Small Business Saturday is the zenith of the holiday shopping season for small business owners. The forecasted holiday retail sales spend is expected to be up over last year’s at $617 billion. To capitalize on this huge opportunity to get people spending money with your small business and into your sales funnel, avoid making these costly mistakes:
- Attempting to compete with Big Box retailers. The reality is that your small business can’t offer the same promotions and savings that Meijer, Target and other retail giants can, so trying to compete with their model can do more damage. In fact, shoppers report that they are willing to pay more for the small business experience. Offer bundled savings and special promotions that are designed to bring consumers back into your business and add more value.
- Emphasize Value over Price. Don’t be afraid to promote the benefits of shopping small for the local economy and community. Celebrating Small Business Saturday is the main stage for independent retailers; don’t miss an opportunity to shine by showcasing what makes shopping at your business a great investment.
- Avoid being short-staffed. Be intentional about offering your sales team the customer service training they need to ensure both loyal and first-time patrons have a pleasant shopping experience. Happy customers are returning customers, but more importantly they are referring customers that can bring even more people into your small business.
- Making returns difficult. No matter how painful it can be to process a return transaction, proceed with caution when it comes to this unavoidable practice, especially during the holiday season. Keep consumer relationship- building top of mind, remembering that an easy return minus unnecessary drama can mean many return trips.
- Having no social identity. Let’s face it, if people can’t find you online, especially on the social platforms that we have grown accustomed to like Pinterest and Instagram, it’s very unlikely that they will find their way to your brick and mortar location. In fact, social media posts featuring customer service and product reviews are a key factor in determining where and how shoppers buy. A loosely maintained social media presence can indicate to some shoppers that your business is untrustworthy or even worse, non-existent.