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Preparing for Holiday Shopping: Small Business Product Tips

So, holiday sales have commenced, and like any business during Cyber Week, you want in on the action. But how? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got some helpful holiday preparation tips for small business owners wanting to make the most out of the biggest holiday shopping season of the year. Here we'll share holiday shopping trends, tips to boost small business sales, and ways to get your product in front of shoppers. Let the holiday shopping and marketing cheer begin! 

2021 Holiday Shopping Trends 

Like last year, many holiday sales began in mid-October and will last after the typical big day of sales like Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday. This longer shopping season is due to many people researching and holiday shopping early this year. Premise reports, “9% of shoppers started holiday shopping two months in advance, 11% shopped 3 months in advance, and 21% shopped one month before the holidays.” However, don’t let the early shopping behavior deter you from promoting your day of sales in November and December. Cyber Week not only gives shoppers more time to shop but gives you more time to generate sales and conversions. According to Pinterest, people are ready to make a purchase in November, so there’s no better time to get your products out there! 

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Social Media Strategy Tips to Boost Small Business Sales

When creating your holiday shopping content, one thing to keep in mind is to focus on what sets you apart. As a small business, you are already unique. Leverage that uniqueness and concentrate your efforts on reaching the right customers and not the masses. Adobe shares, “during Cyber Week, large retailers drove sales earlier, while smaller ones did so later in the week. Small businesses had a slight boost advantage on both Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.” Here are a few ways to help you put together your social media marketing strategy for the holidays: 

Focus on Small Business Saturday this year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are huge revenue drivers for all retailers but don’t forget about Small Business Saturday (SBS), a day of sale encouraging shoppers to shop small. It generated $4.68 billion dollars in sales last year. SBS falls two days after Thanksgiving (Saturday, November 27th, 2021). In addition to SBS, companies project longer shipping times and increased shipping costs due to global supply chain issues. Delayed shipping will push shoppers to search for alternatives to big retailers. Shoppers will be looking for small businesses to shop on Saturday and during the week, so make sure you’re one of the ones they shop.

Use Pinterest. Pinterest is the place to be, especially during the holiday shopping season. Compared to other major search engines, shoppers come to Pinterest first for their holiday shopping searches. Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media sums it up with, "Pinners search for exactly what they want and then save it once they find it.” By using keywords in your Pin descriptions and titles, you can meet Pinners’ search intent. This leads to brand discovery and an increased chance of conversion with the right messaging. 

Create an Instagram Shop or online shop. Online or hybrid shopping is the holiday shopping norm this year. If you’re not set up online, make sure you do because most holiday shopping happens from smartphones or the web. Luckily, Instagram has Instagram Shop, a convenient way for potential customers to shop your Instagram content directly. All you need is a product, a website, or an eCommerce platform like Shopify connected. Having an online shop tied to your Instagram account also increases your customer service, something small businesses are known for. 

Holiday Shopping Content + Product Tips 

November is the perfect time to level up and put your holiday marketing strategy into high gear. In addition to building brand awareness with your holiday sales content, you should start promoting content that leads to conversions. 

#1 Create holiday-centric content with strong CTAs

This is the time people are looking for anything holiday deal related. Create content using a holiday/winter color scheme and holiday copy to convey this is a sale that only happens this time of year. To ensure your content matches your marketing ramp-up period use a scheduler and Pinterest planner like PLANOLY. Learn more about what we have to offer with our premium features here

#2 Put your product at the center 

In addition to your brand awareness content, now's your time to make it product-focused. What products are people searching for? How does your product fit in? What sales or promotions are you offering? Let potential customers know so they can act quickly and make a purchase. Include compelling images of your products, clear messaging times, and shipping times in your description.  The key is to not interrupt but inspire. 

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#3 Host giveaways or promotions

People are wanting to buy and are looking for last-minute deals. Sharing giveaways and promotions not only generate demand but the incentive to purchase. These promotional efforts also appear to new customers and retarget existing customers. 

#4 Keep that small business feel 

Small businesses have one thing big retailers don’t— a face behind the brand! Not a lot of big retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Nordstrom, etc. have what you have, which makes you unique. People truly searching for a unique product with good customer service will seek out small businesses. That's why you should nurture your existing customers and use them as advocates for your brand and products to get the word out. Share product testimonials, content displaying what problems your product solves, tutorials, virtual fashion shows, and more! 

#5 Partner with other local small businesses

Partner with other local businesses to amplify each other's brands and promote each other's deals. This helps you reach new audiences and audiences that like shopping small! 

#6 Optimize content for all sales 

Make sure all your content has the appropriate descriptions using keywords, images, and is shared at the times your community is most active. Reach out to loyal customers directly via DM or messaging to remind them of upcoming sales events and inventory. 

To learn more about specific content ideas check out our blog post: Social Media Holidays 2021: Preparing for the Holiday Season

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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