The holiday season is upon us, and businesses everywhere are gearing up sales and marketing campaigns to reap a harvest from the seasonal consumers’ huge spending spree. One company has found a way to use holiday packaging to add a brand asset to its already immensely popular drink menu -The Starbucks Red Cup campaign.
Each year since 1997, Starbucks has presented its Red Cup campaign to observe the holiday season and embrace the perfect Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha, or Holiday Blend. The Holiday Red Cup design has changed over the years, but it always incorporates the company’s iconic and seductive Siren woodcut along with the bright red color emblematic of this season.
As the holidays approach, they bring with them one of the largest shopping seasons of the year. According to two separate retail trade groups there’s good news on the horizon for retailers: consumers are estimated to spend more, and spend it faster despite distractions like unpredictable weather and the recent presidential election.
In a press release at the beginning of October, the National Retail Federation predicated that sales during the holiday season will increase by 3.6%, reaching $655.8 billion, which is markedly higher than the ten-year average of 2.5%.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just the time of year for flower shops or candy stores to cash in. Small retail shops can get hit by Cupid’s arrow this year too with these ideas to entice their customers. Let’s get right to it:
- Deck your store with hearts galore: Though the idea might seem silly, decorate your store with paper hearts, white lace, heart-toting teddy bears, flowers and anything else your creative mind comes up with. If you are in the spirit, it will persuade customers to get in the holiday spirit and, even if they don’t have a certain special someone to buy for, the might be incline to purchase something for a friend, child, or family member.
- Celebrate the whole month with coupon specials: Who says Valentine’s Day can only be celebrated on February 14th? Spread the love for the entire month of February by sending out coupons to your customers, one for each day/week of the month and each offering something special, such as BOGO or two for $20 deals. You can email them to your customers, go old-fashioned with snail mail, and/or have inserts at the cash register, giving them to customers personally as they leave your store. Each day in February can be a great day for your customers to shop at your store.
After the holiday whirlwind, it is time to start the new year of 2016 with a bang! How do you continue to keep the steady flow of customers coming in after the holiday season? The answer is to take advantage of the many Q1 holidays and use these clever strategies to ensure that business keeps booming.
Q1 Holidays to keep in mind:
- Valentine’s Day: The ultimate day for expressing love and appreciation for the special people in life. Start planning now!! Consider putting together gift baskets with a sampling of your products as an easy “grab-and-go” gift idea for your customers. Spruce up the baskets by adding red or pink themed ribbons and packaging to give it that perfect touch. For companies that provide more of a service than a product, your basket could include a gift card with candy or some other small treat.
- For President’s Day, offer “Presidential Discounts.” For example, if the customer spends $10 or more, they save one George Washington ($1). If they spend $100 or more, they get the Andrew Jackson discount ($20).
- Your St. Patrick’s Day promotion might be 25% off of everything green in your store or a promotional campaign on “green” products that you offer.
Black Friday is just around the corner! With a growing emphasis on supporting local businesses and “Small Business Saturday,” modest-sized shops, stores, and restaurants not only need to be prepared for increased sales on November 27, but they need to get the word out to their community about holiday sales! Here are some helpful marketing and management tips for small retailers to make the most of Black Friday:
- GIVEAWAYS: Choose some of your best products to include in a customer giveaway or contest on your social media channels. You can achieve this by requiring social media users to share your Black Friday post in order to enter the contest. This will drive people to your website or brick-and-mortar store to check out other items or sales – or to buy more of the giveaway products as gifts for others!
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Most small businesses do not have a large advertising budget, so take advantage of the age of social media to promote your Black Friday sales. By offering giveaways and contents through social media (see bullet above!), you can build up a large following online, where you can then push promotions, sales, and special offerings to increase revenue this holiday season.
- STAFFING: Even if you run your business throughout the year with only a minimal staff, make sure to bring in extra help on Black Friday and for the entire holiday season. First impressions are everything, and having a customer wait for an extended time to check out or for help can leave a lasting negative impact.