Sponsored by Staples
By Rieva Lesonsky
Does your small business rely on the holiday shopping season for a substantial chunk of your annual sales? Then you’d better get moving. Holiday shopping starts well ahead of Black Friday, as consumers hunt for bargains all year long. Last year, more than 56 percent of consumers started their holiday shopping in early November, the National Retail Federation reports.
Get ready for the make-or-break holiday shopping season by planning your marketing and promotions now. Here are four ideas:
- Grab attention with extra signage. Changing the signage inside your store, putting holiday posters in display windows or setting up a colorful sandwich board outside your location can all draw customers to your door. For example, last year Stella Blue Design, a Chicago jewelry store, used a banner outside the shop to attract passersby. Custom banners and posters like those from Staples Print & Marketing Services will make a great impression on prospective customers.
- Sell gift cards or gift certificates. Last year, nearly two-thirds of holiday shoppers bought at least one gift card, the NRF reports. Millennials are especially fond of this gifting solution—they consider it more secure than other forms of payment. At Hank’s Oyster Bar in Washington, DC, marketing director Shane Mayson boosted sales of gift cards by placing promotional postcards saying “Give the gift of Hank’s” inside the restaurant’s check presenters.
- Plan special events. A holiday gift-wrapping workshop, in-store cooking demonstration or musical performance, or a special “after hours” sale for VIP customers can add to the holiday excitement—and boost your sales. Since consumers are busy at the holidays, make your event stand out from the deluge of marketing emails by sending eye-catching print invitations or postcards. With Staples Print & Marketing Services, you can design and print your direct mail pieces, then let Staples prepare and mail them for you.
- Get help from a trusted marketing partner. Work with a marketing partner like Staples to get ready for your most important season. Look for a company that:
- Offers customization. At Stella Blue, owner Angela Gianfresco turned to Staples Print & Marketing Services to design her store’s holiday banner. Staples was able to match a specific shade of blue Gianfresco wanted, as well as accommodate the unusual dimensions she needed, while still delivering a durable, high-quality banner—all with next-day turnaround.
- Takes the time to do it right. Steve McKenzie, co-owner of interior design store Steve McKenzie’s in Atlanta, Kane says he likes working with Staples because “they take the time to look through everything [and] make sure everything is correct.” With Staples Print & Marketing Services, you can get expert assistance with your printing needs at Staples locations any time.
- Works with you to solve problems. Staples’ print experts can recommend ideas and solutions you may never have thought of. For example, when Mayson found out the postcard he had designed didn’t fit the standard postcard template, Staples’ print expert suggested using an invitation template instead.