With big box retailers like Target, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney reporting better than expected holiday season sales, retailers everywhere are breathing a much needed sigh of relief. On Thursday, the National Retail Federation said it expects sales to increase by 4.1% this year, citing lower gas prices, rising wages and job growth as reasons for U.S. consumers to want to spend more. According to the recent Forbes’ article “Shoppers expected to ramp up spending in 2015“, this would be the “the fastest rate of growth since 2011.”
In a recent media briefing, Matt Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation, stated:
“The consumer is feeling a bit better—consumer sentiment is at record levels, there are improving prospects for jobs, and gas prices for now remain low. The ingredients are there for a more sustained and robust expansion.”
Where previous conversations among retailers centered on the lackluster economy, a renewed buzz in retail has turned the focus towards identifying ways in which to now capitalize on this spending surge. For small business owners this means creating tailored experiences and loyalty programs that compel shoppers to spend with you as opposed to your big box counterparts. Whether your business is brick and mortar, online or omnichannel, the below tactics will ensure you make the most of 2015:
- Plan an in-store event with exclusive offers. Let your customers know ahead of time with signage and an email blast or blog post. Promote the event through social media updates and email campaigns.
- For those omni-channel retailers, create offers that are unique to both your online and offline selling environments. For example a discount code that can only be used with your online shopping cart coupled with an in-store gift with purchase. This will ensure that one channel is not taking away from the profit of another.
- Use loyalty programs and email updates to create a repeat customer base. Customer service and interaction are the hallmarks of small business. Stay engaged with your shoppers to keep them coming back for more.
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