, review previous sales to predict the number of orders in this season.
Consider installing inventory management tools like Zoho Inventory and Odoo. They help track real-time inventory levels from various channels.
Also, check with the suppliers. Ask whether they offer promotional prices or have a holiday closing time to plan your inventory management.Develop Promotional Plans
Promotions are more than offering simple discounts on holiday shopping dates.
Here are several ways to make your holiday season promotions more attractive:
- • Hourly deals or flash sales. Help build a sense of urgency and increase transaction rates by 35%.
- Bundles. Encourage customers to buy more items at lower prices. This can be a buy-one-get-one package or supplementary product like a smartphone with its phone case.
- Early-bird giveaway. Reward early shoppers with a bonus.
- • Last chance deals. Announce an extended offer to let shoppers complete their purchases.
You may combine these promotion ideas as a series of events throughout the holiday season. Take a note on key dates, like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Then, decide which promotional campaign you use on each date.
Leverage Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for the Black Friday campaign. You can send personalized offers for specific customers and use cart abandonment automation.
For inspiration, take a look at the Greats’ Black Friday email. It uses marketing psychology by highlighting the essential information: free shipping and product availability status.
The reddened phrases moving fast and almost sold out can create FOMO instantly. Emphasizing free shipping also helps speed up buying decisions as 73% of consumers will buy a product if it includes this offer.
Review Your POS System
A point of sale (POS) system refers to how your business accepts payments from customers. This system includes:
- Payment processing. Offer multiple payment gateways, so customers can choose whichever they like. Popular options are PayPal, Stripe, and debit cards.
- Transaction management. This process includes emailing receipts and shipping confirmation.
- Sales reporting. Track your profit, most popular products, and other financial reports.
Some inventory management tools and eCommerce website builders cover POS system features. If yours doesn’t provide this tool, install POS software, such as Square and Lightspeed.
Learn About Omnichannel Strategy
Small business owners that have a physical store can use an omnichannel strategy. It combines offline and online marketing to increase sales.
Sephora is a brand that masters omnichannel strategy. The in-store customers can scan a product using its app to see tutorials or keep it on a wishlist. Meanwhile, its online customers can research a product first, then come to the store to get a free makeover.
Depending on your products, feature live entertainment to increase store foot traffic, like make-up or cooking demo. Alternatively, hold a contest where the participants must be present to win.
The holiday season will be both an opportunity and a challenge for small businesses. It can bring in new customers and increase sales, but you have to prepare in advance.
Let’s recap the seven tips on Black Friday and the holiday season preparation for small businesses:
- Check your website’s security and performance.
- Increase online presence using your blog and social media.
- Review the inventory levels.
- Plan the promotion strategies.
- Use email marketing.
- Review your POS system, including the payment options and transaction management.
- Consider using an omnichannel strategy for physical store owners.
Use these points as a checklist to help you prepare for the holiday season smoothly. Make sure to audit this year’s holiday shopping sales to improve your strategies in the future.
Thank you for reading!