Are you Ready for Holiday Shoppers?
If you have your holiday retail plan all worked out, congratulations. You’re ahead of the game, but not by much. The good news is that there’s still time to have a big finish to your year with some quick planning and a few marketing activities.
North Americans travel extensively throughout the fall. Whether by car or plane or train, the suitcases and duffle bags come out and small-size toiletries go in. So creating TSA Approved sizes (3.4 oz/100ml) and marketing them as Carry-On Approved can help sway customers to pick them up. These travel size bottles also make great stocking stuffers, and hostess gifts. We like to keep a few sets of small size gels, lotions, and cremes for any guests who spend the night. Take a look at some of the packaging companies, like Containers & Packaging for ideas on small-size packing options.
Small sizes are also great for seasonal items, including bath salts, shimmery lotions, and srubs. Add in a seasonal scent like peppermint, gingerbread, chocolate, pomegranite or even evergreen and a standard product is now “seasonal.” Add a seasonal gel and you can create a three or four item gift set perfect for teachers, aunts, cousins, nieces or anyone you want to remember with a little something this winter.
Buying local is a big trend and the holiday season is a perfect time to make yourself known to local buyers. Holiday markets and craft fairs, local Farmer’s Markets, even the local main street parade are great ways to find new customers who don’t go to your salon or spa.
Online marketing services like Living Social, Marchex, and ZipSocial have tools and programs to specifically bring in local customers to your physical store or to your website. Some include click-to-call services, too.
Add a prominent statement on your website about being a local business and if you’ve been around a while, add the number of years or generations you’ve been in business.
If you’re known for giving back to the community, promote a %-back to a local charity. Or even become a collection point for food, coats or whatever you can handle.
As a small or mid-sized business, chances are you are always strapped for resources. Partnering with nonprofits, other local merchants and organizations can benefit both parties.
- Offer the local PTSA’s a discount on a gift set designed for teachers or coaches.
- Partner with florists to offer your scrubs and butters, and you promote their seasonal arrangements.
- Ask you local chamber if they have a last-minute-gift table at their December meeting. If not … you can save the day.
- Partner with your local neighborhood to host a carolling and decorating day and give attendees a gift with purchase.
Don’t Forget Digital
Digital marketing can play a big role beyond reaching local customers. Connect first with your current customers, sending them a beautiful email announcing your holiday collection and gift ideas. (Low-tech works great, too; produce a gorgeous postcard to get the message out or leave courtesy messages when you make appointment reminder calls.) If you take orders on your website, direct them there. If not, ask them to call. You can either set them aside for pick up, or mail them in a beautiful gift box– for an extra fee, of cousre.
Look to Groupon, Amazon, Shopify for Facebook, Etsy and other retail outlets for reaching beyond your local neighborhood. I’m particularly pleased about Facebook’s program for selling direclty from your Facebook page. If you have a strong FB or social media presence in general, direct people to your FB page to order. You’ll gain social engagement and a sale. Try buying an ad on FB instead of boosting. You’ll get better targeting, broader reach and better analytics.
Create a social media strategy that includes gift ideas, greeting card ideas, historical holiday traditions in your community or whatever your customers like and expect from you.
Now is the time to test your holiday messages and you can do that quickly and easily through social media. Ask questions about holiday gift buying challenges, ask your customers what they want in their travel bag and so forth. You can get relevant research data in a short amount of time.
We Can Help
If you haven’t planned your holiday line yet, there are a couple of ways to still get product in time. You can ask us to fill travel or full-size bottles and jars with one of our winter or holiday appropriate products, like our Chocolate Body Butter Scrub, Peppermint Lotion, Lavender Shortbread Cookie Scrub, and AHA Mint Walnut Body Polish. .
You can also ask us to scent one of our existing bases, like our Shea Butter Creme or our Indulgent Face and Body Balm, or you can buy them, along with your desired Essential Oil or Essential Oil Blend and package them yourself. We’ll brainstorm unique scent profiles with you and can even help with packaging ideas and resources.
Let us know your holiday ideas. Are you planning anything special? Do you create a holiday line? What’s worked for you?