Just before “Black Friday” the emails, postcards, and social media postings reminding everyone to shop local, shop small businesses, and shop on small business Saturday started to arrive. Some added shady statistics about saving US jobs and the boost to the local economy, all meant to guilt us into shopping. That strategy doesn’t put anyone in the mood to shop. On top of this, not one independent retailer gave me a good reason to shop with them.
The few that did, offered a discount that was so insignificant (10% off) that it was laughable when at the same time, I was getting emails for 30% on top of the discounted price from other retailers. Discount pricing wars are unnecessary, especially when there is still 2 weeks left of the season, which include last minute shoppers and gift card shoppers. In the words of one retailer, “it’s going to be a dogfight” but it doesn’t have to be and I don’t recommend it. The US public isn’t necessarily money poor, they are time poor! They need a real reason to shop in your store that isn’t a guilt trip.
- Have unique products that are limited and well-crafted
- Offer free gift wrapping
- Offer phone orders and local same day delivery
- Have free wifi so the significant other can watch the game
- Have children’s area with videos playing
- Extend and have flexible return policies
- Have trained wardrobe and gift “experts”
- Have extended shopping hours
- Have universal cell phone chargers
- Offer “homemade” Holiday cookies (make them festive)
- Surprise them with a small gift with purchase
- Host fun events like having a Santa or photo booth
- Offer coat and bag checks.