This holiday season, lean into the love that shoppers have for local businesses––and make sure you’re meeting expectations.
“Support local!” “Shop small, independent businesses!” Have these phrases worn out their welcome? Do shoppers even care about the concept of local anymore? The short answer is yes, they do. More than eight in ten consumers (82%) currently shop local, and more are choosing a local business over a comparable national chain.
And last Small Business Saturday, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at small, local stores.
So why are shoppers frequenting local over the convenience of a chain? And how can you stand out and keep them coming in this season? Read on for answers, then make your to-do list, and check it twice.
Keep Doing What You’re Doing
What is it about a local, independent business that draws shoppers in? They love the values that are probably already a core part of your store. The personalized service, trustworthiness, quality work, reliability, and expert staff. If you’re not already playing up these value propositions, start immediately.
- Introduce your staff and the specialized insight they offer on social media, your website, or an email blast.
- Talk about your dedication to personal relationships–customized care, recommendations based on style and budget–anything you do that makes you different from the chains.
- Feature your quality work in a digital gift guide or holiday mailer. Make sure you mention custom work if applicable.
- Share client testimonials on your website’s homepage.
These seem like simple, obvious things, but they add up. These core values should be front and center during the holidays. And don’t be intimidated to use “local,” “independent,” and “small business” in your everyday marketing. Whether it’s a social media hashtag or sentence on your website or email blast, these draw shoppers.
It’s the Little–and Big Things
While shoppers appreciate local values, they still love convenience. Don’t let customers browse your cases then buy online from big brands. Make it easy for them to purchase from you, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
- Make sure your website is current, simple to navigate, and has basic information (contact information, store hours, services, and types of jewelry or brands you sell). It should also be mobile-friendly. Your site does not have to be ecommerce, but in this day and age, you need a website––many local customers want to do a little research before they visit you.
- Shoppers love to read reviews before deciding to shop, so ask for reviews from satisfied customers. There are multiple services that can help with this.
- If a local customer does order something online, make it easy for them to receive their order. Offer in-store or curbside pick-up.
- Make it simple for customers to book and confirm appointments, make payments, or even shop from a wishlist. And while email is great, 65.6% of consumers think texting makes working with a local business more convenient, so think about opting into a texting service.
Share Your Story
Whether you’re celebrating seventy-five years or five years in business, whether it’s generational or started from a life-long dream, your store has history and a story. The holidays are a great time to thank customers for sharing their special life events and occasions. You, in turn, should share your story. It creates a connection that will make them cherish you as a local business all the more.
- Are you sending out a holiday catalog or magazine? Dedicate a page to your store’s story or history, complete with images and a letter thanking customers for a great 2023.
- Do you have a few quality pictures of your store from holidays past? Post these throughout the months of November and December on your social media feeds, making sure to put the year in the accompanying copy. Don’t think of this as “taking up product space.” Rather, these posts will get viewers excited about the holidays and shopping with you.
- Create a short video to share on social media, your website, and in an email blast. This can be a mix of your story, thanking customers for a great year, and encouraging them to shop with you for the holidays.
If you have any questions about how you can lean into a local marketing strategy, or if you’d like to learn more about marketing for jewelry in general, Harmon is here to help. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.