Recently, Jamie Monberg was interviewed by the New York Daily News to offer advice to small businesses on ways to increase their holiday sales:
How small businesses can amp up their holiday sales
Daily News Business Writer
Monday, December 13th 2010, 1:32 PM
Although many consumers remain hesitant to spend in these still-rocky economic times, here are five tips for small businesses to lure customers to fill their shopping bags:
Join the conversation: If you're trying to get shoppers in the door, networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter can help engage with current customers, who can then amp up their chatter about your company.
"People will be more likely to check out [your business] if a friend tells them to," said Jamie Monberg, chief experience officer at Hornall Anderson, a brand design firm in Seattle.
Offer selective discounts: Dishing out special deals to valued customers might bring in more shoppers, but establish time limits. Deal and sample sale websites like DealPop, LivingSocial, Woot and Gilt Groupe are tapping into people's penchant for saving — and their impulsiveness.
"If you feel like your going to get a deal, and it won't be around for long, you may do it," Monberg said.
Don't overspend on marketing: The cost of cultivating new customers is typically higher during the holidays.
"Since getting them in for a trial is an expensive proposition, a bigger win for businesses is to try and kick off more of a dating situation than a relationship," he said. For instance, wine and dine them with customer service and gift ideas that'll turn their heads.
Put customers first: Not only will customer service be key, customer experience is also vital, said Richard Bates, chief creative officer at the Brand Union, a branding firm in Manhattan.
"People are going to pick a store based on the line length; how well or how quickly they can get in and out," he said. "Think about how you can give them a really positive experience."
If you can, offer perks like complimentary gift wrapping or cookies and you'll be sure to please, Bates said.
Stay in touch: When shoppers make purchases, be sure to say thank you — at the point of purchase and later via email or (gasp!) a paper card.
"Check in with giftees too, to make sure they like the product," Monberg recommended. As a small shop, you're trying to stand out from the big guys — not be the big guys, he said.
Click here to see actual interview.