The holidays can be the most important time of year for small businesses to meet or exceed their annual goals. Here are four ideas to boost sales.
1. Give freebies.
Instead of offering deep discounts to attract customers, offer bonus products or services for regular price. For example, tack on 15 free minutes to a full-price massage, or toss in a free sample-size lotion with a gift set, says Michele Markham, executive vice president at EAG Advertising & Marketing, based in Kansas City, Mo.
2. Sell and promote gift cards.
Gift cards are the most requested holiday present across all demographics—if you’re not offering customers easy ways to purchase them, you’re missing out. What’s more: 72 percent of gift card users spend more than the card’s value, according to a recent First Data report.
3. Place social media ads.
People tend to use social media more around the holidays, according to credit reporting agency Experian. “Facebook ads can be really wonderful for advertising to your target market because you can zero down to ZIP code, age, interests and more,” says Courtney Thurman of SmallWerks, a marketing agency in Newport Beach, Calif.
4. Participate in Small Business Saturday.
Last year, consumers spent $5.5 billion on Small Business Saturday, an annual event that encourages consumers to shop locally. It takes place on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. To get involved, and to download free marketing materials, visit www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small.