As of the moment I’m writing this, there are two weeks left before Christmas. If you are like me, you’re probably amazed (every year) how quickly the time goes between December 1st and December 24th. The calendar says that there are 23 days in that time span but I think it’s more like 3. Do you have enough time to help your community finish Small Business Season on a high note? Yes, and keep reading to find out how.
This time of year feels like Father Time is on amphetamines and you might wish you had some of your own.
But as quickly as it goes by, it’s also a time when your local small businesses can really shine. As supply chain issues linger and delivery dates loom–you can’t visit a website without seeing the Christmas order delivery deadlines in red–small businesses have an advantage.
If you need something quick, local businesses can generally accommodate you.
As the last push to Christmas shopping beats at our door, it’s important to finish Small Business Season strong. Here are some marketing, content and sales ideas for your chamber marketing campaigns to help you and your community businesses do that:
Last-minute Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
It’s time to reach out to all procrastinators with some personalized marketing messages to help small businesses in the final push of the holiday season. The “Think with Google” report (they share insights, trends and statistics) noted that convenience and urgency are key factors for last-minute shoppers. Successful businesses who want to bring in those procrastinators would be smart to play up those ideas in their marketing.
To appeal to last-minute shoppers, think creatively and quickly. Make your approach highly visual where images and videos rule. These ideas make excellent short content for your chamber social media channels over the next two weeks.
Last-minute Marketing and Content Ideas
While you don’t need to tell your community businesses how to run their stores or restaurants, helpful creative tips when many business owners aren’t feeling so creative can provide welcome assistance.
Encourage your businesses to feature a:
- daily video on perfect last-minute gifts in stock now.
- round-up of great service gift cards.
- TikTok or reel roasting last-minute gift givers.
- round-up of local gift baskets. People love it when the work is already done for them and baskets look so pretty.
- funny tutorial on how to wrap oddly-shaped items like golf clubs. This could really take off for businesses that sell big items.
- round up of last-minute ideas for under $20.
- social media flash sale that lasts only a few hours. This idea will condition customers to watch your social media channels and ensure they’re seeing your content as it’s published.
- free ornament for anyone who spends over a specified amount.
- fun name for your last-minute marketing strategy like the “Santa Dash.”
- decorated website with seasonal touches.
- marketing strategy around end of year or new year goals.
- Christmas countdown video or twist on the 12 Days of Christmas featuring small businesses or small business types or products like “Twelve lattes steaming, eleven engines revving, 10 trainers training,” featuring your local businesses etc.
Last-minute Marketing and Sales Strategies
In addition to marketing ideas, there are a few things you can suggest to your businesses to help them sell more in these critical last weeks to finish Small Business season with more sales and profits.
If the business sells products, they can instruct an employee to give out a bag or basket as people enter the store. In the book Why We Buy by Paco Underhill, Underhill noted that 75% of people who took a basket from an employee bought something versus 34% who didn’t. Shoppers make a mental correlation between convenience and purchases. Receiving a basket puts them in the mind to buy. After all, who wants to return the empty basket? They’re bound to find something wonderful. When a staff member hands the shopper a basket, it’s like they’re saying, you’re going to need this and the brain responds with a purchase 3/4 of the time.
While some people find constant offers to help annoying while browsing, offering to hold items for them as they look around, hold their coats, or otherwise make their shopping or waiting experience more pleasurable, can go a long way to increasing their number of purchases.
- Push add ons.
According to HubSpot, “You’re 60-70% likely to sell to an existing customer, compared to the 5-20% likelihood of selling to a new prospect.” Coach your last customer touch employees (the ones who have the last contact before money is exchanged) to suggest some add ons that make sense for what the customer is already purchasing. For instance, if someone is buying a gift card, make sure they know about your buy two, get one free offer. Also, take a hint from stores like TJ Maxx and grocery stores. They understand how standing in line provides a great opportunity for last-minute up-sells around the register.
- Gift card bonuses.
Encourage shoppers to buy gift cards for the gift card bonuses like buy a $100 gift card, get an additional $10. Then you have a nice stocking stuffer, extra gift for yourself, or–if you’re a chamber pro–something for your next raffle or gift basket. You can also encourage people to buy gift cards for things they know they will use in 2022, even if it’s not a gift. For instance, if you have a favorite pizza joint where you eat once a month, buy the card, get the bonus. Use it for yourself later.
Finally, it’s important to note that some procrastinators simply don’t get it all done by 12/25. Some continue to shop into the new year (as do recipients of gift cards). Remind your business members that 86% of those shoppers still use the search term “holiday-related shopping” to find gifts after Christmas.
If you want to help your community finish Small Business Season strong, it’s a good idea to share some last-minute marketing ideas and strategies. Who knows. Maybe you could use some of these ideas for marketing your own chamber last-minute holiday special.
Become part of the Small Business Season trend (it’s free) – https://bit.ly/sbsresources21
More from our Small Business Season Series:
Support Small Business – Why It’s a Big Deal
Small Business Season Statistics and Stories for Marketing
26 Ideas for Small Business Season Social Media Posts
6 Small Business Season Marketing Ideas for Chambers
16 Reasons to Shop Local Instead of Online (A “done for you” article for chambers to use)
Small Business Saturday? NO, It’s Small Business SEASON!