As predicted, holiday shoppers are letting concerns about the economy impact their shopping. In this AP story on Yahoo, housing woes and a huge snowstorm tempered holiday spending last weekend.
But as I see it, shoppers are becoming ever more savvy, playing a game of chicken with retailers which the retailers will ultimately lose. Shoppers know that as the industry goes into panic mode because the sales aren’t meeting expectations, retailers will pull out all the stops to get customers into their stores to shop.
And so it goes, it’s happening this week and it’s leading up to the final weekend before Christmas. As a small retailer, how can you profit?
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
You’re at the mercy of the big guys unfortunately. They’re going to blast email boxes and the airwaves with messages of deals, deals and more deals.
Your job is to siphon off a tiny share of customers and get them to come to your store. Your most effective weapon is sending an email out that’s enticing.
If you’re like me, you’re getting tons of emails right now offering deals. But they’re for the same retailers that have always been sending them. And I’m done with my Christmas shopping at those retailers, so the emails are irrelevant to me. Or are they?
Frontgate, an online retailer continues offering deals, and there is always something in their catalog that I want. So I splurged on a gift for me and took advantage of their Save $20 on $100 purchase deal. Why not? If I’m thinking this way, then other customers are doing the same.
So get an email out there with an offer if your sales are sluggish. You can compete with the big guys if your offer is worthwhile and relevant.
Here are a few ideas:
- Offer a bounce back. This is a great way to push sales to January and get customers back into your store sooner rather than later. With every $50 or $100 or whatever the amount, offer a coupon good for $x off a purchase of $x. You’ve all seen these, and they work. You get the full price of their purchases now and drive traffic to a slow month.
- Offer a free something. A free event. A free sample of a product. A free consultation. Free always motivates people.
- Offer a gift with purchase. Beauty retailers are notorious for doing this (it’s hard to not get something free when you buy beauty products).
- Offer a straight discount. I don’t like these, but they work. Use these as a last resort.
You still have a week left to motivate customers to shop. So get something in their email box for end of day to push your sales in what is sure to be a HUGE weekend for shopping.