The holidays are just around the corner. With them comes visiting family and friends – and buying them presents, too! Retailers are already looking out for potential customers, not only for their brick-and-mortar locations – during Black Friday or Small Business Saturday® – but also online during Cyber Monday.
It may seem hard for local businesses to compete with retail and online giants like Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy, but more and more consumers are looking locally at smaller businesses to satisfy their needs. In fact, did you know that 90 percent of Americans shop at a small business at least once a week?
There’s no doubt that customers are eager to bring new business to local businesses, and the holiday season is the perfect time to do so.
How Local Businesses Can Captivate Their Audience
There are almost 30 million small businesses in the United States, which gives consumers a lot of options when it comes to holiday shopping. These tried-and-true techniques will help local businesses stand out from the crowd and captivate the attention of holiday shoppers.
Retailers everywhere are savage when it comes to Black Friday deals. It’s hard for small and local businesses to compete with their prices and hours. Each year they start earlier, with some stores now opening as early as 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
While Black Friday offers a great opportunity for local businesses to make some sales ahead of the holidays, it’s likely that consumers will choose big brands and stores to get what they’re looking for – but that doesn’t mean local businesses should give up and close up!
Tactics Local Businesses Can Employ on Black Friday
- Release some deals, but not all of them – and certainly not the juiciest!
- Use social media to entice consumers into wanting to visit their location. Posting graphics and status updates to let consumers in on their plans is a great idea. For example: Check back in on Thursday afternoon to learn more about our #BlackFriday deals!
- Update current business hours on their website, online directories and listings. Businesses must absolutely let people know if they’re open or not, and their hours of operation.
Local businesses should save the best deals for Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday was created by American Express back in 2010 as a way to incentivize consumers to buy from small businesses. The next year, the U.S. Senate even passed a resolution in its support! Local businesses should roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of attracting potential customers to capitalize on this day.
Celebrate Small Business Saturday with a Bang
- Set up pay-per-click campaigns that let people know the local business is offering some great deals at their brick-and-mortar location.
- Update the local business’ website with information on the juicy deals they’ll be offering.
- Businesses in a service industry can offer coupons that are redeemable at a later time. For example, a coupon for a free mold inspection within the next 90 days.
Local businesses that also have a strong online presence could take advantage of Cyber Monday as well.
On Cyber Monday, the big online companies come out guns-blazing. They just want to grab the consumer’s attention – and they’ll do it anyway they can. This certainly doesn’t mean that small and local businesses can’t play in the same space, however. Cyber Monday should be taken advantage of by the small and local businesses that have an online presence and a way for customers to shop or buy online.
And consumers really do want to be able to shop online. In fact, according to Google, in the past two years searches for “shopping app” have jumped 90 percent, while searches for “online shopping” have grown 180 percent in the same period.
These powerful stats should tell businesses that, while consumers are craving the physical interaction with the business’ products, they are craving practicality and ease even more.
How to Shine on Cyber Monday
- Consumers want to see more businesses and brands that tailor their shopping experience to them. Using personalization to send them deals for things they’ve bought in the past (or companion products) can go a long way!
- Bring online and offline together by adding coupons to the local business’ Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listing, and give consumers the option to redeem them in-store.
- Offer exclusive online deals through Google Business Profile and/or the business’ website.
These are only a few ways that local businesses can capture more online visibility during the holidays – visibility that could result in additional revenue ahead of year-end!
Turn Booming Holiday Sales Into Year-Round Growth
While these ideas will help a local business leverage popular holiday shopping trends, remember, helping local businesses get seen and achieve success needs to happen year-round! And we can help you make that happen. Run our free online visibility report today and identify the areas of opportunity where you can help them even more.