The average American spends $700 dollars in gifts and goodies during the holiday season.

For local retail stores trying to get a piece of the average Americans holiday shopping budget requires a creative approach. After all, few brands can afford the charming nationwide holiday TV and radio ads we’re so used to this time of the year.

Even if you could buy millions of impressions, traditional ad campaigns don’t drive the same traffic they used to. Today, retailers are forced to get creative in order to get a piece of the holiday shopping pie.

We’ve compiled a list of the top tweaks retailers can make to boost holiday sales just in time for Black Friday shoppers.

1. Optimize Google My Business

Whether you have a new or existing listing, it’s in your best interest to provide as much detail as possible within your GMB page. Not only will this provide potential customers with valuable insight, but it will also give Google more information to rank your business in local search queries. If you need any help getting started, we’ve put together a great guide for optimizing your GMB listing.

Always keep your Google My Business listing up-to-date. Maintaining your listing ensures your customers can access relevant information to make their experience easy and positive. The last thing you need is for customers to update operating hours for you. It’s a potentially disastrous situation which could lead to inaccurate or unapproved information appearing in search and on your Google My Business listing.

2. Rethink Customer Communication

As a retailer, customer experience is key, especially for loyal customers. If you want to keep them coming back, you have to understand how to communicate on their terms. Did you know 62.26% of consumers feel “happy” and “excited” to respond to personalized messages from retailers? Dynamic Yield Research 

Outbound email and messaging can be a creative and unique experience that you have control over. 

We recommend building a personalized email campaign to your previous shoppers. Here are a few tips you can follow in creating this campaign.

  1. Define your overall goal – What product are you trying to sell? Can it align with a previous purchase that the customer made? Ie They bought the fabric chair now maybe lead with a coffee table that would go with that chair.
  2. Outline the cadences of the emails – What days and times will they be sent out
    1. Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the best responding days to email says CoScheduling link
    2. They also said that 10am and 8pm are the top two times to send an email 
    3. *Please note that these times can vary due to your email audience
  3. Insert personalized names in your subject lines of the email
  4. Have your first email making an announcement and follow up the next email with a discount code
  5. Make sure to only have one “call to action” button in the email
  6. Use less HTML (Heavy Design) emails and instead send with a basic form type, like you would send from your gmail inbox.

3. Convert Web Traffic

You’ve worked so hard on presenting an inviting brand online and now that you have the traffic on your website. What do you need to do next?

Simply put, you should make it as easy as possible for interested customers to reach out to you. The more fields or steps they need to complete the more likely these potential customers will give up.

At Podium, we’ve settled on these three fields for our Webchat tool—name, phone number, and a message. This is all a business really needs for a quality lead. The nice part about web traffic conversations is you already know the lead is interested since they navigated to your website.

4. Build your Online Reputation for 2020

With the influx of customers coming into your store, now is the time to capture their experience by asking them to leave you an online review. We’ve seen Google reviews have the largest impact on overall business metrics. 

Users of Podium saw a 33% increase in people requesting driving directions to their store in Google Maps, a 68% increase in click to calls from Google, and a 53% increase in website traffic all because these customers valued their online reputation.

Think of the amount of web and foot traffic you could increase because of your star rating. We recommend that you ask the customer in person as they check out to leave you a review and then send them a link to their phone as a follow-up. This will help direct customers where they need to go.