This Holiday Season will be unlike any other, and it’s important for businesses to promote safe shopping practices, have strong digital and social media presence, and put the health and safety of both customers and employees at the forefront. The Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, NoHo BID, Village Alliance, Hudson Square BID, and Meatpacking BID want to ensure a profitable and strong holiday shopping season for our businesses, and with these tips, you’ll be on the right path to wrap up this difficult year.
- Make sure your website is functional for online orders. If you currently do not have a website, sites like Wix, Square Space, WordPress, Drupal, Shopify even Google can have you up and running quickly (most with online sales integration).
- Have multiple options to communicate with customers. Locasuar allows you to build and maintain closer, more profitable customer relationships, with a platform built just for local independent businesses.
- Do all you can to collect email addresses from customers, so you can directly contact them in the future. Square, social media, and in-person collection are all good strategies.
- Make sure to communicate out to customers when you’re most and least crowded. Tools like Google My Business, and FourSquare make it easy to communicate.
- Ensure hours are up-to-date and accurate on Google Maps, Apple Maps, Yelp, Social Media, and Website.
Utilize Social Media
- Allow customers to place pick up orders over Instagram direct message, phone, website, email, etc. Alternative shopping options keep foot traffic down and keep other customers and employees safe.
- Alert customers of off-peak hours through social media and email blasts for a safer shopping experience.
- Book shopping appointments over Instagram direct message.
- Utilize sponsored posts and social media advertising to drive traffic.
- Encourage customers to shop online instead of in-store.
- Create social media posts to encourage customers to shop online directly from the business or in-store to avoid shipping delays.
- Send out email blasts to customers to inform them of the business’ safety efforts and alternative shopping options.
- Utilize the shopping feature on Instagram and Facebook to allow customers to order directly from the business’ page.
- Use social media stories to showcase sales to increase sales and awareness.
Offer Sales and Discounts
- The pandemic has been extremely difficult financially, so people are looking for sales and discounts more than ever.
- Create discounts for online shopping to allow lower foot traffic and keep employees and customers safe.
- Offer free or decreased shipping on orders placed early to allow for shipping delays due to pandemic.
- Utilize Google Offers and Yelp Business Deals to increase business.
- Have a clear return and exchange policy, posted in compliance with DCA rules, and make sure all customers are aware of it.
Practice Safety Protocols
- Signage, clear visuals, and verbal communication to promote social distancing, mask-wearing, and other safety protocols.
- Encourage customers to only touch what they plan on buying.
- Provide hand sanitizer to customers and employees.
- Keep doors and windows open to increase air circulation.
- Discourage workers from borrowing each other’s phones, desks, and other work tools and equipment.
- Check air filtration systems and ensure everything is being disinfected and cleaned often.
Protect Mental Health of Employees and Customers
- Make sure customers know that business is keeping them safe. If customers see employees and other customers not wearing masks properly, not social distancing, etc they may not want to shop there again which decreases revenue.
- Inform customers of alternative shopping options. Social media sales, online ordering, pick-up orders, ordering over the phone, etc.
- Make sure employees are being protected and that they inform the employer if they contract Covid-19.
- Encourage customers to tip waiters and waitresses who struggled immensely during the pandemic.
Holidays are a stressful time during normal years, but this year will be even more stressful. Any way a business can take the stress off employees and customers in regards to their safety will allow for more profit for the business.