It's not unusual for businesses to focus on attracting customers with enticing last-minute holiday deals. However, if you're not working on bringing in more early holiday shoppers, you're going to miss out on a large source of income. In fact, a survey by the National Retail Federation found that holiday consumers tend to make 53 percent of their seasonal purchases before Dec. 10.
What about the other 47 percent? This portion is on the other end of the spectrum, usually waiting until the eleventh hour to get their gifts. These respondents blamed not knowing what to buy as the reason for waiting, while 1 in 5 simply admitted that they're procrastinators.
What can you learn from this? While your small business may be ready to cater to the 47 percent of holiday shoppers, there are even more who are looking to check everything off their gift lists early. Don't underestimate the number of consumers who want to get a head start this season. Use these techniques to draw the early birds into your business.
- Promote early November deals - Don't wait until after Black Friday to advertise your holiday deals. Start promoting them in early November to begin raking in sales.
- Inspire with holiday spirit - Spruce up your website with festive decor and go all out in your store with lights, tinsel and other decorations that show visitors you're all about spreading the holiday cheer.
- Provide loyalty incentives - Promote deals that will benefit consumers throughout the season, such as a certain percentage back in store credits on purchases.
- Know what your competitors are offering - Try to outdo the deals offered by competing businesses. Even if all your company can do is match them for a limited time, keeping an eye on competitors will make sure you don't fall behind.
- Offer free shipping - Free shipping is one of the deals that holiday shoppers look for most, so start offering it early in the season.