Don’t Wait Until Christmas

Mark Campanale NPA News

Everyone knows to get ready for the December holidays, but are you missing an opportunity in November? Thanksgiving weekend starts the holiday buying season with Black Friday, and that segues into Small Business Saturday, with Cyber Monday right on its heels. This is an entire four-day weekend, plus Monday, to make your store visible to holiday shoppers.

Black Friday

It is hard to compete with the big box stores on Black Friday, but it can be done with some clever preparation and marketing.

1. Start hyping your Black Friday “deals” now. Black Friday is all about saving money, so you are going to have to dig deep and offer the best deals you can.

2. Consider a “deal an hour” setup. For each hour you are open, give deals on certain items, such as “Gamer Heaven Hour,” with a deal on gaming platforms, or “Sweetheart Surprise Hour,” with a deal on jewelry. You could even do a “Marry Me” promotion with deals on engagement rings. Take it one step further by setting up a proposal station and taking pictures of happy couples. There are lots of engagements happening during the holidays.

3. Offer a kid’s area to park the little ones while the parents shop. Include some snacks and TV entertainment, and a minder to keep an eye out.

4. Publish a “sale” paper or advertisement so that shoppers know what you have to offer.

5. Use a guerilla marketing tactic! Head out to the big lines at the big box stores and hand out a flyer to every person waiting in line. You never know, some people may head over to your store!

Small Business Saturday

SBS is a national movement dedicated to supporting small businesses across the nation. Tap into the movement by increasing your pawn store’s visibility in your community!

1. Does your local Chamber of Commerce or other local business promoter have plans? Make sure you are a part of this. Many times, these organizations will put out advertisements, flyers and maps highlighting small businesses. It is often inexpensive to buy a spot.

2. Make sure you are listed in online directories such as Google My Business and Yelp. Does your town have business listing pages? Make sure you are on them.

3. Offer SBS deals, such as a percentage off now and a coupon for a percentage off on another day before December 24. You can offer free layaway or a free gift with purchase. Consider a “day-of” drawing for prizes for those who visit your store.

4. You will need to start getting the word out about the offers well ahead of time in local papers, your website, window signage and of course, social media. Use the official hashtags #SmallBizSaturday, #SmallBusinessSaturday, and #ShopSmall, or make up your own. Don’t forget Pennysaver or Tidbits-type local papers or regional magazines.

5. Consider partnering with other pawn stores. Yes, they are your competition, but partnering may make a bigger splash than going it alone. Consider general advertising focused on the benefits of shopping pawn stores and supporting small businesses. Put the logos and addresses of all the pawn stores at the bottom.

Cyber Monday

Yes, Amazon invented Cyber Monday. But why let them reap all the benefits? If you offer online sales, here are some tips to drive business to your site.

1. Double-check your website’s maintenance and speed. It won’t do you any good to market Cyber Monday if it takes more than a minute to load the site on a shopper’s phone, or if traffic causes a site crash in the first few minutes.

2. Store signage and handouts are a great way to let current in-store customers know that you have a website with merchandise and will have deals on Cyber Monday.

3. Put pop-ups on your site a month before to let current online shoppers know there will be Cyber Monday deals.

4. Consider a special landing page just for this event. A dedicated page makes shopping easier and stress free. Also, a dedicated URL can have great SEO benefits.

5. Price-Point Guides let your customers find gifts in their price range without having to plow through tons of items they can’t afford. For each price point, list links to 10 items in a variety of categories