It’s easy for small business owners to feel lost in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. With big box stores and online shopping retailers offering deep discounts and a seemingly infinite list of promotions, it can be hard for local stores to compete in terms of price and volume.
Fortunately, there is a growing interest in shopping small and supporting local retailers. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. This is a prime opportunity for your business to increase foot traffic and earn a piece of the holiday sales pie. Here are seven strategies to help retail store owners prepare for Small Business Saturday.
To make the most of holiday sales, start advertising in early November. Combine social media, email, and print advertising to canvas your community. Let your loyal customers know you’ll be open on Small Business Saturday, and offer a sneak peek at some of the deals that will be available. Encourage new shoppers by advertising extended hours, special promotions, and coupons that are good only on Small Business Saturday.
Don’t despair when you see the discounts and offerings at big retailers. Shoppers who come to small businesses are looking for what they can’t find at warehouse stores — they want unique products, personalized service, and quality that only a small business can offer. Rather than trying to compete with the pricing and variety offered at large retailers, promote what makes your business unique, and take pride in being small!
Suggested reading: Small Business Week Strategies to Increase Foot Traffic and Boost Sales
Prepare Your Staff
Small businesses should excel at customer service. Prepare your staff for extended hours, higher foot traffic, and shopper stress. If necessary, hire extra team members for the holiday shopping season. Most importantly, smile and have fun. If you’re enjoying the season, your customers will too!
Organize the Store
Take a good look at your store layout — could it use a refresh? Now is a great time to reorganize shelves, add POP displays, and update your signage. This is also a prime opportunity to boost sales through impulse purchase displays at checkout.
Promote Unique Products
What can you offer to customers that big retailers can’t or won’t? Perhaps your goods are handmade, come from a local source, or help survivors of human trafficking. Whatever it is, make sure customers know what makes your products unique. Low prices at warehouse-style stores also mean cookie-cutter products and questionable work environments. Use your small size to stand out with unique offerings and support causes that matter to you.
Partner with Other Small Businesses
You don’t have to do it alone. Linking arms with other small businesses can help you boost business and save on promotional expenses. Perhaps you can host a pop-up coffee shop in your store, or launch a sidewalk sale with neighboring retailers. Or, host a multi-store scavenger hunt to boost foot traffic! Whatever you do, don’t be a silo on Small Business Saturday. Celebrate community connections by working with others when possible.
Show Your Gratitude
Holiday emotions run high, and it can be easy to become stressed or angry. However, it’s important to remember that without customers, you wouldn’t exist! Say thank you in small and meaningful ways — a gift with purchase, a handwritten note to your most loyal customers, special promotions or an invitation-only sneak peek at holiday deals. Most importantly, thank every customer who comes in — gratitude goes a long way.
Let Handy Help
Ready to refresh your store? We can help. Our experts can help you redesign your store layout, select the best shelving for your space, and so much more. We’re proud to partner with small businesses across the country. Check out our success stories or reach out to us today to start the planning and installation process.