According to a recent Holiday Shopping Survey from Accenture, “consumers are bargain hunting for their holiday haul all year round” and “are less inclined to shop on traditional peak holiday shopping days this year and more likely to search for and buy the best bargains online than in stores.” What does this mean for small business owners? This doesn’t mean it’s time to take all of your efforts online and close up shop. Rather, it’s an opportunity to cater to your customers and offer a unique shopping experience that is anything but stressful and frenzied.
Here are 5 ways you can create a relaxed environment that encourages shoppers to decompress and recommend your business to friends.
Consider Extended Holiday Hours
While other large businesses are opening ridiculously early (or late, depending on how you look at it) on Black Friday, stay open a little bit longer throughout the holiday season. This way, shoppers won’t feel overwhelmed at the thought of fighting 5 o’clock traffic to reach their destination. Whatever holiday hours you do choose, make sure your website and social media channels are updated to reflect the changes!
Organize your Store According to Need
A stressful and frenzied shopping experience is unavoidable in a store that’s unorganized. The store layout should complement your shoppers’ needs — gifts for her in one section, gifts for guys in another — and the stocking stuffers near the register! Ensure your sales staff is familiar with the layout and available to brainstorm gift ideas with shoppers. Friendly and helpful customer service can make all the difference in a shopper’s experience.
Make it a Relaxing Experience
For many, a trip to the hair salon is considered a relaxing experience. Oftentimes, a glass of wine or a craft beer is offered to the patron — which makes getting a haircut much more enjoyable. Boutique stores have begun to mimic this trend by setting out baked goods near the entrance, with sparkling water to accompany the treat. This makes holiday shopping feel more like an experience rather than a rushed errand.
Offer Gift Cards
For the shoppers that can’t be enticed to stick around by baked goods or are too rushed to notice a well-organized layout, allow them to get in and out by purchasing a gift card at the register. Not just any old gift card, but a card that is store-branded and boosts name recognition! If your small business doesn’t have this payment option in place, give us a call — we’ll be happy to get you set-up!
If you have a product that can be sold online, it may be time to invest in e-commerce. While this solution isn’t as simple as picking up cookies from Costco, online shopping will only continue to grow. To take advantage of the booming web-based opportunities, merchants need a payment-processing partner that is dedicated to developing and providing superior technological solutions and service. We provide the very latest in credit card processing technology, security, and flexibility. Our office is always open to discuss what it takes to implement e-commerce.