This post is contributed Square. Square creates the tools businesses need to unlock the value of every sale.
December will be here before you know it. And to make as many sales as possible, you’ll want to start thinking about your holiday marketing plan. In this post, we’ll walk you through what you should start doing now to make sure you have your most successful holiday season yet.
Plan your sales and promotions
With mile-long gift lists to plow through, shoppers are on the prowl for deals. So start planning the types of sales and promotions that will work best for your business this holiday season. If you’re a retailer, think about running a special on cocktail dresses that would be perfect for holiday parties. If you’re a chocolatier, package morsels together and offer two for the price of one as stocking stuffers. Another thing to consider is a “friends and family” sale. These do double duty by attracting both new and regular customers. Once you decide which promotions you want to run, be sure to let your customers know through email marketing well ahead of time, so they can plan. Square’s email marketing software comes ready with a template for announcing promotions, which means you won’t have to do any legwork to design an email. The tool also automatically segments customers into loyal, casual, or lapsed, so you can be strategic about who receives your messages. If you’re new to all this, check out our post on 5 Best Practices for Marketing Promotions.
Look to your data
Data is king. And when it comes to creating the perfect holiday marketing strategy, it’s something to spend some quality time with now. Look to last year’s sales trends from around this time. Was there a specific item that was in high demand? Or a category of items (scarves, for example) that flew off the shelves? Not only is this a signal to order a lot more of those things, this information also helps focus your marketing efforts. You can send marketing email, for example, that touts your best sellers, or post messages to social media that indicate things are flying off the shelves. People like to snatch up goods that they think are in high demand (as evidenced by all those online shopping sites that let you search by most popular). If you sell with Square, all this historic sales data is just a click away in your Square Dashboard. You can segment your sales data by day, week, and month to find your best-selling items.
Get some gift cards
Gift cards are one of the easiest last-minute gifts. So to spike your holiday sales, make sure you have them on hand. But to make your gift cards stand apart from the pack, design them in a unique and creative way. You might incorporate a famous quote that relates to your business, or include a cool graphic.
Plan a party
Crazed holiday shopping can be stressful. But shopping with champagne glass in hand is another story. Make things fun by hosting a holiday shopping fête at your store. Offer small gift bags, treats, or special deals, and maybe even bring in a local band to liven things up. But well before your event, make sure to let your customers know about it via social media, email marketing, and in-store posters.
Crank up social media
Now is the time to start revving up your social media presence. If you don’t have the bandwidth to go full throttle across all the social networks, stick to the ones that will have the most impact for your business this time of year. If you’re a clothing boutique, make Pinterest boards dedicated to outfits for holiday parties and New Year’s Eve. If you’re a bakery, post swoon-worthy images of your pastries on Instagram and watch the likes pour in. If you’re running a sale, promotion, or event, take to Twitter and Facebook to spread the word. Be sure to use relevant or clever hashtags in all your social posts — that will get them a lot more engagement.
Sign on with local holiday fairs and events
Get involved in the community by reserving a booth at local holiday fairs or events. Participating in these types of things is a great way to get your business on the radar of people who don’t live in your immediate neighborhood. People also flock to holiday fairs to get their shopping done in one fell swoop, so you know they’ll be in the mood to buy. Be sure to announce that you’ll be there via social media (making sure to include the event’s hashtag).
All these things require some planning, so it’s time to get cracking. Cheers to knocking holiday sales out of the park this year!
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