How to Attract More Customers This Holiday Season
The leaves are turning brown and the air is starting to feel a little nippy. It won’t be long before you’ll be able to see your breath as you walk around outside and you’ll be buying coffee to keep you warm as well as awake.
That can mean only one thing – the holiday season is almost here.
For most people, that means we’ll all soon be rushing around, panicked, trying to find great gifts for the ones we love, as well as spending hours decorating our homes, and cooking (and eating) way too much food.
But if you’re a business owner, your first priority will be making sure that you can capitalize on what is, for most industries, the busiest period of the year. If you’re wondering what you can do to get more customers through your door this year, here are some ideas you can consider.
Let Your Customers Try Before They Buy
Have you ever wondered why Costco makes such a big deal about the little free samples of food and drink that you can try while you walk around their giant warehouses? It’s because they know that people love things when they’re free (often regardless of what they actually are). They also know that once they try them, many customers are going to be persuaded to buy the product.
This is far more effective for products that are new or at least new to the customer, as it gives them an opportunity to test it out without any risk to them.
It works online as well. Software developers often offer time or feature-limited free trials of their programs to let customers try them out. Similarly, online sportsbooks often use free bet and no deposit bonus codes for new customers to try out their platform before committing to using them.
In the run-up to the holiday season, many businesses give away samples or offer free trials to potential customers. You’ll likely notice an increase in the number of coupons available in newspapers and magazines, as businesses try to nudge people towards their wares.
Extend Your Returns Policy
As a business owner, you probably don’t like it when your customers return products as it means you have to give them their money back. Often, you also can’t resell a returned product, at least not for the same price as it has likely been opened.
Therefore, many businesses go to great lengths to make returns difficult or find ways to prevent them altogether. Often, consumer laws require businesses to accept returns for most types of products, at least for a limited time period. Though there are exceptions for items like earrings and underwear for hygiene reasons.
For example, in the UK, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 grants buyers 30 days to return an item for a refund if it’s faulty (or any reason if it’s bought online). Rules can vary from country to country and even state to state in the USA.
However, it can sometimes pay to go beyond what is required by law, especially during the holidays as people will often buy gifts ahead of time, store them away, and not have the chance to check they work until weeks or even months later.
Many leading retailers now offer no-quibble returns until early January for goods purchased in the last few months of the year. There is plenty of evidence that this can improve your conversion rate. Experts in this field like Neil Patel and Tim Ferris have both spoken at length about how offering some form of guarantee can help customers fee safer and, therefore, more likely to make a purchase.
There are several psychological tricks you can use to help boost your sales. One of the most effective is to create scarcity, either by restricting the supply of a good or by limiting the time in which it can be bought.
Time-sensitive promotions are ones that only last for a few days or weeks. This creates a sense of urgency for the customer and encourages them to act quickly. This speed prevents them from talking themselves out of buying the product, or deciding to “do it later” but then forgetting.
The Black Friday deals seen across the US and elsewhere in the world in November are a classic example of this, with customers given just a single day to buy the discounted products.
These techniques can also be applied at other times of the year, but they will become especially effective in the final few months of the year.