The weather has started to cool down and people are packing away their summer clothes in exchange for scarves and sweaters, meaning that fall is upon us and winter is knocking on the door. While it may not seem like it’s time, preparations are already underway for the 2014 holiday season. Companies across the country are making plans for their holiday promotions and determining the strategies they will use to draw in customers during the year’s busiest shopping period.
As a small business owner, getting a jump start now on prepping your operations for the end of the year can reap huge benefits. Taking the time to develop a brand positioning strategy that includes how you want to market to existing and prospective clients can keep customers coming in throughout the holidays and after the season is over.
Holiday sales expected to increase
Over the past few years, sales from holiday purchases have been steadily increasing. This trend is expected to continue this year, as estimates from the National Retail Federation reveal that a 4.1 percent growth in retail sales is anticipated throughout November and December, accounting for a total of $616.9 billion.
The NRF points to increasing consumer optimism and recent job growth as the main reasons for higher holiday sales.
“Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
Businesses can get piece of holiday sales pie
While the boost in holiday spending will be seen at larger retailers, businesses should know that they can also take a significant share of the anticipated sales growth. All it takes is a strong plan and solid preparation.
Entrepreneur offers several ways in which smaller enterprises can bring in customers and revenue this holiday season, including reaching out to existing patrons before the shopping frenzy starts. Through email, social media or more traditional marketing forms, you can remind your clients that your company is there to meet their holiday needs.
Additionally, the source suggests promoting your enterprise’s smaller size by promising customers more personalized service and experiences, which is something they may not always get when buying their holiday items from larger companies. By letting current and future patrons know their business is valuable and will be handled with personalized care can draw them in and keep them throughout the holiday season and even long after.
Having a strong online presence is also key for the upcoming busy shopping period, according to Deloitte. Going digital is now extremely important for businesses, and maintaining a website, social media profiles and Internet marketing strategies can increase your company’s customer base and revenues.
Deloitte found that more than 50 percent of holiday sales will be influenced by customers going digital, meaning that you can see ultimate business success during the upcoming months by developing your brand’s online activity.