The end of the year is near; the smell of spruce and sound of holiday music is everywhere!  ‘Tis the season to be jolly AND profitable...especially if you’re a small business owner.  In addition to holiday shopping, parties, and food prep, you’ve got to find a way to get people in the door or to your website during December.  The mere thought can be daunting.  Don’t despair, we’ve got a few tips to help you find merriment (and boost sales)!

Run a Sale After Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not everyone likes missing Thanksgiving dinner or spending the night curbside seeking the “deal of the century”. Many consumers may not want to go to extreme lengths to capitalize highly acclaimed holiday sales, but still want to shop (aka spend money).  Many shoppers are overwhelmed with preparing dinners and entertaining family, so these extreme deals tend to be an after-thought. Run a sale after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday hype. An atypical sale helps attract these late shoppers and increase holiday sales without the stress.

Offer a Free Gift with Purchase. We know, this is one of the oldest promos in the book. But, if planned correctly, the strategy can generate sales AND reduce slow-moving inventory.  Here’s how it works:  Create a promo of a popular product (may be not your #1 seller, but a good selling product).  Next, take a look at inventory that has been lingering on the shelves.  Add the two together together and create a “Free Gift with Purchase” promo.  This one-two punch will generate sales and reduce year-end inventory… a strategic win for your bottom-line!

Flash Sales. Here is a quick money maker! Nothing says “hurry up and buy” like a flash sale, especially for the impulsive shopper. Entice shoppers by offering a discounted promotion with a limited quantity of product available. You can run the flash sale for a day or just a few hours. Flash sales will help  sell items that are out of season or have been collecting dust on the shelves. If your company can sell products that have been sitting in the warehouse for an extended period of time, then you can make room for newer inventory.

Free Shipping With Minimum Order. If you have an e-commerce store, one of the best promotions you can offer is free shipping. Shoppers will pay for shipping only if the purchase demands it, like a last minute gift. Otherwise, customers would rather not pay to have it shipped. Create a free shipping offer with a minimum purchase threshold — like $50, $75 or $100 — some shoppers will add items to their shopping cart just to qualify for the free shipping. This promotion will seal the deal and increase the amount your customers are willing to spend on your site.

Offer Gift Wrapping. Gift wrapping is part of the fun of giving but most shoppers can't stand wrapping gifts themselves. Even more so, it saves the embarrassment of their mediocre gift wrapping skills. Shoppers find gift wrapping too time-consuming and too difficult to do well, so they prefer to have professionals do it, even if it costs a little extra. Offer an add-on gift wrap option and even go the extra mile to include a greeting card option too.

You can offer a few of these promotions or offer them all!  We’re sure these five tips will turn that bah-humbugging to sheer merriment about this holiday season!