Stop the Madness! Thanksgiving weekend used to be the best of times for retailers. The official start of the holiday season had merchants seeing green in their registers and black on their balance sheets. But between store stampedes, parking lot violence and protests by over-scheduled workers, Black Friday has become bad news.
It’s time to revive the Christmas spirit by giving your customers and employees the gift of a happy holiday season. If this all sounds too Pollyanna, consider Miracle on 34th Street. Because Mr. Macy backed his Santa as he spread Christmas cheer (instead of up-selling), his customers showed their gratitude by spending their cash in his store instead of Gimbels.
Here are four ways to declare 2012 the year of shopping civility.
Good will to men
Practice the golden rule with everyone: browsers, repeat customers and employees. Endorse the Let Them Eat Turkey movement. Make spirits bright by allowing your customers and employees to dash through the snow not the aisles with reasonable store hours and long-lasting, plentiful bargains. Generosity of spirit is contagious and you will reap the rewards in sales.
Repeat the sounding joy…
…of cash registers throughout the shopping season. Go beyond Cyber Monday specials and tailor a sale day to your customers’ shopping habits. Crunch the numbers from last year for ideas and then get creative. I’d buy bedding on Tuckered Tuesday. Read all about the standard days that drive sales in Bring Joy to Your Q4.
I have no gift to bring
You don’t have to offer $19 Blu-ray players to get sales. Share the love with your best customers by offering the humble gift of free shipping. Your competitors are, and websites like Freeshipping.com are connecting shoppers with retailers who participate in Free Shipping Day (this year it’s December 17).
Do you hear what I hear?
Shoppers are scouring the web RIGHT NOW looking for tips on how to get the jump on their holiday shopping. Show your customers you care by looking at your website from their point of view. Prove you are trustworthy with privacy and security seals. Be transparent about your shipping deadlines and return policies. Show you are helpful by offering comparison shopping information.
For more ideas on how to do this, check out 38 holiday e-commerce tips to get the most out of your email campaigns and website.
We wish you a Merry Christmas…
…happy Hanukkah, jubilant Kwanzaa, joyful Festivus and rocking New Year. You are a champion of the true spirit of the holidays. May your friends and family be in good spirits and your fourth quarter full of cheer and conversions.