Though slashing prices is an obvious way to spike your sales, not all small businesses have the bandwidth to make this a regular practice. But there are other ways to give business a boost — strategies that may be even more effective than a massive promotion.
Here are four strategies you should try:
1. Loyalty programs
Many businesses tailor their marketing and sales strategies toward acquiring new customers. That’s important, yes, but it’s actually your regular, repeat customers who are the backbone of your business. Studies show that repeat customers spend 67 percent more than first-time customers when they return, and over their lifetime they’re worth 10 times as much as their first purchase.
One simple way to get more regulars is to offer a loyalty program. Not only is this a great way to show customer appreciation, but it also makes you more money. Customers who participate in the Square Loyalty rewards program return in half the time it takes nonparticipants to return. Which means that over the same period of time, these customers come in twice as often.
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Keep customers coming back.
2. Gift cards
Gift cards are a fantastic marketing vehicle (you can customize Square’s gift cards with your own branding). But they’re also an enticing way to upsell your customers. If you throw in a free $15 gift card when customers meet a certain price threshold, for example, they’re more likely to grab a few more items. And if they end up gifting the gift card, that’s a new customer for you (whom you might be able to upsell as well).
3. Happy birthday messages
Instead of mass email-blasting a discount to your entire customer list, get more targeted by sending special offers to people on their birthdays. Email with automated offers sent through Square’s email marketing tool has 1.7 times the open rate as blast campaigns containing offers. And, when people open the automated offer, it has a 2.3-times-higher redemption rate within seven days of the date the email was sent.
4. Super-fast shipping
Ship items to your customers as quickly as possible. And optimally, quickly means that day. Research shows that 80 percent of shoppers want a same-day shipping option, and 61 percent want items within one to three hours of placing an order.
If you can swing it, dispatch couriers to deliver products around the area. In an age where people increasingly want (and expect) instant gratification, it’s a huge selling point that sets you apart from the competition.