The magical recipe of doubling or even quadrupling your sales during the holiday season is simple. All you have to do is focus on your customers and use every opportunity to engage with them in a friendly and positive manner. Here's what you really need to focus.
1. Increase Your Business Hours
It's surprising how many businesses loose customers during holidays just because they don't make themselves available beyond the normal business hours. Think of it. If you are a business that's open 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, then by just adding one more hour (say closing at six instead of five), you are increasing your availability by 12.5%. If you have 10 other competitors in your area, that extra window is probably going to be more lucrative for you than any other time of the day!
2. Make Sure Your Target Customers Know About Your Increased Availability
Out of businesses who do increase their availability during holidays, many actually forget to promote that fact. If your customers don't know that you are available for longer business hours, how can you expect them to come! Use every method possible to promote the fact that you are available for longer business hours. Mention it in your newsletter to your existing customers. Update the business hours board on your retail shops. Update your business hours on Yelp, Google+, etc. Update your website. Even run a quick spot Ad to notify the masses that you are available more to serve their needs.
3. Create a Healthy Mix of Rebates Along With Upsell and Cross Sell Opportunities
While many businesses would just slash their prices to attract customers, this is not always the wisest thing to do. For one, it takes you and your entire business towards what's commonly called 'race to the bottom'; and secondly, by cutting down your margins you are actually going to make your business unsustainable in the long run. So instead, come up with a healthy mix of rebates and upsell and cross-sell opportunities. For instance, running a 'buy one get other at 50% discount' may be a better strategy than running a '25% store wide discount' strategy. While at a high level both might seem the same, but with 'buy one get other at 50% discount' strategy you are making the customers buy more, and hence reduce your overall inventory costs. This will also help you renegotiate prices with your vendors because you'll be selling more items. The '25% store wide discount' doesn't give any motivation to the consumers to buy more, and hence, it's just going to eventually cut down your top of the line.
4. Sell 'Uniqueness'
Usually most businesses stock up same or very similar looking products and just reduce the prices. Instead, find opportunities to sell 'unique' and 'one of a kind' products. This works really, really well if you are selling gift items and fashion products. Consumers are hungrier for unique products during holidays than at any other time of the year. The last thing any person wants to give as a gift to their loved ones is something they could have bought very easily anyway. Many consumers are willing to pay the premium if you can get them something unique. If you are in a position to provide some unique products, this is your chance to grab that business at a premium margin.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Competition
Holidays bring cut throat competition and many times a price war to the bottom. Keep a close eye on your local (both online and offline) competition. For instance what kind of promotions they are running, etc. Be ready to make changes to your strategy based on the situation.
All this is easier said than done. That's why you need a trust worthy marketing partner who can help you sail through the tough waters of holiday competition, help you focus on running your business, and keep you up to date with what needs to be done with respect to marketing, so that you can see those mind blowing double and even quadruple sales.