With only around 100 shopping days left until Christmas, here are some ways to try to expand your customer base so that this holiday season is the best ever:
- Extend the reach of your business by expanding into a nearby market. Christmas is by far the biggest buying holiday for pet owners. Take advantage by opening a kiosk or pop-up store in a market adjacent to where you currently do business. With the economy still sputtering and retail space vacancy still high, negotiate a deal where you can’t lose. Who knows…you may do well enough to maintain a presence in the new market after the holidays.
- Expand your product line. With regard to my own boutiques, I do not currently carry dog food even though I get almost daily inquiries from customers. There are some not so insignificant drawbacks to going down this path. Retail floor space can be a big issue since dog food can take up a large amount of retail space. Given the margins on food are much smaller than they are on most other products, can you make this deficit up on volume? Obviously, making your boutique a one-stop shop for pet owners can only be beneficial. Consider dedicating a small section during the holidays to something you don’t currently carry to see how it goes. You may find an untapped market you are currently ignoring.
- Create partnerships with businesses that "treat” their customers well around the holidays. Approach local realty companies and offer canine gift baskets at reasonable prices for realtors to give to their dog-loving clients. Do something similar with local kennels. Offer holiday biscuits near wholesale cost (of course packaged with your business info prominently displayed). It’s a win-win situation: the kennel builds loyalty with their customer base and you get your name and product out there to potential customers.
Now is the time to implement some new ideas in order to make this holiday season your best ever!
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