Virtually every business team, from the owners to the managers and staff are always aware of the impending holiday season and what it means for their sales, schedules and perhaps even plans for the coming year. But what can the holidays teach us about business?
Set your mind to identify the similarities between any business and this busy time of year. Of course, we’re talking about the way the holidays affect commerce, the business side to the season.
- The holidays are a time when consumers are geared toward specific needs and purchases.
- This time of year represents the highest opportunity for profit and growth.
- During this period of time, every company’s target audience may fluctuate slightly.
- Despite all of the spending, there are some businesses that can be left out in the cold and may need to change their marketing or their product to suit the season and the change in the target audience.
- There is an entirely different mindset during the holidays.
The spending habits of consumers during the holidays are unlike any other time of year. Shoppers often make purchases regardless of value or price. Specificity in buying is something every business should always be aware of, regardless of the products types or time of year. A bicycle shop is never just a bicycle shop. Does the local weather effect terrain and necessary clothing while riding? Is this a community where residents often seek out alternative forms of transportation because of the area or financial reasons? Are bicycles commonly used for fitness and exercise? For every region, these answers will vary.
Getting to know your customers is the best way to remedy this need. Know also that these answers can also fluctuate with changes in climate and economy.
The Time of Year
The holidays are certainly the most significant example of a time of year controlling the market. But this is true all year, for various reasons. Businesses should always be looking for signs of an impending change or need due to the date on the calendar.
Easter and Mother’s Day motivate certain shoppers to need particular gifts and decor. Spring Break and the summer season motivate shoppers to prepare for vacations and warmer weather. Depending on the area, home-improvement becomes a focus in favorable weather, but also in areas where storm seasons encourage preparation. Even if consumers aren’t identifying these trends, businesses can market to see that they do and actually stimulate purchases where there may have been none planned.
Changes in Target Audience
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of serving a target audience you’ve grown accustomed to. During the holidays, there are people shopping who don’t normally take part in the consumer pool. This can happen any time of year for a host of reasons. Take care not to focus so much on a particular demographic, that you may be neglecting another.
Women are typically the shoppers in the home and make up the largest number of targeted consumers. However, businesses should always be aware of every shopper and the varying needs of our society as a whole in a constantly changing market. Consider your product and all of the needs and individuals that it may serve. Really spend some time on this and put yourself in the shoes of anyone who may find a use for what you are selling.
Are You Selling Sunscreen?
Although the holiday season is touted as a massive money-making frenzy, there are businesses that don’t find themselves or their products falling into the category of gift, decor or other seasonal need. Only the business can change this and this is true for any other time of year when sales may seem to stall.
Change your product or adopt new products to encourage traffic during slow periods. How can you present your products in a way that will appeal to the current trends? Can you make slight adjustments or produce similar products that will attract previously neglected shoppers? Every business knows that getting people in the door, on your site or listening to your message, is the key to selling other things they never knew existed or wouldn’t have thought they needed. Perhaps working quarter by quarter, motivate the unlikely consumer to remember your company and product.
What Are They Thinking?
During the holidays, consumers are operating under a completely unique mindset from the rest of the year, but this is true during other seasons, for entirely different reasons. Holiday spending is less about saving money and time and more about the perfect sentiment and locating unusual or hard-to-find items. So how can businesses identify similar trends all year long?
Almost every month has a holiday or a theme. Consider the various events and issues facing your consumers and how your company and products can be the answer. This isn’t just about merchandise or service. Perhaps certain periods require a change in store hours, however brief. Are there times when you might consider delivery or phone-in ordering? As customer needs change, their mind is changing as well. Your company should be as flexible.
While the holidays garner immeasurable attention, imagine if the profits from that hard work could be more common throughout the year, if companies took their holiday habits and made them commonplace. It’s not so far-fetched that consumers could be encouraged to increase their spending if they received the same attention every day. Contact us for more on making the most of your potential profits, from every consumer, all year long.