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Engaging your Customers over the Holiday Season

Are you ready for the holidays? No matter what you celebrate, this time of year creates a wonderful opportunity for engagement. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shoppers are planning on turning out in force this year, leaving your business poised for success.

Here is a look at five simple ways you can engage with customers over the holidays.

Start Early

An early campaign via email, on your website and in your brick-and-mortar store allows you to get into the festive frame of mind – and encourages your customers to do so as well. An early campaign lets buyers know what to expect, tells them know you have some exciting things coming up and ensures that they think of you when it is time to shop for holiday gifts and entertaining.

Keep it Social

Social media is always relevant, but during the holidays it is critical to let people know what your brand is doing and what you have to offer. You’ll also be able to contribute to ongoing conversations about community events, show off your holiday windows and even invite shoppers in out of the cold for a quick cup of coffee via your existing pages. Aim for daily posts this season and watch your engagement rates soar.

Participate in Community Events

From Christmas caroling to community gift fares and parades, participating visibly in community events enhances your brand’s presence and ensures you get a chance to engage with your target buyers. Events like Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24th this year) allow you to compete with larger brands (who will be pushing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Win on Service

A small retailer or service brand simply can’t compete with big brands on price – but during the stressful, busy holidays, you have the chance to differentiate yourself in another way. Offering enhanced service during this time will keep consumers coming back for more. Whether you offer personal shopping help, put together packages that make it easy to give gifts to teachers, kids or specific family members, or offer complimentary gift wrapping, outstanding service will help you engage and win you customers for life.

Pamper the Buyer

Your shoppers may already be stressed out – making your business an oasis of calm and providing some inexpensive but thoughtful extras can make all the difference. A small gift with purchase (that the buyer can enjoy), complimentary wish list or hint lists and other campaigns can keep your buyers coming back out of enjoyment and for the sheer convenience. A “treat yourself” campaign that offers a BOGO on an item you were putting on sale anyway allows the buyer to feel pampered and strike an item off of their to do list, too. Make it easy and enjoyable to buy and people will come back.

The holidays offer opportunities beyond just record-breaking sales. They give you the chance to stand out, to make a lasting impression and to engage with your community and prospects in a whole new way. Planning out some engagement touchpoints early in the season can help you make the most of this festive but frantic time of year.