December is here, and Christmas is so close you can almost smell the gingerbread. Whether you’re ticking items off your shop’s to-do list or just now realizing you never created one in the first place, you can still close out the season – and 2016 – on a high note. Here are a few ideas to help you finish strong during and after the holiday crunch.
- Have help on hand. You don’t want to have to delay or cancel orders because you’re swamped, so look into your staffing options and consider hiring some last-minute seasonal help to assist you in getting orders processed and out the door.
- Create a Last Minute Holiday Gift Section On Your Site. Many customers are unsure of what products to buy as gifts, specifically during the last days of the holiday season. A great option to boost sales is to provide customers with a “Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide” on your website. The page can include top selling products or include products grouped into categories such as “Gifts under $25” or “Trending with Kids Under 5 Years.” A key factor in the products listed on the guide is that they are easy to fulfill and you include specific dates when the orders must be placed.
- Connect with customers. Tap into email and social media to make sure your customers – former, current and potential – know they’re on your mind, which may help them keep you in their minds as they wrap up their seasonal shopping. In addition to sharing holiday wishes, let them know about last-minute gift ideas, remind them of other giving opportunities (like hostess or white elephant gifts), and provide a heads-up on shipping cutoff dates for last-minute shoppers. Consider also adding a personal touch to your shipments, such as a handwritten thank you, as a way to show your gratitude to your customers.
- Promote procrastination. Well, not exactly – but for shoppers who leave things to the last minute, make their holiday rush a little smoother by offering expedited shipping and/or gift wrapping. Just be sure to check and double-check the shipping cutoff dates and any surcharges of your preferred carriers to prevent customers from being surprised or disappointed.
- Offer gift cards. Take a little pressure off your customers by encouraging them to buy gift cards to allow recipients to make their own decisions.
- Convince consumers to put themselves on their shopping list. When shoppers are weary of checking off their to-do lists, more than half of shoppers have been shown to be inclined to treat themselves. Figure out the demographics of your store’s traffic, then design communications and promotions around the idea that it’s a great time to do something nice for ourselves.
- Create post-holiday promos. Savvy shoppers know the best deals come after the official holiday – and those who don’t should be in on the secret, too! Whether your shoppers are looking for discounted seasonal items, stretching out their gifting period into the new year, or interested in treating themselves, you may find that the post-holiday funk could be a boon to your business. Again, use email and social media to promote the fact that you’re still taking orders, and consider throwing in a discount promo or coupon to get formerly fatigued customers interested in shopping again.