I have spent my life as a proud bargain shopper so I definitely know the importance of a good deal as a shop owner. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a good deal?
Everyone. The answer is EVERYONE.
In part one and two of this Holiday Selling Series we talked about the importance of setting yourself a part during the most popular time of year to shop! Trust me when I say that creating special offers and promotions for your customers is one of the best ways you can do this. You want to stand out from the crowd by showing that you are providing competitive value for your customers, while being a rock star at increasing sales. Sounds great, right? But how do you do it?
Know your customer and be confidant in your pricing
I can’t tell you how many small business owners can’t tell me why they chose the price they did for their products. Before you can give a discount or offer a promotion you must know what you can afford to do and what makes sense for your individual customers. Every decision you make for your business should have an imaginary conversation with your ideal customer asking yourself some questions.
Is this going to attract my ideal shopper?
Am I offering them something they will find valuable?
How will this speak to them and their needs?
You can create all sorts of amazing promotions but make sure you know who you are selling to and why they buy from you in the first place. If you have a high-end jewelry line and you run a promotion where every purchase gets a free set of earrings of far lesser quality and value – your consumer will not be impressed and see through your sale as a waste. Whereas the same consumer may find value in free fancy looking gift wrapping on every purchase. When you know this kind of information about him or her you should have more confidence in your sales strategy and pricing as a whole.
Don’t be afraid of losing those dollars
The biggest mistake people make when offering promotions for their business is worrying that if they give a discount they are going to lose money. This is so not the case! In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Of course, if you were giving away product like there’s no tomorrow we’d need to have a serious conversation! BUT, when you create strategic discounts and deals for your customer it gets them more excited to shop and save. It’s a proven fact that shoppers experience a surge of endorphins when they save money. I may be channeling my inner Ell Woods here, but endorphins make people happy and you know what happy people do? Shop more!
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Think about it. If you went to buy something and the sales associate shared with you that if you bought two items instead of one you would save ten cents, how would you react? If it were me, I’d probably ask them to repeat themselves out of disbelief and then tell them it was going to be a hard pass! Why would I spend more of my money on a second item to save a measly dime? People don’t need a deal for the sake of a deal they want to actually feel like they are getting a bargain! So make sure those “deals” are actually adding value to your customer.
Here are some examples of popular promotions:
Buy One Get One Free
Buy One Get One ½ Off
Perfect Off Deals (40%, 50%, 60% etc.)
Two for $____
Free Gift Wrapping with any purchase
Free Personalization (on items that qualify)
Create multiple reasons to buy
Once someone is scrolling on your shop page or walks into your booth at the market make sure they are reminded of how many options there are to purchase. They may fall in love with one item but surely, they need something else! Stocking stuffers? Easy gift ideas to ship to friends and family? One for a gift and one for them?
If you are in person with your customer guide their shopping habits by offering these suggestions without being too pushy obviously! If you are an online shop owner, make sure you set up a friendly Pop Up with a reminder they can add something else to their cart before they check out. You can also create a reminder at check out to spend a little more to reach the goal balance for offers on free shipping.
Let their purchase support your passion
The holidays are one of the most popular times of the year for giving. People are more likely to give a donation or volunteer their time during the holidays as they’re reminded of those less fortunate. Create a special deal where a portion of your customer’s purchase goes to a charity or cause that’s special to you. Having small add-on items for purchase where the amount serves as their donation works great or even asking them to round up to the next dollar on general transactions can help them spend more while making a difference. This might be an awesome way for you to feel like you’re giving back too!
Check out some of the below apps that make this super easy to set up:
Shout your sales from the rooftops
You came up with a great promotion strategy for the holidays. Great. Now it’s your chance to tell the world! You don’t want to keep these deals a secret! Get on social media and start sharing. Take a few moments to create some fun graphics to display with your upcoming and current promotions and show your excitement over them. You can use Canva to make free festive graphics to add to your marketing. Also make sure you have signage with your promotions in plain sight for customers at your shop space and online. You can do this in such an effortless way, just make sure it stays in line with your branding. (Head over to the second post in this Holiday Selling Series for some festive set up tips for our shop space with Erin from Made Urban.) Do something simple like hang small chalkboards up with your deals and hand letter with metallic sharpie or chalk. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Use this time of sharing to remind your customers how grateful you are for their purchases to by adding a fun sign or note on your shop.
Simple ways to run promotions that add value and increase sales:
- Grab bags. People love a little mystery! Fill small paper bags with a few of your smaller and less expensive items and mark them for a small price. Customers will have fun purchasing a little surprise assortment for themselves.
- Add -on items. Choose one or two products that can be added on to a purchase for a dollar or two. This is a great way to round up purchase totals to an even number which most people can’t resist.
- Free Shipping. If the world can learn anything from Amazon.com, it’s that free shipping is a winner every time. During the holidays it’s an even larger incentive!
- 2-fer deals. Two is better than one! Help encourage them to buy an additional item.
- Gift Wrapping. You can gift wrap items for the holidays or add a free holiday card.
- Free Personalization. Sell something that would be great personalized? Choose a dollar amount customers have to meet for you to offer putting their name or gift recipient’s name on the item.
Don’t forget that your number one reason behind running promotions should be to help your customer see value in your product and brand. When you concentrate on that, increasing sales comes so much easier. Keep in mind that the holiday seasons is the perfect time to snag new customers not just for a day but for life. The customer service you show and the reminders that their purchase means something to your small business will make them a loyal customer.
How has your holiday selling season been so far? Are you struggling with anything in particular or finding you are a rock star at a certain part of your business this season? I’d love to hear from you. I hope you’ve found this series helpful and you have an incredible holiday season!
Make sure you’re following me on Instagram here to get more tips and see some behind the scenes holiday selling of my own as I gear up for this last month of the year!