It’s not even Halloween yet, but let’s talk Black Friday and beyond— Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, which hit shortly after. As brands of all sizes have learned, this period of intense competition for consumer attention (and dollars) isn’t just about low, low prices. It’s also about the complete consumer experience and perceived value. This is where smaller businesses can really best larger competitors.
Let’s hit a few items that ‘the little guys’ can glob onto this shopping season…
If your small business exists purely online— making communication feel more direct and personal will win your brand brownie points. (They aren’t just Order ID AXKEJY19563, they have a name.) Simply personalize email communication/ order confirmations via a template tweak and be sure to engage with consumers via your brand’s social media channels. Slipping a small handwritten note into online orders is also a clever move.
Speak to them, not at them.
Positive Experience Building
Not everyone wants to fight through the sea of humanity at big box stores during Black Friday and the weeks leading up to the holidays. Many shoppers will veer towards small businesses and take advantage of Small Business Saturday specials. Consider creating a unique experience for those visiting your store that larger retailers can’t touch. Making your place a haven from chaos is beneficial and memorable. A little old fashioned customer service goes a looong way.
Consider throwing in a valuable extra goody such as free shipping, free gift bag, free monogram, free gift message, etc. It doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, people appreciate useful things that make their lives a bit easier.
Reward loyalty by offering up special deals and benefits to reward punch-card holders, early bird shoppers, the first 20 in-store visitors, etc. Consumers like to feel like their business is noticed and appreciated. They can take their money practically anywhere— show them why they should stick with your business and don’t take them for granted. Small businesses have the advantage of being more intimately linked to clients— use that edge and optimize it.
Sure you want to make $$$, but there’s more to life than what’s in your cash register. The holidays remind us to be grateful and giving to others. Brands can join in too— even tiny ones— do some good and differentiate your business in the process. Pick a deserving cause that links up well with your products or services. Help consumers recognize the value of this charitable push and make them feel good about helping your business make a positive impact. It can be a simple as donating a percentage from each purchase to a cause.
Before the ‘crazy’ strikes, be sure to have a serious ‘Black Friday & Beyond’ brainstorming session with your team and build off of these little idea nuggets! Your business may be small, but don’t make the mistake of thinking small!