A successful holiday season can be the difference between a good year and a great year for small businesses. Below are five tips to help you make this year’s peak season the best yet for your company.
1. Spend your marketing dollars wisely.
The peak holiday season offers exciting opportunities for your business – but competition is tough. Cut through the clutter by spending your marketing dollars on the tactics and tools that will be most effective for your business.
Social media can be a great way to connect with customers.
Email marketing can be an effective tool to reach customers during the holidays with offers and promotions (research shows that for every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25), but keep in mind there’s a lot of clutter out there. Make the most of your emails by keeping subject lines short and engaging, making communications quick, and by giving customers a clear action to follow.
Pay-per-click ads are attractive because they’re an easy way to drive traffic to your site, but they’re also expensive. If you’re going to use pay-per-click ads, be sure you’re committed to tracking their performance. They may not be right for you if you don’t have the time or resources to track ad engagement.
2. Optimize your website.
3. Deliver on your promise.
You can’t stop customers from making late orders, but you can set expectations to keep them satisfied. Communicate shipping deadlines clearly so your customers know when to expect their packages.
4. Appreciate the power of returns.
Returns can make or break your customer relationships. If customers are unsatisfied with a shipment, you need to do whatever you can to make them happy, and providing easy returns can actually strengthen a customer relationship. In fact, 92% of customers are likely to shop with a retailer again if returns are convenient. Free returns can be a good way to build customer loyalty.
5. Think long-term.
Although the holidays are a great time to cement customer relationships, and engage additional buyers, remember that building loyalty is not a once and done proposition. As Nik Hawks, entrepreneur and co-founder of Paleo Treats , “The holidays provide a significant bump in traffic, but that bump comes at a time when there is so much noise in the marketplace that it’s hard for customers to remember everything that happened or what they got during that time.”