Capturing shoppers' very divided attention during the holiday season is somewhat of a miracle, and it's easy to get discouraged when you're spending marketing dollars without guaranteed sales. Several quilt shop owners have told me the holidays are their slowest time, but, if done right, the holidays can be a booming time of year! We've compiled 3 tips to help you and your shop succeed at bringing in even more sales during the most cheerful time of the year!
-Promote new holiday products
Many customers will find that shopping online can help minimize their time buying gifts for the holidays. The last thing you want is for your customers to miss out on all the latest trends. Upload any new holiday products you have both on your website and social media accounts. Showcasing new products, is a sucessful tool in capturing shoppers divided attention.
-Include any deals or promotions you may have going on
If you plan on doing a sale for the holidays like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday make sure to advertise it everywhere. This is also a good time to post your holiday sales and deals to social media. For example, if you're running a 50% off select fabrics promotion for Small Business Saturday, be sure to include a post on your Instagram and/or Facebook pages, you'll want to reach as many customers as possible. If you need help with making an exciting and engaging Instagram post check out our recent blog post, Tips on Running a Successful Instagram Strategy.
-Shipping and delivery options
Creating a sense of urgency is very important in making sure your customers don't wait until the last possible minute. Most customers will already be shopping early, but try including a shipping calendar apprising them of arrival times based on their purchase date featuring an in store pick up option. One sale boosting suggestion is a free-shipping promotion that runs during a specific period of time. Pick an early time frame such as the month of October or November, that way customers feel the urgency to purchase now rather than later.
-Hold a last minute holiday class for your customers
Everyone loves a fun quilt along or in store quilting class. What better time of the year than to gather a group of friends and quilters together? Some examples of classes may include a holiday BOM, table runners, pillow covers, wall hangings, etc. If you're not quite sure of what event to hold , Lori Holt @beelori1, has shown us exactly how it's done. At the beginning of August she launched a brand new Autumn Love Sew Along by Riley Blake Designs. Each week she posts the block pattern, tutorial, and guide on her blog sewing right along side of you. Engaging with customers is a sure way to drive those sales!
-Create your own holiday campaign such as the 12 days of Christmas
Holiday campaigns are a great way to keep your sales out of the slumps. Such campaigns can either be focused on a specific holiday or the season in general. One example is a 12 days of Christmas campaign. For each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas select a certain product to be given away. Back in 2016, Andover Fabrics ran a similar campaign with an Alison Glass holiday giveaway on their Instagram account featuring our own Native Rays Kit.
-Email and Newsletters
Brand loyalty is key to increasing sales. Not all of your emails and newsletters have to include promotional material. Sometimes it's more ideal to include a simple "Happy Holidays and "Thanks for Shopping With Us" in your weekly newsletters. Take the time to send out holiday greetings and thank you's to those customers who have signed up to hear from you... after all that's why they subscribed right!?
-Giveaway free holiday gifts with a purchase or send electronically
We understand that giving your customers free products might not be the cheapest option when it comes to boosting sales, but it has it's benefits. Try sending free patterns through media mail or giving away a free mini charm pack with each purchase. Want to do something in store that doesn't require giving away loads of free stuff to every customer? Consider an in store drawing for "X" amount of days, such as spend $25 and receive an entry to win a popular quilt kit and supplies from your shop.
The holidays don't have to be the slowest time of the year for your quilt shop. By simply implementing these 3 tips into your holiday marketing plan, you're sure to find it can be the most booming time of the year! "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out"-R. Collier.