7 Tips to Stay in Touch With Customers During This Pandemic Holiday

Connect with customers this 2020 holiday season by following these marketing tips.

online holiday shopping sale
Festive specials, gift guides, partnering with other businesses — here are ways to engage shoppers this holiday season

With the holidays kicking into gear, small business owners are left holding the festive shopping bag and wondering: How do you reach out to stay in touch with customers during an uncanny 2020 gift-giving season — when 39% of shoppers are expected to spend less in social-distancing times?

Big e-commerce sites already take a lot of sales from local businesses under “normal” holidays. Add in the current economy — plus public wariness and state mandates limiting indoor gatherings due to a pandemic — and you have a serious retail challenge.

Because people need to know of you in order to go to you, small businesses are having to ramp up their marketing game to meet this strange new world. COVID-19 has made working from home (and general isolation) a common thing, and that means you can’t rely on crowds of window shoppers to see what you have to offer. To help keep you on shoppers’ minds, here are 7 marketing tips to get customers coming to your line, both online and in person.

1. Send holiday-themed emails and newsletters

After updating your websites with seasonal offers, CTAs, and holiday hours, ramp up your online social media efforts announcing your holiday specials.

After updating your websites with seasonal offers, CTAs, and holiday hours, ramp up your online social media efforts announcing your holiday specials. Remind people you’re not only still around, but you’re also the source of their best gifts.

2. Curate your own branded gift guide

You don’t have to wait for someone else to include you on their gift guide; create your own. Make it easier on the flustered holiday shopper with a checklist celebrating your brand. Direct people to the right aisles (or website pages) by identifying products and services suitable for each member of their family, social, and work spheres. Note: Don’t forget to email that gift guide out to your network (see above).

3. Showcase how you’re responding to the pandemic

Provide messaging about how you’re pivoting your operations and physical environment to protect people during the pandemic; contactless service, hand sanitizer, delivery, and curbside pickup all show you’re taking people’s safety seriously. Show that you’re responsible and you’re ready to ring up their order.

Contactless service, hand sanitizer, delivery, and curbside pickup all show you’re taking people’s safety seriously.

4. Partner with other businesses for strength in numbers

Reach more audiences by teaming up with other local businesses. Joining a holiday collective, creating a virtual group event or sale, and partnering with non-competing businesses to cross-promote each other on social media can introduce you to new loyal customers.

5. Support a local charity through donations

This is for good karma and good business. Whether it’s part of this year’s Giving Tuesday on December 1 or every day through the new year, donating proceeds, goods, or time to a local nonprofit can boost buyer motivation and loyalty to your brand. And it can boost your own team’s morale.

6. Share your story with the media to spread the word

You don’t have to be the only one to spread the word. Create a press release about your standout holiday offerings, curated events, or your eye-catching approaches (and accomplishments!) as a business owner in 2020. Share it with local media and bloggers to get your business press coverage.

7. Harness the buzz around Small Business Saturday

In addition to Cyber Monday (or to counteract it if you don’t have an online checkout system), take part in a Small Business Saturday promotion on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This day celebrates local businesses, so take advantage of the buzz to bring awareness to yours.

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