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Three ways small retailers can compete with the big players this holiday season

You’ve probably been planning for the holidays all year if you are a small retailer. Budgeting, preparing inventory and hiring seasonal staff are all part of this nine-month planning. How can you compete against the big players?

The shadow of the giants can make even the best laid plans for the holidays seem ineffective. You already know them. Amazon and Walmart are at the top of this list. The sheer size of these retail giants is always present, whether you are an online retailer or have a brick-and-mortar store.

It is clear that the advantages of big players are obvious. They provide the best in terms of convenience, speed and product variety. They offer low prices and long hours of operation. For many shoppers, these perks are enough. The retail transaction in question is straightforward and easy. For many people, however, the experience is not as good as they would like.

Here are 3 ways to compete with the big boys this holiday season by leveraging all that they don’t have:

1. The Local Advantage

When it comes to capturing the local spending dollars, small businesses have a distinct advantage. Local promotions, word of mouth advertising, and community involvement can go a long ways in attracting customers. Local family-owned business can benefit from the loyalty and relationships they have built over generations.

Partnering with local businesses or chambers of commerce can help small retailers learn unconventional and cheap ways to increase their store traffic over the holiday season. Participate in regional events, sponsor local events, and get into local shopping guides. Locally, a small amount of goodwill and exposure can go a long way in keeping your business at the forefront of consumers’ minds.

2. The Retail Experience

Shopping ‘experience’ is something that cannot be replaced. It stimulates all five of your senses when you enter a shop. Discovering a great deal or finding a rare item is a wonderful feeling. The best customer service is the old-fashioned kind that makes you want to tell others about your experience, and make you eager to come back.

You can stay ahead of experiential retail by being creative in your store and creating buzz about the experience. Allowing customers to interact with your products and services in-store, in unique and memorable manners, elevates the experience of shopping and creates an engagement level that cannot be duplicated online or by the typical big-box store.

Salesforce’s ” State Of the Connected Consumer ” study for 2019 found that the five elements listed below are the most important to a positive in-store experience: interactivity, originality, connectedness, unexpectedness, and reliability. Other words, a truly extraordinary experience.

There’s no doubt that shoppers love the experience of shopping in a retail store. A recent infographic by Score shows that 55% of online buyers prefer to buy from retailers who have a physical presence in their stores over buying online. Studies show that Generation Z is more likely to prefer shopping in a physical store, citing immediate gratification, the enjoyment of it, and privacy concerns.

3. The Personal Touch

Even though they try to be more personal, big retailers simply can’t match the small local retailers. This is particularly true during the holiday season when customers have many special requests and urgent requirements.

Many customers want to engage and share their wants and needs with local retailers in order to get the best out of this experience. This positive interaction can often be the tipping factor for a sale. Your seasonal employees should be trained to listen to informational cues from consumers and to follow up by asking related questions.

Use retail loyalty software to track customer purchases and determine which offers and advertisements they will respond to. Send them tailored offers and incentives to keep their business.

Get The Capital You Need To Make A Difference

Small business owners may not have the resources to compete with the large companies, but they can still capture sales and customers during the holiday season. It is important to prepare for the holiday season and have enough Working Capital. merchant cash advances and small businesses loans can be used to finance seasonal staff, new displays for your store, or stocking up inventory.

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