How to Increase Sales This December: An Insider‘s Playbook for Small Business Owners

The holidays are make or break for many small businesses. As a small business consultant who has strategized many 25-50% December sales increases for boutique retailers, restaurants, salons and service providers over the past 10 years, I‘ve developed an insider‘s playbook for December sales success.

Why the Stakes Are High

While December accounts for an average of 30% of annual revenues across most industries, I‘ve seen everything from specialty stores earning 50% of total annual sales to service companies hitting over 40% of yearly profits during the holidays.

Running a promotional post without preparation is worse than not running promotions at all. Through working with over 100 small business clients on their holiday campaigns, I‘ve curated a data-backed playbook to drive maximum results.

Foundational Elements for a Successful December Season

Set Goals Early

I advise clients to establish December sales goals and forecasts in September, with clear targets around total revenue growth, units sold, new customer acquisition. This year, retailers should aim for 30-50% sales increases compared to 2021.

Allocate Optimal Marketing Budget

According to recent data, brands allocate 18-22% of total annual marketing budgets specifically towards holiday campaigns. Factor in additional budget for strategies like digital ads and influencer collaborations that yield the highest December ROI based on industry benchmarks.

Promotional Pricing Sweet Spot

Based on analysis of top retailers, the optimal discount range for holiday promotions is 25-35%. This balances healthy margins with an attractive deal for customers compared to regular prices.

Make Data-Driven Decisions

Leverage historical sales data and impact of prior campaigns to dictate this year‘s strategy – double down on what worked while eliminating ineffective tactics. Set growth goals against past holiday performance.

8 Revenue Driving Tactics for December

1. Special Edition Products

Limited quantity product drops with festive packaging, holiday-themed ingredients/scents or red and green color schemes perform remarkably well year over year. Tease their launch to loyal customers first to gain early traction before the holiday shopping frenzy.

2. Gift Bundling

Pre-assembled gift sets allow customers to purchase multiple complementary products from your business in one go. Cater to different recipient personas e.g. self-care, foodie, DIY kits. Research shows gift bundling increases order values by 20-30%.

3. Retargeted Digital Ads

Remarketing ads towards website visitors who didn‘t complete a purchase boosts conversions by 58% according to retail association data. Combine dynamic discounts and free shipping to entice purchase completion.

4. Social Media Contests

Clever social media contests and giveaways increase follower growth and engagement by 75% pre-holidays. Require contest entries to tag friends for exponentially higher visibility.

5. Pre-Holiday Lead Magnets

Generating sales leads through holiday countdown newsletters, early VIP access and contest sign-ups ensures your brand stays top of mind when shoppers craft their gift lists later in the season.

6. Gift Cards

On average, almost 50% of gift card amounts go unused by recipients. After holidays, run targeted promotions reminding holders to redeem cards, driving additional service and retail transactions.

7. Post-Holiday Clearance Event

Attract bargain hunters and convert leftover holiday inventory into revenue through a high-visibility clearance event right before New Year‘s. Storewide discounts of 50-80% off converts previous window shoppers.

8. Holiday Spending Recap

Analyze data around your best-selling items, highest converting campaigns, most engaged social posts, peak store traffic hours. Apply insights towards making next year‘s holiday season even more profitable.

With the right strategy and mindset shift towards data-based decisions, December can transform from a frustrating month to the most lucrative sales season for your business. Take this insider advice and maximize holidays 2022!