I did not travel to see family this holiday week, so I’m hanging around in my usual neighborhoods, looking for things to do and places to dine with my friends. With so many shops and restaurants closed at unusual times, businesses with long holiday hours had a great opportunity to make money picking up the slack, and even to gain new regulars or fans.
Unfortunately many businesses lost this opportunity. Some simple tips:
1. Put your phone number on a prominent place on your home page. This is a good idea year round: many prospective customers can call you with a tap to a mobile phone screen. During the holidays, there are probably people roaming around near your storefront whose original destination was unexpectedly closed.
2. Make a special Web banner or post about your holiday hours. On Christmas Eve, I wanted to eat at my favorite local restaurant. The phone message had not changed; it gave only their regular hours. Nothing on the Web site about holiday hours either. If they were open, they lost me. If not, they annoyed me.
3. The holidays are a great time to offer promotions. Publicize these on your Web site. These don’t have to be expensive. Develop co-branded offerings with other businesses that are close or simply post reciprocal banners like, “Shopping all day? Tired feet? Get 10% off of a reflexology massage at MyHappyBody between December 23 and January 1st with $100 purchase from ShoesShoesShoes.” and “$10 off your purchase at ShoesShoesShoes with a receipt from any spa service at MyHappyBody the same day.”
Just a little forethought can make for a more prosperous year’s end.