It seems like just yesterday the stores were full of Halloween candy, but now that you can buy Christmas lights along with your turkey at the grocery store, it is clear that the holiday season is upon us. Hopefully you can take a break from your business for at least a day to enjoy Thanksgiving with your friends and family. (If not, take solace in knowing that you’re not alone.) But as soon as that big dinner gets cleared, shopping season takes off.
For many big retailers the fun starts on Thanksgiving Day. Following that there is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of December up until Christmas, then the after Christmas return period, and the end-of-year business buying spree. If you have a retail storefront or e-commerce business, you likely rely on this season for a healthy percentage of your yearly sales. But, even if you run a service business, the holidays are an important time for your company. They provide an opportunity to offer discounts for buying a year of service in advance (which can be a great cash-flow boost), or just to show appreciation for your loyal customers.
The following infographics and posts provide guidance, advice, and tips for making the most of the remainder of 2013:
- The Forbes post, Black Friday Week: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Small Business in the Game, provides advice on how to create a promotion that lasts through the first holiday shopping week and beyond.
- Get the Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions for help with all aspects of holiday promotions. This guide from CRM software provider Batchbook includes how to keep your email out of SPAM folders, when the best days are to send email, and help with gift-giving to your customers.
- For an entertaining look at providing great customer service during the busy holiday season, read the Yahoo Small Business post Holiday Customer Service Tips from the Movie “Elf”
- The Endicia infographic What E-Commerce Users Really Want highlights how free shipping and custom shipping services make a significant difference to online buyers.
- If you are shipping to customers this holiday season, be sure you know the deadlines for getting packages there on time. Review the guides for the US Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx.
- Don’t forget Mobile. This Shopgate Infographic details how US mobile commerce sales are expected to explode in 2013.
- And, certainly don’t forget social media, which should not only be a part of your holiday sales efforts, but also your customer service and customer relationship building. Two Social Media Today posts, Facebook Holiday Marketing Tips for Your Small Business and Social Media Tips for the 2013 Holiday Season, provide many useful tips.
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Image Credit: Sale Ornaments by One Way Stock, on Flickr