12 Small Business Tips for the Holiday Shopping Season

Have you ever wanted to see more success from your holiday sales campaigns?  CenturyLink can help set your business up for marketing and sales success, not just for the holidays, but through 2018 as well.

The holiday season is the perfect springboard to success in the new year. Now is the time to deck the halls with plenty of tinsel, build gingerbread houses and of course, listen to your favorite holiday tunes. As the classic song, the 12 Days of Christmas, is jamming through your speakers this season, make sure your small business also marches to the beat of many drummers drumming and grabbing all the golden rings to shine in these 12 ways.

       1. Personalize the experience

Each time you communicate with a potential customer, whether by email or in person, there’s a chance to personalize the experience. 73 percent of retail customers prefer to buy from brands that use their personal information to make their experience more relevant (1). Customizing emails, greeting each customer by name whenever possible and even helping with tasks such as holding the door all go a long way.

       2. Don’t be afraid to send emails

Speaking of emails, an email campaign notifying customers of holiday sales and events is a great way to generate store traffic and online sales. Even if you already have a bi-weekly or monthly email newsletter going out, don’t be afraid to send out separate emails as a part of a marketing campaign if the information is valuable to the customer. Be sure to court them personally in the email—according to Hubspot, using the recipient’s first name in the subject line increases response to emails. Send customers discounts just for them, or specials that are not available to the general public (2).

        3. Hold an event 

Be a part of an already ongoing event or host your own! Either way, be sure that it ties in to your products or services in some way. Is it entertainment? A special sale for attendees? Free gift wrapping? Think about what it would take to get existing customers and new customers to the event.

        4. Create a storefront that’s a work of art

When’s the last time a beautiful or unique storefront caught your eye? Take advantage of the extra foot traffic this holiday season and create a unique holiday window display. Use pretty lights and elements that will draw a crowd—they’ll be interested in what the rest of your store looks like. You can even offer a free hot drink or dessert when they come inside, which is seasonal and irresistible (2).

        5. Geofencing

It seems like people are always looking down, glued to their phones—unless they’re looking at holiday light displays or your beautiful storefront. Make sure that they don’t walk past your store without seeing it. To bring in customers near your store location, serve them ads on their mobile devices through geofencing. By using proximity marketing, you can entice shoppers to come in and offer them personalized offers.

         6. Get charitable

The holiday season is about giving, so partnering with a non-profit can help customers feel good about their purchases. Team up with a local charity that aligns with something your team is passionate about, and invite representatives to come to collect donations and share their message. You can also donate a percentage of your sales on a certain day to the non-profit, or collect donations of goods on-site.

        7. Everyone loves a bargain

Everyone loves a good sale—especially after Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over and they aren’t expecting one! Offering one bargain a day on a well-known item can work to bring shoppers in, and varying deals week-to-week can provide more reasons for customers to keep coming back.

         8. Go mobile

If your customers are on mobile, then your business must be as well. 62 percent of consumers report using their smartphones more than previous years to research holiday shopping (3). Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly (responsive) and social media channels active. Be available where your audience is, and make sure they can find you easily without having to hunt or struggle to view your website.

        9. Social media advertising

Invest $500, or whatever you can, in a social media campaign this holiday season. Let your customers know of special deals or events happening at your business. Facebook has powerful targeting capabilities that can ensure you reach exactly who you want to draw in, and putting money behind your posts or creating ads will ensure that your content is being seen. A plus: You can track results and see how your audience is responding in real time.

      10. Go live

Chances are you’ve seen a brand or celebrity on your newsfeed using Facebook Live. Live video can create an authentic experience—and the holidays are the perfect time for connection. That event we talked about earlier? Broadcast it live! It might inspire more people to come to your business.

     11. Engage influencers

Find three influencers around your area who fit with your brand, and invite them to your store to write a blog about their experience. This will expand your reach and get your products in front of more potential buyers. By selecting the right influencers that will be interested in what you offer, you can be sure that their followers will be interested, too. Give your influencers a unique promo code to give to their audience so you can track how many new customers are coming from each person.

      12. Set up your website so customers can buy gift cards online

It’s not a secret that online shopping has gotten increasingly popular. Why head out and fight crowds when you can easily hop online to snag a product? Even if gift cards are your sole web offering, enabling an online revenue stream means more ways for you to boost your holiday sales this holiday season.

By following these tips, you can be sure to have a successful holiday season —and 2018—for your small business. And remember, CenturyLink’s Santa helpers are here for you to launch your marketing program.


1.   8 Genius Ways to Make Your Small Business More Money This Holiday Shopping Season


2.   5 Ways to Create a Christmas Retail Push for Your Store


3.   5 Tips for Growing Your Small Business This Holiday Season