Perhaps local businesses cannot match Amazon volume this holiday season, but don’t assume you’re in a game prohibiting you from pulling up a seat to the table.
So many people have devoted the majority of their entire shopping experience to online-only that they have lost the actual value of shopping local. And can you guess the number one reason for mostly shopping online? Free shipping. Not guaranteed discounts, not merchant donations to charitable organizations, not free puppies – just free shipping. The only thing worse than this is shopping online for shipping you have to pay for but you’re willing to pay for it because they’re going to ship it to you and that’s all you care about. Just for the action of not having to put an item in your vehicle, trough it home, drag it out and into your house; you’re literally willing to pay for the shipping but you just want someone else to bring it to your door step.
This single transaction incentive should open your eyes – WIDE – to the fact that people don’t have to remain habituated to shopping at Amazon or similar online giants for personal items or for remote loved ones. They could be encouraged to get up and come into your brick-and-mortar if you can somehow inform them that you will ship their items to their final destinations – thus winning you your local customers back from Amazon this holiday season. It. Is. On. Like. Donkey. Kong.
Let’s talk about this now, if you’re a local business, large or small, you still have time to make plans for the holidays. Think of it as the nitty-gritty of brick-and-mortar shipping 101. Let’s examine this opportunity together and get inspired for some new seasonal success.
What are people buying most during the holidays and who’s shipping?
The categories most heavily shopped during the holiday season are specific. You want to do your research to ensure if you are investing in setting up business ties with the standard shipping couriers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc…, you have viable products and goods to sustain an impactful ROI. Holiday shopping statistics always show spike patterns in the following categories:
- Games/Toys/Dolls etc.
Incentives to Increase In-Person Sales
- In-store coupons and doorbusters
- Clearly market to ship gift purchases
- Train employees to promote shipping in-store purchases
There is definitely a checklist for implementing a shipping offer at your brick-and-mortar locations. You must determine whether your business type is one that lends itself all together to holiday gift shopping. Once you decide that you are, marketing will carry you as far as you let it – you’ll get what you pay for in other words. Create captivating messaging surrounding your new shipping offers and cover your store and website with marketing that highlights it, at least two months in advance of the holidays.
In October, start having your cashiers verbally communicate to your shoppers about the holiday shipping service. You could even start printing offers on their receipts for free shipping during a certain period. Definitely promote your shipping service via your social accounts – this should be a no-brainer. And lastly, and very important – set clear expectations with your shoppers about shipping. Announce clear dates for when the last purchases can be made to reach their destinations in time for the holidays. It would be very wise to print this on the actual receipts so there are no misunderstandings.
if Amazon has taken some of your customers, why not take back a page from their own playbook and get some back by offering shipping?