If you sell to consumers, it’s time to get ready to reap the most benefit from the upcoming holiday season.
To avoid lost sales opportunities, start now to make sure you get the most of out of holiday sales.
Here is a quick checklist to get you started:
○ Check on orders and supplies. Make sure that you will have enough merchandise to meet customer’s demand. Consult last year’s records to estimate the quantities of inventory you will need to meet this year’s demand. Make sure you will have enough paper bags, boxes, tissue paper, register tape, shipping tape, and other items needed to complete a customer’s purchase.
○ Start promoting holiday sales early. According to a survey conducted by Market Track in 2016, 49% of shoppers plan to complete their holiday shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving weekend.
○ Promote post-holiday purchases. Encourage customers to return for additional purchases after the holidays. Loyalty programs and coupons that can be redeemed after the first of the year can create repeat shoppers. Design and print coupons or other materials now so you’ll have them ready to drop into holiday customers’ bags and shipped orders in November and December.
○ Website checkup. Consumers do a lot of their holiday shopping online. Even purchases made in the store start with online research. Ask friends to scour your site and rate the shopping experience. Fix problems well in advance of the holiday season.
○ Contact info. Be sure your phone number, business hours, customer service email address, return policy and guarantee can all be found from all pages. The easier it is for customers to find contact information, the more confident they’ll be about placing an order.
○ Talk to a real person. Make sure customers can reach a real person by telephone. It’s easy to frustrate potential customers by putting them in an endless phone or website loop. If you can’t have someone staffing the phone at all hours, at least have a recording that reminds customers what your store hours are and give them an option of leaving voice mail. Make sure you check and return voice mails within one business day or less.
○ Mailing list recruitment. Encourage current site visitors to sign up for a mailing list. Take advantage of potential customers while they are interested in your business. Include a newsletter signup option on your social media business pages, too.
○ Fliers. Give customers who shop at your physical storefront a flier encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter and to like your Facebook page. For smart phone owners include instructions to send a text to sign up for your newsletter or coupons.If you ship products, put the flier in every package your ship. To get people to return after the holidays, include a coupon or special offer on the flier for a future date.
○ Email promotions. Send out email promotions regularly starting now. Doing so keeps your brand top of mind, and may win sales for you before the holiday shopping season starts.
○ Social media buttons. Make sure your web pages include social networking share buttons.Prospects are more likely to buy a product if they see signs that a lot of other people like it. Plus it jump starts your social media campaigns so your customers get in the habit of visiting your social media pages to look for discounts or specials.
○ Prep your advertising. Get your paid advertising ready now. Ask your media representatives for discounted holiday packages or special event packages.