Is your small business ready for the 4th of July retail crowd?
Independence Day is celebrated with gatherings of friends and family, cookouts, pool parties, and so much more. And no matter how people choose to celebrate, there will be a lot of shopping to do leading up to the event!
How do you make sure your business is on consumers’ shopping lists? We’re here to help you prepare your retail store for the 4th of July this year.
Stand Out Among Competitors for Holiday Shopping
People are more excited than ever to celebrate — especially with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted nationwide. That said, you can expect a lot of foot traffic leading up to Independence Day.
Here are some of our favorite tactics to help your retail store stand out from the crowd:
Spruce Up Your Inventory
This is a tip we recommend to retailers for every holiday. With the change of the seasons and exciting holidays rolling through, consumers will expect a shift in inventory. Your customers will have certain products in mind for the summer months, and this will change once Christmas rolls around, for example.
So, what might your customers be looking for in preparation for July 4th? Here are some industry-specific inventory changes and additions you can make:
- Flower shops can add themed balloons and ribbons to their stock
- Garden centers can arrange red, white, and blue flowers front and center, or even add little signs to their potted plants
- Boutiques and clothing stores can add America-themed t-shirts, hats, swimsuits, and fun accessories to the floor
- Grocery stores can offer American flag sugar cookies and/or put together party platters and appetizers for sale
- Liquor stores can bring in seasonal mixers and limited-edition seltzers to make drinks more holiday-themed
There are likely regulations against selling fireworks in your retail store, but look into some safer alternatives like sparklers if you want to spice things up a bit. There’s more to the 4th of July than fireworks, however, so get creative and think of what else you can add to your inventory this year!
Create Enticing July 4th Promotions
You know nothing gets customers in the door like a good sale.
People are going to be making purchases around a holiday like this no matter what, but creating enticing deals will ensure your small business makes the shopping list.
Consider running promotions on items for picnics, cookouts, and parties. Even something as simple as 10 percent off select items can influence a sale.
If you’re a liquor store owner who has yet to give mix and match deals a try, now’s the perfect time. Consumers are buying a ton of alcohol for the 4th of July weekend, so make it easier for them to rack up bottles with a good bundle promo. Let customers build their own six-pack of craft beer or mix and match three different bottles of wine for a discount off their total.
If you decide to add seasonal or holiday-specific items to your inventory, putting an enticing special on these products ensures they get bought up so you don’t have any lingering leftovers. You don’t want to be stuck trying to get them out the door, so think up a deal that consumers can’t resist!
Finally, if it’s available to you, there’s nothing like a storewide sale leading up to a holiday. This is a great idea if everything your store offers is valuable during the present time of year or holiday season. 20 percent off everything just hits better than 20 percent off select items!
Decide How You’ll Promote Your Promotions
This could be the most important step in preparing for the 4th of July. You’ve added holiday items to your stock and you’ve created promotions you’re excited about. But how are you letting consumers know what’s going down?
Maybe you’ve never promoted your promotions before — and that’s OK. Holidays provide an opportunity to test out new methods, so you can get an idea of what works for your retail store and what doesn’t.
Some ways you can let customers know about your Independence Day promotions are:
- Mailing out paper coupons to their home addresses
- Posting on social media (organically or via paid ads)
- Shooting them a text message
- Sending out customized emails
If you have a powerful retail point of sale solution, it should be able to help you with these marketing efforts. An integrated customer loyalty program can house customer contact information and purchase history, allowing deals to be more customized. Most POS software can also link up with external programs to manage SMS marketing and other promotional tasks.
Many store owners shut down on the 4th of July or limit their business hours around the holiday. If you’ll be making any changes to your availability, communicate your store hours appropriately and really push promos before the holiday.
Pick Festive In-Store Signage and Decor
Whether you’ll be open leading up to July 4th or the day of, festive signage and decorations really improve the customer experience.
In-store promotions should be kept in mind, especially with all the great deals you’ve chosen to roll with. Create in-store signage such as posters, stickers, etc. to call out promos so they aren’t missed. There’s something about the extra flair that catches consumers’ attention!
Finally, any effort here counts, but decorating for the holidays is always highly recommended. You don’t have to go overboard, but adding pops of red, white, and blue to your storefront can really get your visitors into the holiday spirit. Plus, the more welcoming and festive your store makes them feel, the more likely they are to spend money on the 4th of July at your small business.
Host a 4th of July Party or Event
Our final tip in preparing for Independence Day is another one that won’t apply to all retailers. But if it’s your style, it could be extremely successful — and a fun time.
Consider hosting a small party or sampling event for the 4th of July. Some people are particular about what they purchase and will always stick to what they know they like. But if you’re letting customers try some of your products for free, they’re way more likely to purchase something they’ve sampled and enjoyed, rather than take a blind shot at something they’ve never tried.
Grocery stores and markets can sample out meats, cheeses, crackers, dips, and other charcuterie items to help customers build their very own spread. Liquor stores can even sample craft beers and wines (following local guidelines, of course) while boutiques can give free makeovers that allow customers to try new makeup products.
If in-store sampling isn’t your thing, you can simply host an exclusive party for a set number of registrants, hanging out favors that include a number of trial-size products.
The opportunities are endless! No matter what samples you decide to give out at your event, you’ll likely get happy guests purchasing new things to add to their own holiday party.
4th of July and Summer Holiday Retail Tips
Planning for holidays can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Take your time thinking things through before jumping to make quick or last-minute decisions.
At the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re having fun and keeping customers happy as they prepare to celebrate the 4th of July.
If you’re new to the small business world and need to take a step back, download our free resource: The Retail POS System Buyers’ Guide.