With big businesses and corporations throwing millions of dollars into luring customers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, how does a small business even compete? The holidays are just around the corner and the buying frenzy has begun. I can feel it!
Getting people to ‘shop local’ can seem like running up a sand hill. Yes, it’s a constant grind but know that you’re making progress! We have to get consumers to purchase locally if businesses are to thrive.
As a business owner you might feel frustrated, constantly feeling like you are beating the same drum.
Take heart, there is a growing wave of consumers that is becoming much more educated and intentional about consumerism.
Below are strategies to try to ride the wave of frenzy and translate purchasing from big box retailers to YOUR business!
Gather Your Arsenal
Your arsenal is information is in form of statistics, facts, stories, and testimonies.
Facts alone won’t convince as much as stories and testimonies that reflect those facts.
Statistics are not easily relatable. People and stories ARE relatable. The goals are to connect the facts to real people and move consumers to action.
Grab your favorites from the links above. Which resonate most with you and your business? Be sure to site the author when you use those graphics, the information, or statistics.
When you’ve gathered your arsenal of facts and stories that relate to those facts, dive in to the next step!
By educating I do not mean simply regurgitating the facts.
In order to move consumers to action, the facts need to be presented in a relatable way – a way people connect to themselves or knowledge they already have.
This is the “educating” we’re intending to do: move people to action.
- Place some fact cards or posters around your business. Start the fact by thanking customers.
- I.E. Thank you for shopping small. Your support is helping Joe to save for college!
- Thank you for choosing us this holiday season. Spend $100 in a local business and $68 stays in community. Spend $100 in a non-local business and $57 leaves community. Civic Economics Study Grand Rapids Michigan (better yet, print the graphic, site the source, put on a tent card with one side thanking your customer for choosing you!)
- Empower and train your employees by sharing your gathered facts (above). Better yet, have them gather some of their favorite facts. Have them practice saying thank you to customers followed by their favorite statistic “Thank you for shopping locally, you are helping to support…”
Thanking customers is an excellent way to start a conversation, to share the love, to help someone feel AMAZING about choosing your business to spend their money!
- Get your local paper to run some stories. (I found it’s best to write the story for them.)
- Encourage your local Chamber of Commerce to promote some of your facts and stories.
Constantly thank your customers for “doing the right thing. It’s a sneaky way to educate people but makes people feel great for doing what they are doing.
- Shoot a video of your customers giving testimony or reason why they love to shop with you.
- Create a video of your employees sharing their goals and thanking customers for helping to support them. It might be saving for college, a car, or raising money for a cause.
- Give people prompts just have them fill-in. “I shop locally because…”
- “By shopping locally you’re helping me to . . . .”
- Camera shy? Have your employees ask the questions above or have a card on the table for people to fill out. Post those cards around your place of business and/or on social media.
- Share any and all of this in your marketing. Use social media, your email newsletter, surveys, Instagram, etc.
- Email a “survey” to your customers asking them any of these questions:
- I love to shop locally at _____ because _______
- My favorite thing about _______ [your business] is _____________
- Email a quiz to your customers using the facts you’ve gathered. After they’ve completed the quiz have an auto response that gives them a complimentary something-or-other or discount.
Non-profit organizations can use some of these very same strategies for increasing their donations this time of year.
- Send out a one question survey and ask people who have donated to finish this sentence: I donated to [your organization] because. . .
When people see a person they admire or consider to be a leader doing something, they will replicate.
Imagine if your local food bank simply surveyed their donors and said had them to complete this sentence: “I donate to our local food bank because… “
Powerful stories and marketing gold will come from this simple question!
Sharing these stories and reminding people about your businesses mission will create great customer interactions and loyalty.
Use Facts and Stories to move people to Action
I’m excited to hear what you utilize in your business!
If you LOVE some of the ideas above and just are too stretched to implement this year, give me a ring and I’ll help you! 503.308.2307
Helping businesses thrive.
Giving customers amazing interactions.
It’s what I love to do.