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With the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping, restaurant and store owners face a challenge again this season to lure consumers in-store for holiday purchases. How can you compete with the Internet and other brick-and-mortar stores for customer attention and purchase dollars? Below are some innovative and exciting ideas to make your holiday season both fun and profitable. You may even gain customer loyalty that outlives the season of giving!
- Draw a creative and colorful design on your window-front using POSCA markers. These markers are perfect for both creating witty, playful displays and providing passersby with critical information like store hours. What’s good about Posca paint ink is that it can easily be removed from nonporous surfaces like glass. If you’re looking for a more permanent signage display, the water-based pigment ink stays permanently on paper and canvas and won’t bleed through. When you’re ready to change up the display simply wipe the surface with water and start again.
- Keep the doors open – weather permitting. Keeping your doors open encourages and welcomes people to enter the store. A blast of warm air and some holiday tunes might be just what a window-shopper needs to take their curiosity from the window display into the store.
- Host a small store front party such as a “Shop-N-Sip” where customers can enjoy a free hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for simply coming in store. The more time customers who spend in your store, the more likely they are to walk away with a purchase (which means more cha-ching in your cash register). Make the event worth the attending by planning giveaways, hosting snacks and drinks, and hiring a musician to perform live music.
- Decorate! Nothing sets the mood for the holidays quite like a snowman or some twinkle lights. Make shopping less of a hassle and more of a memorable outing. Set up a photo-booth that happy customers can take a photo in while they’re in store. If you’re lucky the customers will not only come back, but also share their experience with friends and family on social media. The more exposure your brand gets, the more floor traffic.
- Shorten waiting times for checkout. Long wait times deter customers and kill sales. Busy clients might abandon their shopping carts if the checkout line is too long, and they don’t have the patience to wait. To prevent abandoned carts ensure you are fully staffed for the season and try keeping more registers open so there is no “traffic back-up”. Alternatively, use a tablet POS system as a portable register so you can check guests out from anywhere in store. Consider introducing mobile ordering or shortening the steps needed to check out.
- Partner with a local non-profit organization like a food pantry or town school. The holidays are about more than just giving gifts to friends and family. It’s a perfect time of year to plan to give back to the community. Run a promotional day at your place of business where a small portion of every purchase goes back to the organization with whom you’ve partnered. One example of how your business could execute on this idea would be letting potential customers know “We will donate $10 to the local food pantry for every $100 spent in store.” Charitable campaigns like this may help drive traffic to your store, but it will also help you connect with your community.
W.B. Mason wishes you success in your sales throughout this holiday season!