Seven last-minute ways to bump up your business bottom line
Don’t get lost in the holiday shuffle. Join us at an upcoming VBEC seminar on boosting your business holiday sales, generating holiday leads, creating effective limited-time offers and planning for a successful new year:
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 3
TIME: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bathurst Clark Resource Library, 900 Clark Ave. W.
Here are seven last-minute ways to bump up your brand’s bottom line — and just in time for the holiday season:
- Ramp up your online presence. Nearly 60 per cent of consumers do some holiday shopping online, making the web a leading channel for holiday sales. Women are more likely than men to shop online and women with children at home are even more likely to make purchases over the Internet. Capitalize on this growing trend. Studies also show the most effective campaigns appeal to women through social media images and by connecting the transaction with a social cause.
- Extend your hours. Many shoppers find the holiday season challenging for finding the perfect personalized gift for everyone on their shopping list. It’s unlikely to find all wish-list items in one place, which means many shoppers are faced with time constraints. One way to boost holiday sales is by extending your business hours. Offering flexible hours makes it easier for customers to do business with you.
- Spread the cheer. Create “gift with purchase” promotions for high-margin products. Consider having “loss-leaders,” which means pricing a particular item well below market value in order to stimulate the sale of other goods. Last year, Target Canada gave away a $5 gift card for select purchases. This not only helped to boost overall sales, but it helped boost sales of certain goods.
- Offer free shipping or delivery. Free shipping is the number one promotion that shoppers respond to. As the holidays draw near, consider offering deals on expedited shipping — shoppers want to know they have options for last-minute shopping. Make sure your shipping deadlines and stock levels are communicated clearly so customers don’t miss out and can order on time.
- Hire staff and focus on service. As a small business, personalized customer service is your best asset. The holiday season can be a stressful time, and having plenty of well-trained staff responding to customer service inquiries and fulfilling requests is key to a positive customer experience and return business.
- Arrange special deals. Cost-conscious consumers will be looking for unique products and good deals this holiday season. Display some pre-wrapped grab-and-go items in categories like “foodie gifts” or “hostess gifts” that time-pressed shoppers can pick up on the way to a party.
- Get organized. The holiday season extends all the way to the new year, so make every day count. Create a schedule to track your business events, promotions, product introductions, shipping offers, emails and other marketing offers. Plan ahead to have all the details in place, that way you’re focused on flawless execution at the busiest time of year!
Small Business Consultant
Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC)
Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at www.vaughan.ca.