While most small business owners focus their attention on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, some may inadvertently overlook the major sales they can take advantage of on Thanksgiving. Not only does this day officially kickoff the holiday shopping season, but it’s also a time of intense competition from other companies, both big and small.
Further, small business owners have to also compete with family gatherings and major sporting events that can make people hesitant to shop due to bad traffic, long wait times and crowded stores. In these situations, having a strong marketing presence during this time of year is crucial. Consider these marketing tips for boosting customer engagement, attracting more shoppers and contributing to the festive, holiday spirit:
Show respect for the holiday
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are solely retail holidays, Thanksgiving is a special time of year for families and friends to gather and give thanks. However, in an effort to attract more customers for their sales and promotions, many retail shops are opening earlier than ever to launch their Black Friday specials. This has created some pushback from the general public who believe these stores are encroaching on the actual day of Thanksgiving.
One way to promote your small business during this time is by showing respect for the holiday. This doesn’t mean scaling back your plans. You can host an event that demonstrates the company’s commitment to this special time of year. Whether this is a charitable turkey dinner for less fortunate individuals or even something solely for the employees, it provides the business a chance to show potential customers that your company cares. By being a leader in giving back, you can use the opportunity to also share photos on social media that can lead to free press and even a more loyal customer base.
Thank your customers
This is the time of year for everyone to be thankful for what they’ve received, earned and were given throughout the past 12 months. This also makes it the perfect opportunity for you to show how thankful you are to your customers and clients for patronizing your small business. While most people and companies tend to send out Christmas, Happy Holidays or New Year’s Day cards to their contact list, sending out “Thank You” cards to customers, clients and peers for Thanksgiving is a great way to stand out from the crowd while also letting the recipients know you care and appreciate their business.
Provide some relaxing amenities
Let’s face it, although the holidays can be a joyous and festive time, they can also bring a lot of stress. From planning big family meals to getting a head start on the shopping season, this time of year can be a little overwhelming for some people. As a way to remedy this, consider offering customers some form of retail therapy. Whether this includes an in-store mini spa treatment if a shopper spends a certain amount of money, some simple snacks to munch on while they browse or even a few comfy recliners in front of a TV with the big games on, these amenities can be provide a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of the season. After all, a relaxed customer is more likely to be a happy and festive person.
Boost BOPIS deals
“Buy online, pick up in stores” might seem counterintuitive for small business owners at first, since typically the longer a shopper stays in a store, the more he or she ends up buying. However, brick-and-mortar retailers can potentially boost their sales by offering in-store pickup for customers who made their purchases online. While many small business owners with physical locations are worried about e-commerce sites siphoning away sales, BOPIS promotions can be a great way to keep these customers loyal to your store. Buying items from an online shop still requires customers to wait for the package to be delivered, which can take anywhere from a day to a week, or even longer if there’s a hiccup while the item is in transit. Letting customers buy goods online and then pick them up immediately, gives customers the best of both worlds: They can still shop from the comfort of their own home, but then instantly have the items in their hands. Further, when shoppers come to pick up their purchases, they have additional incentive to stick around and spend more money on something they have originally forgotten.
Consider a small business loan
Having the resources and tools to launch an effective marketing campaign isn’t always in the cards for some small businesses. Instead of watching your competitors launch new Thanksgiving deals, sales or other promotions to entice potential shoppers, you can take utilize a small business loan from an alternative lender to get the money you need when you need it. With easy, online applications and a turnaround time in as little as 24 hours, there’s no excuse to not have the funding you need to launch a Thanksgiving-oriented marketing strategy.