It’s that time of year: leaves are falling, everything is turning pumpkin spice, and kids in costumes are showing up at your doorstep begging for candy. It can only mean one thing – the holiday season is around the corner! While the holidays might stress you out, they’re the perfect opportunity to draw new (and old) customers into your shop. Here’s how to make sure your store turns into a must-see this holiday season:
Sell holiday treats
The holiday season has tons of special foods you can feature at your store. Try fan-favorites like:
- Hot chocolate
- Seasonal roasted nuts
- Organic holiday candy
- Christmas cookies
Decorate your store
This one’s easy: who doesn’t get excited when they see snowmen in the windows? Make your store look as festive outside as you’re feeling inside. Decorate your storefront window with a winter wonderland scene, or hang lights and ornaments outside.
Host an event
The holidays are a season of giving. Hosting your own charity event in store will draw people in and make everyone feel warm inside. Some ideas:
Cans for Cookies: Have people bring in non-perishable food items, and in exchange, give them a cookie they can custom-decorate in store (just make sure you have seating!). Kids will love it, and the parents will look around the store while they wait for their kid to finish piling on the sprinkles.
Giving tree: Team up with a local homeless shelter or orphanage and create a giving tree. Offer a discount to anyone who buys something for the giving tree.
Play festive music
Another easy one. Holiday music makes everyone happy, and chances are your store already plays some sort of music during the day. Just change the station!
Hold a sale
Maybe you’ll offer stocking-stuffer sized items with purchases that cost a certain amount or more, or a 12 Days of Christmas themed sale. Or, try bundling items for your customers. You could have a cookies bundle (dough, icing, and sprinkles), a pie bundle (crust, fruit, and sugar), or a Christmas ham bundle (ham, brown sugar, and a roasting pan).
Don’t overlook Small Business Saturday
Everyone knows about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but your time to shine is right in between – Small Business Saturday. Make sure you make yourself known in the week leading up. Share extra on your social media, offer promotions, and send out an email marketing campaign
Give out free samples
Some customers will need convincing that your small business’ treats are far better than the competition. So, show them! Offer free in-store samples of your special holiday treats, and then make sure the product itself is nearby, so they can buy it once they realize how great it is.
Sell Gift Cards
If your business doesn’t offer gift cards, the holiday season is the time to start. Gift cards make the perfect gift for the foodie in your life who already has everything or that person you just don’t know well enough to pick out something more specific. You don’t need to go all out and buy cards that work with your cash registers – this can be expensive. You can have paper gift certificates. Make sure they include your store’s contact information and address because the person receiving the gift might not have heard of you.
Use seasonal packaging
No need to go all out here. A little can go a long way. Try out holiday colored packaging and bags. Look how festive these 7 Layer Italian cookies from Pasticceria Rocco look, using just a green bow!
Give gifts to your most loyal customers
Everyone loves to get a gift. Surprise your most loyal customers with a special deal or coupon just for them, to show them how much they mean to you.
Offer your customers holiday advice
Holidays are stressful, and all hosts and hostesses, new and old, could use a little help. Put together some advice for your customers, and take some of that weight of their shoulders. You could make a Thanksgiving Essentials shopping list, or share your favorite Latke recipe.
Some simple holiday ideas can help to draw in customers, and once they’re inside they’ll be charmed by your excellent customer service and high-quality goods. Just be sure to make sure you know what holidays your neighborhood celebrates: you don’t want to focus your marketing on Christmas, only to find out everyone predominantly celebrates Hanukkah. With these tips and tricks in mind, plus some holiday spirit, your small business will be sure to shine this holiday season!