5 NYC Small Business Tips To Shine This Holiday Season
by Al Gomez
New York is one of the busiest places to be in during the Holiday season.
From various Christmas markets to all kinds of Holiday shows, expect your calendar to be booked from today to the first weeks of January. But perhaps busier than the streets, is the Web. Ecommerce is hot today – and no reputable NYC small business would want to get left behind.
Many began their campaign as early as August, but some are still catching up. If you’re one of them, give this list a read and find out if you’ve crossed out these five Holiday musts. Shine above your competition with these NYC small business tips.
1) Polish the basics.
Details matter, but it becomes more vital during the Holidays. While you may be offering discounted rates and an amazing line of merchandise, customers would be looking into particulars, such as:
- Business Hours – do you intend to be open an extra hour this month? Will you be open during Christmas day itself? Would you open early and close late? Be clear about this on your website AND on business listings.
- Payment Options – Customers want flexibility in payment. However, you also want to make sure that you’re not buried in a backlog of credit. What payment options are most agreeable for you and your clients? Do you have an accountant or money expert to handle Holiday financial issues?
- Free Delivery – almost every NYC small business offers free delivery, so why can’t you? Either a) set a fixed price for goods to avail of this service; OR b) provide free shipping for all merchandise. It depends on your budget and sales strategy. But businesses without free shipping are likely to suffer if they don’t come up with a backup plan.
- Easy Return, Exchange Programs – expect plenty of headaches AFTER the Holiday season. That’s because many customers have the habit of buying gifts recipients don’t like or need. This ends up in returns or exchanges that most businesses are NOT prepared for.
Expect it early on by setting up quick and easy return/exchange programs. Have a dedicated distribution team to handle it, if you can afford to do so. After all, even unsatisfied customers come back if treated well during this process.
These might be small changes, but it can affect your bottom line BIG time. For example: exchanges cost retailers about 10 percent of their revenue. This number is even larger for ecommerce. Polish the details so you’ll be prepared once the real influx of orders come in.
2) Get help with extra services.
Hiring seasonal employees is a smart move during one of the busiest times of the year. Aside from getting an extra hand with the tasks, you can use this as an opportunity to augment your income.
For instance, if you’re a small local grocer, have someone do personal grocery shopping for Holiday meals or feasts. Set a reasonable price and highlight the value of the service (i.e. convenience, prompt and friendly delivery, fresh ingredients, etc.).
Your NYC small business isn’t the only one that’ll be very preoccupied during this time. So offering a little extra value could go a long way. Who knows? Maybe this added service could turn into a full-time feature for your shop, too.
3) Promote seasonal content for your NYC small business.
If you already have content, such as Holiday visuals, prepped and ready for publishing, now’s the best time to put the spotlight on them. Seasonal content is great for two reasons:
a) the first is you get to tie-up your products and/or a service with the season;
b) second, is that you get to showcase your goods under a different perspective.
As we all know in ecommerce, novelty sells. If you weren’t able to make a profit selling your cute plush gloves in June for example, you’ll have an easier time with that this December (because it’s Winter AND the Holidays). It’s a matter of timing. Begin too soon and your content will look stale come the right moment. Start too late and you won’t be able to maximize it.
Although technically, it’s a bit late to churn out Holiday content, you still have three weeks. Don’t waste it. Ready those pictures, articles, and videos for your NYC small business Christmas campaign.
4) Don’t forget a jolly Holiday theme.
Your Holiday online marketing just wouldn’t feel complete without Holiday themes. Your website is the perfect platform to entice customers into the season of giving. Who knows? Maybe specks of snowflakes or a traditional red-and-green color scheme might encourage even the Grinch’s to buy gifts.
You can employ the same tactic on your social media accounts. Free online image-editing tools like Canva and Pablo, make it fast and easy to create Holiday-themed headers and profile pictures. Upload some today to add Holiday cheer to your site and social media profiles.
5) Be involved in community events.
As an NYC small business, it’s definitely an advantage to work within your community. Even the NYC Small Business Services recommend it as one of the most effective strategies for the Holiday season. By participating in various local events, such as a tree-lighting ceremony or local gift-giving, you spread awareness for your business AND give back to your community. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.
Being a small business in the busy streets of NYC during the Holidays is both a blessing and a curse.
On one hand, you get to experience the hustle and bustle of it all. As they say, there’s nothing like the glittering city of New York during the jolly season. But on the other hand, you get a LOT of headaches. By being prepared for this year’s most anticipated day, you can mitigate the negative effects of this joyous occasion.
Keep these tips in mind and you might just outshine your NYC small business competitors on the 25th. For more information on how to conduct online marketing campaigns for New York City, contact an expert today.
January 15, 2016
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