As we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that this year’s holiday season will bear little resemblance to those of years past. Many people are choosing to shop online, buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS), or have product delivered, either to their home of those of their gift recipients, and you, as a retailer, must think of new ways to gain their business.
While you may already have a well-established online clientele, it’s not too early (or too late) to think of creative ways to differentiate yourself from other stores in your niche and satisfy the needs of today’s shoppers.
The truth is, more people are shopping online than ever before. Even people who generally prefer to shop in-store are getting used to purchasing online and won’t even consider setting foot in a mall until it’s safe to do so. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t reap the rewards of holiday sales. All it takes is a little outside-the-box thinking, and you’ll be well-positioned for your best holiday season ever.
To delight your existing customers and gain a few new ones, why not get creative and offer unique holiday services they will appreciate? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Enhance Your eCommerce Presence. Do you sell through your website? If you haven’t yet set up an online store, it’s an easy way to increase sales and an innovative way to market your inventory. If you maintain a WordPress site, it’s easy to add an eCommerce plugin and get up and running quickly. Your online store is good for SEO as well, so you might just pick up a little extra web traffic beyond what’s typical.
- Buy Online Pickup In Store. Make it easy for your local customers to buy from you. Give them the option to purchase through your website and pickup their order up in-store. You might even offer contactless or curbside pickup, depending on demand. Ask your customers the flexibility they want and they’ll never let you down.
- Offer Free Shipping and Gift Packaging. The easier you can make it for your customers, the more delighted they will be! Offer gift packaging, and include gift cards with personalized messages. You’ll spend a little extra time wrapping, but many carriers offer bulk shipping deals and discounts that make it affordable for you to take it on.
- Start Marketing Now. Leverage your email list to market holiday specials and packages via newsletters. Offer your email list special discount codes, and encourage them to buy early to avoid the rush. Industry insiders predict that consumers will start shopping earlier in the season due to October’s Prime Day event, so we may see a surge of buying that predates previous years’ trends.
- Order Early to Secure Adequate Stock. If the shopping season is longer than usual this year, it stands to reason that you’ll need more inventory. The last thing you want is to be sold out when customers are still banging on your doors – so plan well and secure your most popular items well in advance. Due to staff shortages and unpredictable supply chain delays, our lead times have increased significantly, so it’s never too early to secure your holiday orders.
As always, we work hard to ensure your success, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you manage through these unprecedented times. If you have any questions or concerns about your holiday orders or need more creative ideas to get you going, reach out today.