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Four Ways Small Businesses Can Boost Holiday Sales Amid the Pandemic

Clock5 min. read
byVexxit Staff onDecember 11, 2020

Simple tips to keep your sales strong this holiday season.

Small businesses across Canada have been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. Lowered store capacities, lockdown closures, and increased cleaning measures have severely impacted store hours, traffic, and sales.  

As a small business, it’s not easy to match your prices with huge companies like Amazon, who have incredibly massive buying power. Fortunately, consumers value things other than price when making the decision to buy. 

Here are four ways that small businesses can boost holiday sales in 2020:

Promote your proximity  

As per the annual shopping rush, Canada Post is strained with an onslaught of holiday orders. This year, COVID-19 means even longer shipping delays.  

In response to this, small businesses can offer free local delivery or curbside pickup whenever possible. A recent U.S. study found that high shipping costs is the primary reason digital shoppers abandon their carts. Lengthy shipping times is the third.  

Supporting a local business a few kilometres away is the best way for customers to guarantee their orders will reach them on time. Make sure they know this. 

Adapt to your customer’s wants and needs  

There’s a good reason ‘pivot’ has been suggested as 2020’s word of the year: it’s exactly what small businesses should be doing to adjust to consumer needs.  

If you offer a product or service that no longer makes sense in today’s reality, it might be time to rethink the product entirely. Is there something more useful you could be offering using the same materials and business model? This might mean a clothing company sewing reusable masks or a distillery making hand sanitizer.  

If your regular offerings are still in demand, focus instead on offering the most convenient, one-stop shopping experience possible. What once was a simple shopping trip has been bogged down with masks, social distancing, and store closures. Because of this, customers will appreciate finding as many products as possible in one place. 

For instance, items like premade gift baskets or boxes help take the work out of thoughtful gifts. Instead of a shopper visiting six stores to find each item in a gift basket, you’ve conveniently provided it for them all in one place. 

Convenience also includes simplifying the checkout experience. This means a payment process free of unexpected taxes, complicated shipping or return policies and foregoing any requirements to create an account before buying. 

Be personable  

One of the most valuable assets of a small business is the stories and people behind it. A gift is always much more appreciated alongside an anecdote about its inspiration or hearing about the maker. To help boost your sales, tell your story.   

Being personable also means offering exceptional customer service. People will remember how you made them feel and how they were treated. A good product with an amazing customer experience is just as powerful as an amazing product with not-so-great customer service.  

Focus on the digital future  

More than half of digital sales are made on a mobile device. This has been true for years, but since the pandemic, that number has grown even higher. This means that if your website is not optimized for mobile use, you’re missing out on a fair share of potential sales.  

It might seem obvious, but social media is an incredibly powerful, affordable tool for marketing any business. As the holiday season approaches, sites like Instagram and Facebook are full of local gift guides, small business lists, and promotional posts.  

Spend some time ensuring your online presence and digital platform are strong and engaging. The easier you make it for people to find and interact with you, the more chances you give them to purchase your product. 

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