How small businesses can amp up their holiday

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How small businesses can amp up their
holiday sales
DIANA RANSOM
DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER
Monday, December 13th 2010, 1:32 PM
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Although many consumers remain hesitant to spend in these still-rocky economic times,
here are five tips for small businesses to lure customers to fill their shopping bags:
Join the conversation: If you're trying to get shoppers in the door, networking on sites like
Facebook and Twitter can help engage with current customers, who can then amp up their
chatter about your company.
EDITORS' PICKS
"People will be more likely to check out [your business] if a friend tells them to," said Jamie
Monberg, chief experience officer at Hornall Anderson, a brand design firm in Seattle.
Knox: I was sexually
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Offer selective discounts: Dishing out special deals to valued customers might bring in
more shoppers, but establish time limits. Deal and sample sale websites like DealPop,
LivingSocial, Woot and Gilt Groupe are tapping into people's penchant for saving — and
their impulsiveness.
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in Italy, claims prison official
harassed her.
"If you feel like your going to get a deal, and it won't be around for long, you may do it,"
Monberg said.
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Don't overspend on marketing: The cost of cultivating new customers is typically higher
during the holidays.
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"Since getting them in for a trial is an expensive proposition, a bigger win for businesses is
to try and kick off more of a dating situation than a relationship," he said. For instance, wine
and dine them with customer service and gift ideas that'll turn their heads.
Put customers first: Not only will customer service be key, customer experience is also
vital, said Richard Bates, chief creative officer at the Brand Union, a branding firm in
Manhattan.
"People are going to pick a store based on the line length; how well or how quickly they can
get in and out," he said. "Think about how you can give them a really positive experience."
If you can, offer perks like complimentary gift wrapping or cookies and you'll be sure to
please, Bates said.
Stay in touch: When shoppers make purchases, be sure to say thank you — at the point
of purchase and later via email or (gasp!) a paper card.
"Check in with giftees too, to make sure they like the product," Monberg recommended. As
a small shop, you're trying to stand out from the big guys — not be the big guys, he said.
[email protected]
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