The holidays are here! That means small business should be gearing up for a busy holiday season and thinking of ways to bring El Paso and Borderland shoppers to their stores or websites.
The National Retail Federation has forecast a busy season for businesses this year: retail sales from November 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, to grow between 6 percent to 8 percent over last year’s sales. There’s plenty of opportunity this year!
Most holiday shopping tips are for consumers, but here are a few things businesses should keep in mind this holiday season.
Explain the “small print”
If you advertise a special deal or product, make sure you clearly disclose any specific considerations, such as ”while supplies last,” “to the first 100 customers,” or “valid from X to X.”
Update your holidays hours on storefronts and online
If you modify your hours, make sure you update your online platforms, such as Google and BBB.org, to reflect the temporary hours and don’t forget to change them back after the holidays.
Make return policies clear
Return policies are especially important for holiday shoppers who are buying gifts. You can have whatever return policy is best for your business, but make sure it is clearly disclosed at the checkout and on the receipt.
Make it easy or rewarding for customers to shop in-person
If possible, do something special to make a special in-store shopping experience, such as having snacks and/or drinks, complimentary gift wrapping, or a sitting area for children.
If you are having a promotion that you hope to draw a larger number of customers, do your best to staff for the increase to ensure a positive shopping experience.
Stay in touch with customers
Plan to send your customers a follow-up text or email in mid-January to let them know about 2023 special products or plans. This means you should have a plan to capture customers’ contact information through a form they can fill out or using apps or software that can do so.
Appreciate your employees
Keep your employee morale high. Recognize the extra work they may have had to do to prepare for and work during the season. Happy employees make happy customers.
With a little planning and clear communication to customers, you can create a memorable experience for them, which will keep them coming back to your business for their needs throughout the year.
Marybeth Stevens is CEO of the Better Business Bureau of El Paso. You can reach her at [email protected]