The 2020 holiday shopping season promises to be unlike any other. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates are high, and consumers may be reluctant to do their shopping in person.
But don’t worry! Not all the news is bad. In fact, most experts are predicting a robust holiday shopping season that might not look like previous seasons. Here are some promotional ideas to help you bolster your holiday sales.
Make Online Shopping Easy
The first thing you’ll need to do – and need is the right word – is to make online shopping an option for your customers. Even if you don’t have an eCommerce store already, you need one now. A lot of small businesses have already pivoted to include online purchases. Forecasts anticipate 34% growth in online sales this year.
If you already have an online store, you may want to consider creating a special tag or tab for holiday specials. That way, visitors to your store will have an easy way to find what they’re looking for.
At the same time, you’ll also need to think about how you’ll fulfill orders quickly, safely, and accurately. Some companies are offering curbside pickup while others are shipping direct to their customers. Either way, it’s important to be intentional about online shopping to ensure your customers have a good experience.
Send Email (or Text) Coupons and Promotional Codes
Email is still one of the best ways to communicate with your customers. Running a holiday promotion is a good way to encourage sales and email marketing is both affordable and effective.
With many people worried about their finances, saving money is going to be a priority for a lot of shoppers. You can make it easy for them to choose your products as gifts by giving them a way to save.
If you have a text list, you can send promo codes via text as well. A lot of consumers do their shopping on mobile devices, too!
Create Promotions with Your Customers’ Needs in Mind
What gifts do your customers want to give this year? That’s a question that should be top-of-mind for every retailer. A lot of us are spending more time at home than ever before and we’re looking for ways to make being at home a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
If you know your customers well, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out a way to offer gifts they’ll want to buy and receive. Anything that focuses on self-care is likely to do well.
You may want to consider bundling products that work together. Bundling allows you to offer your customers a lower price than they’d pay for individual products without significantly cutting into your profits.
Partner with Other Local Businesses
With many local businesses hurting thanks to the pandemic, consumers are eager to support their communities. Why not make it easy for them to do so?
Think about other businesses in your area whose products or philosophies align with yours. Then, reach out to the owner and work together to come up with a package or promotion that will benefit you both.
Give Back to a Local Cause
Another thing that is likely to drive holiday giving this year is charity. People who are unemployed or underemployed may be struggling to feed their families and meet other basic needs. You can give back to your community and incentivize shoppers to buy from you at the same time.
There are countless ways to do it. One option is to create a promotion letting your followers know that you’ll be donating a percentage of your holiday proceeds to one or more local charities. Good options are local food banks or community healthcare organizations. With the winter months approaching, you could also independently buy warm clothing and other staples for people who do not have homes.
Create a Pop-Up Shop
Shopping indoors may be risky for some of your usual customers and it’s your job to find ways to make them feel safe when buying from you in person. Instead of asking people to come to your store, why not consider talking to a local supermarket about opening a pop-up store outside?
Pop-up stores offer convenient shopping where people can be both outdoors, where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower than it is inside, and masked. You might not be able to recreate the full experience of shopping in your store, but you can bring the holidays to your customers in a way that doesn’t jeopardize their health.
Make Safety a Priority
Some consumers may still prefer to shop in person. If you can’t create a pop-up shop, you may want to consider some content marketing that highlights what you’re doing to make in-store shopping safe for your customers.
You could create a short time-lapse video showing how you’ve expanded your regular cleanings to protect both employees and shoppers and then, share it on social media. Customers want to feel safe and you can make them feel that way.
One of the trends that a lot of retailers are embracing is early shopping. If this were a normal year, we would expect about a third of all holiday spending to happen between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But this isn’t an ordinary year.
For that reason, companies like Target are expanding their usual Black Friday deals by rolling them out throughout November. You can do the same to encourage early shopping.
Empathize with Your Customers
2020 has been a difficult year in a lot of ways. Ultimately, consumers want to connect with the businesses they support. You can help them do that by showing that you care about them and their concerns during the holiday season.
Some options include using a compassionate tone in your content, offering promotions that cater to shoppers’ needs, and training your staff to be empathetic when customers arrive at your store.
The bottom line is that experts anticipate the 2020 holiday season will be about as busy as 2019 but with some key differences. As a local business owner, you can use the promotional ideas here to connect with your customers and have a successful holiday shopping season.