Holiday Shopping Season 2016 is in full swing. Consumers are on the hunt for the best deals for their loved ones. While many shoppers think the best bargains are on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, let’s not forgot about Small Business Saturday. According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express, 95 million people went to shop at a small business on Small Business Saturday 2015. The figures could climb even higher this year. Here at Pango Financial we’d like to offer a few tips to small businesses to better serve their customers and communities this holiday season.
- Gift Cards. Gift cards are a very popular item to give to a friend or relative. Gift cards come in all shapes and sizes. Major credit card companies like Visa or MasterCard issue gift cards. Big retailers including Macy’s or Amazon offer them. And even franchises like Starbucks are distributing cards. If your small business is not offering gift cards or gift certificates, now is the time to start. On top of that, small businesses need to offer reward programs or clubs to build loyalty with its customers.
- Social Media. Small businesses need to capitalize on social media’s ability to reach targeted groups. For example, small businesses can promote local ads on Facebook. These ads are relatively inexpensive compared to traditional media (Radio or TV). It’s a great way to optimize your marketing budget and reach customers that are in close proximity to your business. This holiday season small businesses should promote special deals. Incentivize customers to post their own social media profiles about their shopping experience in exchange for discounts or free gift.
- Personalize Service. What separates small businesses from giant retailers is individual attention. Small businesses need to always maintain the customer is first mentality. Think about the customer’s experience from the moment he or she walks into the store. Workers should be providing attentive service during the browsing process, purchasing decision and final payment of gift. Above all else, the personal service will be a memorable experience compared to the nightmare of fighting the crowds at the mall on Black Friday.
- The Gift of Giving. The holidays are a time when many people are inspired to give back and serve their communities. Have a company-wide day of service or stage a drive to gather gifts or winter clothes for those in need. It’s a rewarding way to market your small business and reaffirm your community relationships.
Small businesses make up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms. So remember before you shop this holiday season, think of all the small businesses that employ tens of millions of workers in our country. These companies are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and will continue to drive growth for decades to come.